Author Archives: Alain Desmier

Islington’s Liberal opportunity

Islington is one of the most liberal places in the country. Cosmopolitan and confident, Islington was a natural home for the Liberal Democrats, but when voters moved on from Iraq, Labour moved back in. Labour hold 47 of 48 borough council seats (the other is a Green) and have held both parliamentary seats for longer than I’ve been alive.

I am relatively new to front line politics, but then so too are most of our members. Islington’s membership soared past 700 last week and from these newcomers, a majority of our executive have been elected into a Lib Dem role for the first time.

Our first action day of the year last Saturday was a spectacular success. 60 local members came out in the rain to help deliver four different wards across our two constituencies and for many, it was the first political thing they had ever done. An Islington veteran told me afterwards over a drink that she’d never seen anything like that level of enthusiasm, not even on general election day.

Our local residents are enthused as well and it was the first Lib Dem leaflet they had received for at least a year.  Since we delivered our bundles, dozens of residents have emailed through our contact address asking how they can join the party, asking how they can help locally, and of course there are always, always pot holes to fix!

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 15 Comments

Opinion: Profiting from not selling out – let’s start (up)

The Lib Dems could and should be the party of small business at the next general election and we must not wait another five years to realise it. We cannot allow Labour to clumsily win back liberal minded voters from the Tories as they did in 1997.

Lib Dems in Government create economic prosperity and security, that is an irrefutable fact of the last five years.  Now we need to find enough messengers to carry this story to British enterprise.

I run a financial technology startup and I’ve now lost count of the number of sympathetic texts and emails I’ve had from clients and business peers over the past month: “I liked your man, shame he did so badly”, and a lot of “ I really can’t believe the Lib Dems did so badly, I voted Tory as I didn’t want Labour.”

My opening sentence is a platitude that every political party trots out once every political electoral cycle when it’s worried it doesn’t have enough core vote, or put bluntly, enough money. We can do better, we can actually mean it and commit ourselves through our policies to become the party of the entrepreneur.

In addition to our record of repairing a damaged economy, I think we have three distinct, vital differences that make us attractive to job creators and we need to be shouting about them, as loudly as we can.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 117 Comments

Opinion: Sticking up for the entrepreneurs of the future

I spoke at a Global Entrepreneurship Week event at the University of Exeter last night, and I was asked to define the qualities of an entrepreneur.

It was an event for more than a hundred or so eager undergraduates who have already decided that the corporate world is not the life for them, and who were trying to gather as much information as they possibly could, to help them start their own entrepreneurial journeys, post-graduation.

University entrepreneurship isn’t limited to Exeter, universities all over the country have growing entrepreneurship societies and NACUE (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) have done fantastic work promoting them.

Whilst entrepreneurship societies thrive on campus, Lib Dem University societies struggle having taking much of the frontline flack for the tuition fee compromise.  In a previous post for LDV, I drew comparisons between the values of an entrepreneur and Lib Dem members. I think we’ve got even more to say to entrepreneurial students who are making their own way in life.

But how do we say it?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 69 Comments

Opinion: Don’t tax aspiration, let’s recruit entrepreneurs to our cause

If you asked a Lib Dem about why they joined our party, I think many of the following reasons for joining, would be on their list:

Posted in Op-eds | 38 Comments
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