After a year of Tory rule, we have the chance to show our disapproval

When Labour has moved to the unelectable far left (however admirably unpolitician-ish Corbyn may be) and the Tories are hell bent on ruining the lives of teachers, junior doctors and the disabled, just to shrink the state, we need a party that actually will do good for the country more than ever.

Look at Canada, electing the inspiring Justin Trudeau, and implementing that shared liberal idea of making life better for everyone. protecting the disadvantaged, and the disabled, caring for the environment yet -here in the UK – being able to save the economy from the worst recession since the 1930s whilst being pro-business and pro-aspiration.

Increased mental health funding? Lib Dem legislation. £11,500 tax free income? Lib Dem legislation. We should also mention 5 years of stopping the worst Tory policies, which are now being enacted unopposed by the divided squabbling mess that Labour has become. Whilst the Lib Dems made a grave mistake with tuition fees, they’ve actually admitted they were wrong, learned from that, and fought to make life better for all of us during the recession despite knowing they would lose the next election and their work wouldn’t be praised by the press. How often can you say that about politicians? And happily, more disadvantaged people are now going to university thanks to grants which the Tories are now scrapping.

But now, it’s fair to say one year of crushing Toryism is enough. Anyone over 18 can help make a difference in their community. You don’t even need to join the Liberal Democrats -as I did- but vote for them in the May 5th local elections. If you do join us, though, you can make even more of a difference in the long run. With just 8 MPs fighting tooth-and-nail for change, it’s in local councils where we can help them by being a powerful movement which helps change lives for the better. We shouldn’t have to sit back and watch the two old parties fight on the extreme fringes of left and right whilst the public, NHS and schools suffer.

May 5th. Please vote. At the end of the day, it’s a few minutes which can make the biggest difference.

* James Davis is a 17 year old Liberal Democrat member who is passionate about equality.

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  • “more disadvantaged people are now going to university thanks to grants which the Tories are now scrapping.” And this sums up the disaster that has happened to Liberal Democracy over the last five years. Any of the things that were done in coalition can now be undone by the Conservatives if they so choose. Why, because there are no longer enough Lib Dems out there to fight for those causes and stop them doing it.

    This is the crisis we now face and turning it round rapidly should be the only objective the party and its leadership should have. However, I still don’t see anything to show that there is any new thinking being applied, and so it is back to the old remedy of “get the troops out there knocking on doors.” Sadly that is much too slow and in many places there are no longer enough troops to do it.

    We have to make things change and very quickly now. Is there anyone out there doing it?

  • Rightsaidfredfan 24th Apr '16 - 10:20am

    I won’t vote lib dem this time in holyrood James as I don’t trust them anymore.

    They have not apologised for tuition fees as you claim, they have insulted and patronised their former core voters by apologising for making the promise not for breaking it, that is down right offensive and adding insult to injury.

    The lib dems are just to opportunistic to trust I’m afraid.

    You talk about Canada. Look at how Justin Trudeau removed the unelected senators from the liberal party because they didn’t believe in unelected peers on principle. Can you for one second imagine the lib dems sticking to their principles like that?

    They are now saying no future coalitions without proportional representation by legislation as parliaments first act. Why is that? Because FPTP produces a parliament that doesn’t represent how people voted? What they actually mean is that they’re doing badly under FPTP. If they were concerned about the electoral system not producing a parliament that looked like the way people voted they wouldn’t have wanted AV at all as it does the same as FPTP in that regard only worse, it produces a parliament that looks even less like how people voted but they thought it would benefit themselves at the time. And why must it be passed by legislation and not by a referendum? Oh I see because the public might not want it and might vote the wrong way, how very democratic, how very liberal…

    The party are way to untrustworthy at the moment to vote for them I’m afraid.

  • For all the passion in this article I’ve no idea why I should be voting Lib Dem other than “3-5 years ago we did some goodish things which are now being changed”. That’s nostalgia masquerading as political narrative.

  • Paul Murray 24th Apr '16 - 2:13pm

    @Hywel – that’s the problem, isn’t it? There is currently no obvious reason for anyone to vote Lib Dem. You might have a local candidate who you like and respect and who happens to wear a yellow rosette, but voting for that person is not “voting Lib Dem”.

    I have not the least clue what the party now stands for. We were one thing until 2007, but then became a different thing and that was comprehensively rejected last year and now we are drifting rudderless on a sea of delusion and forlorn hope.

    It would be genuinely very interesting to hear how James and other young (and new) members complete the old interview-style question “If the Lib Dems didn’t exist we’d have to invent them because…”.

    As someone who has been a member for the last 33 years, I’d be stumped.

  • Fighting tooth and nail for 4th place in most parts of the country. London and Scotland will be a battering and wipeout in Sheffield Liverpool etc etc. Tim should not carry the can but will members be as forgiving as they were with Clegg and co the real culprits. I hope so.

  • Jenny Barnes 24th Apr '16 - 3:47pm

    ” because all the other possible alternatives are awful in their own various ways.”
    I think that elections are determined more by who the voters don’t want, than who they do. Which means that it’s entirely likely after the destruction of the NHS (facilitated by Clegg, Williams et al), privatisation of schools (aka academies) more austerity, and so on, that the people will vote against the Tories, for whoever has the best chance of beating them. Corbyn’s Labour party looks quite electable on that basis.
    And a vote for the LDs could mean putting the Tories back in power. Many people won’t risk that again.

  • Richard Easter 24th Apr '16 - 4:19pm

    Give me Corbyn’s “far left” if the alternative is TTIP, ISDS, the NHS 2012 Act, privatised railways, G4S / Serco and other rot.

  • Conor McGovern 24th Apr '16 - 4:34pm

    Ruchard Easter, here here.
    Still holding out for bold new policies on tax and economic reform.

  • Conor McGovern 24th Apr '16 - 4:35pm

    Richard, even!

  • “I think that elections are determined more by who the voters don’t want, than who they do”

    I don’t want any of the 4 candidates on my ballot paper. They are all worse than awful. And you have to be in the fight to win, or come 2nd, 3rd or 4th. So I guess I scrawl “none of the above” across the ballot so at least I get counted on the turnout.

    I don’t agree people will vote for whoever will keep the Tories out. Their vote went up in 2015 and inevitably some of our vote went right to keep out Labour. My experience of the NHS is really very good, and many people think there is no alternative to austerity – borrowing your way out of financial problems is not something you’d recommend at a household level, which makes it near impossible to explain why the reverse might be true for a country.

    To refer back to that definition of liberalism quoted by Steel and attributed to Alan Paton, I believe in a generosity of spirit, a tolerance of others, a commitment to the rule of law, a high ideal of the worth and dignity of man, a repugnance of authoritarianism, and a love of freedom. No other party can come close to matching that definition. It’s why I am a member. That’s why people should vote Lib Dem. If you have a candidate; otherwise spoil your ballot in protest.

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