A Grand Tour of Elections, Referendums and Liberal Democrat Achievements

Welcome to my second day as guest editor on Liberal Democrat Voice. I am delighted to be back and hope you enjoy what I have in store for you today. For those of you who don’t know me, I usually can be found inflicting my random thoughts on the world at Caron’s Musings.

The first thing I’m going to do, though,  is slightly take advantage of the situation to wish my lovely niece, Emma Steele, who was born at the start of the 1997 election campaign, a very happy birthday.

I want today to be a an optimistic and informative tour of the country, taking in the Yes to AV Campaign n Northern Ireland which has been keeping Stephen Glenn quiet for the last few months, the Welsh and Scottish elections including the experience of a first time candidate and an American student caught up in an Edinburgh election, and the campaigns in two English councils where Liberal Democrats in administration have vastly improved the quality of people’s lives.

All over the country, Liberal Democrats are offering sensible, practical solutions to the issues people are most worried about, always sticking to our values of openness in Government, fairness and trusting local people.

These are challenging times for the Party, but we have much to be proud of.  In the UK Government, we have ended child detention for immigration purposes, we’re raising the tax threshold to help the lowest paid, as well as increasing the minimum wage and extending it to young people. We’ve restored the link between pensions and earnings, abolished the hallmarks of authoritarian Labour like the ID card database, halted Labour’s Post Office closures, given justice to Equitable Life Policy holders, put serious money into providing talking therapies to improve mental health and much more that you’ll find over at What the Hell have the Lib Dems done?

Times are tough, though, and people are worried. Labour are giving a masterclass in political opportunism, pretending that they would have done things differently and not telling us how. They have loads of money and can shout loud, making it difficult for us to get into the story.  Over the next four weeks we have to be creative and provocative.

I don’t agree with everything the Coalition Government is doing, but I’m proud of our Minister’s work within it and I feel more comfortable with it than about any Government in my lifetime. Admittedly the Thatcher Governments and Blair leading us into an illegal war in Iraq don’t set the bar very high, but I can still find much to be positive about. We are clearly being a brake on the Tory desire to do things like Inheritance Tax cuts to the rich, tax breaks to the married and abolishing the Human Rights Act, all of which would have happened if they’d been in power on their own.

Our biggest challenge is getting our voice heard and this is why I wanted to deliver a showcase of the best of Liberal Democrat achievements and campaigns.

There will also be a chat with Liberal Democrat Chief  Whip Alistair Carmichael, who steps out of the shadows to chat about the Scottish Elections, and to spill some secrets of the art of whipping.  Watch this space to find out what he said when I asked him which of our lot gave him the most trouble.

So, take your seats and enjoy a snapshot of our campaigns around the country.

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2 Comments

  • A masterclass in political opportunism? I very rarely post here because it’s not my place, but for the love of God, gain some self knowledge. The entire electoral strategy of the Lib Dems for the past decade has been political opportunism and being all things to all voters. It’s why you’re in trouble now, as you can get away with it in opposition but not in government, where you’re expected to be coherent and keep your promises. I recognise and admit Labour’s opportunism, but a denunciation of it from a Liberal Democrat is so monstrously hypocritical it beggars belief. Can you not see how badly this sort of thing comes across?

  • for each show case there will be the bad along with the ugly the stuff Liberal Democrats dont want to talk about…

    How the secretary of state for health proposes to abolish the NHS in England

    http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1695.full

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