Author Archives: Agenda 2020 shortlisted entry

Agenda 2020 Essay #15: 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 was yesterday. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected].

To be a Liberal Democrat is to believe in freedom.

Freedom grounded in real life, starting with people as they are. Not ‘The People’. Not ‘Our People’. Freedom based on the unique worth and potential of every individual person, and the understanding that the person who knows best how to live their life is themselves.

Liberal Democrats feel in our guts that everyone should be free to live their own life, that pushing people about and telling them what to do or who to be is wrong. We feel in our guts that everyone should have a fair chance, that prejudice and lack of opportunity are wrong. We feel in our guts the need for a better future, that piling up today’s problems for our kids to deal with tomorrow is wrong. But politics isn’t just about gut feelings and protesting when things aren’t right. We must look at how things really are to work out how to change them, and change our own methods if experience shows us better ways to achieve our ideals. So Liberal Democrats are principle-led, but evidence-based.

Liberal Democrats believe freedom needs both positive help to make it real for everyone, and action to break down barriers to freedom such as poverty, ignorance and conformity. Education is the single most crucial way to combine both. A great education ensures everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential, whatever their background, whatever their choices. Every child getting the best education is central to them growing up with the freedom to live their own lives. If you’re for every person, and you want every person to have the ability to ask the important questions and make their own informed decisions in realising their own dreams, education is where it starts. If you want an economy growing and succeeding with innovation and creativity and where the most talented get ahead instead of just the most wealthy, education, training and apprenticeships are where it starts.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #14: 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 TODAY. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected].

Or tomorrow, for this must be about lasting values.

Above all, to be a Liberal Democrat is to serve liberty. Some are satisfied liberty is won if the state does not interfere in their lives, no matter how much overmighty corporations or bullying conformity may direct them. For some liberty is an absence of rules, so everyone is free to sail around the world, though many are sunk in poverty and illness. For some liberty is enjoyed by nations or corporate bodies collectively. For us a nation may be independent, but if its people are individually unfree, there is no freedom.

To us freedom is individual freedom. It does not matter who or what prevents you realising your potential: whatever it is, it makes you unfree. Ultimately, it’s pointless to categorise freedoms – economic freedom, social freedom, intellectual freedom. It all comes down to what you can do and what you’re prevented from doing for any reason. The measure is personal liberation.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #8 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].

It starts with you.

It starts with you and your family.

It starts with you and your family and your friends.

It starts with you and your family and your friends and your community.

It starts with you and your family and your friends and your community and your society.

It starts with you and your family and your friends and your community and your society and your world.

It starts with you and your family and your friends and your community and your society and your world and your future.

It starts with you.

It’s not about doing it for you. It’s certainly not about doing it to you. It’s about giving you the power to do what you want for yourself.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments
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