Agenda 2020 Essay #9: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party is currently running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions is 2nd November. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected].

As a Liberal Democrat my first belief is in freedom

Freedom from poverty
Freedom from poor health and education services
Freedom to live in decent housing
Freedom to marry who we like and worship how we like
Freedom from sexual discrimination
Freedom from crime and terrorism
Freedom to live our lives how we like whilst having respect for the freedom of others
Freedom from exploitation, particularly by large multi national companies with no social conscious and others with vested interests
Freedom from over bureaucratic government control, but having sufficient government protection in place to protect our freedoms

As a Liberal Democrat I am an environmentalist

I recognize Global Warming as the major threat to our civilization, and to our children and grandchildren
I recognize that much of the opposition to green policies is coming from multinational companies with short-term financial interests
I recognize that we must protect our environment, particularly when undertaking the construction that our economy requires
I am convinced that we have a duty to look after the wellbeing of other species on the planet.
I will only support limited nuclear energy if it can be demonstrated that there is no alternative if we are to meet strict Carbon Reduction Targets
I support the “Keep it in the Ground” campaign

As a Liberal Democrat I am a European

The EU has ensured peace in Europe (apart from a few skirmishes in Eastern Europe) for seventy years
Cooperation within the EU helps fight crime and protect the environment
It is only a united Europe that has any chance of curbing the bad practices of Multi National companies
Freedom of travel and residence within Europe has enhanced the lives of many, including British nationals retiring in a warmer climate
A united Europe improves trade and cultural links
As part of a strong Europe we can make our voice heard on the international stage
However I accept that the EU is in need of major reform, reduced bureaucracy, one parliament and fewer petty rules

I am a British Liberal, and proud of it

Britain can maintain and improve its position as a leading country by

Investing in high tech developments and industry
Training our workforce to offer the skills needed
Reforming our democracy so that people have more trust in politicians
Removing political safe seats where politicians do not have to work for their votes
Devolving power from Westminster to the regions and communities
Reforming business and encourage employee owned companies and co-operatives
Providing an economically responsible government
Ensuring that companies that make a profit in Britain pay their fair share of taxes
Working with other nations to achieve common goals
Capitalizing on ability to make a major contribution to Europe
Ensuring that public servants, particularly in Health, Social Care and Education are supported and valued

The only party that comes close to meeting these requirements is the Liberal Democrat Party

* David Becket is a former Lib Dem County Councillor, Unitary Councillor and District Councillor; he has held positions of responsibility at all levels.

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