A vision for Vince

Our nation is at a crossroads, if we take the wrong path we could fall off the cliff. Britain lacks strong leadership, there is no clear vision and there is certainly no plan. Our country is confused, our people are perplexed and our neighbours think we are crazy.

And above all our governments have consistently neglected the prosperity of our people, the millions who everyday are struggling with unnecessary financial hardship; Promises have been made but there has been no follow through. We have been sold austerity as inevitable when prosperity is possible.

Politics for the privileged is no longer acceptable, the people want change, they told us that with the referendum vote, they told us that with the 2017 election. While the Liberal Democrats did not do nearly as well as we would like, we undoubtedly have  appealing values and policies but we just did not communicate the message clearly.

Our party has a huge opportunity but a very short window to make a big impact. The other two parties are in chaos, lacking strong leadership and direction. We must seize the chance, to make sure that more and more voters know what we stand for, and realise we offer the best way forward. For we are the party of common sense, of moderation but we are also a progressive party, with progressive fresh ideas, the radical centre, the real alternative.

We need a clear vision for our party, our country and its place in the world. Not with empty rhetoric but with real practical proposals that are inclusive and make a real difference to real people. A vision to unite our country, to create change, to move us forward with a clear direction, which will bring the opportunity of, shared prosperity for all.

This means a new rejuvenated Liberal Democrat party firmly committed to Europe but also committed to sharing the wealth we all create and in so doing move the whole country from austerity to prosperity.

With Vince, we have a knowledgeable, experienced statesman, an economist and former cabinet minister who has the capability and credibility to lead this country forward to a bright future and a strong place in the world. We have front bench team with more government experience than the Labour Party. We have members than the Conservatives. We just need more votes. Our challenge is to communicate our message, so that voters know what we stand for and believe we can win.

Thankfully Vince knows we need a vision and need to sharpen our branding and presentation. Nationally a communications strategy is required that delivers our  message right to the voter to support our incredible grassroots teams.

So let us create a bold vision, develop a clear strategy and propose a practical precise policy platform that is clearly understood, differentiated from other parties and truly makes life better for those that have little, not just those that have lots!

486 words

* om Burgess is Executive Director of the Progressive Policy Unit, a political advocacy group. He is the author of From Here to Prosperity, a practical policy agenda for a sustainable economy and greater social justice. Formerly CEO of an international communications firm, he has also worked as a journalist, editor, and lecturer as well in health service management. Tom Burgess is a long time political activist, a former full time student leader and founding member of the Social Democratic Party, editor of a political newspaper and has twice stood for public office.

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  • Richard Underhill 23rd Oct '17 - 11:36am

    ” our neighbours think we are crazy” Not just our neighbours, but potential trading partners, some of whom are in the Commonwealth.
    Shirley Williams recommended E.F. Schumacher’s book “Small is beautiful” ‘A study of economics as if people mattered’ (published 1973) He died in 1977.
    Forecasts for the year 2000 can therefore be compared with actual outturns.
    Comments on how to organise a diverse business such as the National Coal Board remain valid for other businesses. In particular the thinking on devolution of powers and responsibilities bear comparisons, even for levels of government.
    Other extractive industries turn assets into profits, most recently Lithium, widely used in batteries for electric cars and cordless implements.

  • You can read Vince’s latest article in City A.M attacking so-called “magic money tree” economics and his defence of austerity. In other places he’s said you can have more of a balance between austerity and stimulus.

    This is a bit like that Iain guy on here a couple of weeks ago that wrote an imaginary speech for Vince which had him saying stuff that Vince would never say/is opposed to. I don’t blame you, frankly, since any close observer of Cable would know he is almost janus-like with how he changes depending on his audience over the years. This isn’t a criticism, actually I think it’s the mark of an underappreciated political genius. Also pay attention to his interesting use of tie colours.

    Antony brings up the interesting DiEM25. They have good ideas on non-economic issues, but the main thrust of that movement is democratic accountability and transparency in the EU which Lib Dems should definitely pick up on more widely and I suspect is already being done with various parliamentarians taking shots at Juncker. Other than that I wouldn’t advise openly ‘aligning’ with DiEM25 as they’re full of Varoufakis, an assortment of Marxists, and Julian Assange.

    Great article otherwise.

  • Vince who?

  • Peter Hirst 24th Oct '17 - 6:38pm

    The freedom from eu interference that motivated so many to vote to leave is an illusion and also a luxury that even if it were available, we cannot afford. We owe it to our children’s children to maintain our economy, values and quality of life by remaining in our largest trading partner. To achieve this, we must show that a grim reality awaits us if we go it alone. We need to awaken the nation’s sense of grit and abandon the feeling of living on air.

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