Author Archives: Callum James Littlemore

Why do we insist on making each other the enemy?

I told myself I was going to avoid joining in the whole narration of the General Election review, but this part really hits home for me.

We are as critical of ourselves as we are of others; many talk of being under ‘friendly fire’ from our own members or colleagues, with mistakes viewed as personal failures.

Members who have previously held office frequently contact staff – at all levels – offering views, advice and criticism. They expect to get heard and are disappointed if they are not. Staff feel that ‘no’ is an answer that cannot be given.

During my 10 years in …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 15 Comments

Why Keir Starmer’s win puts the focus on our leadership

Yesterday saw Keir Starmer, the broadly moderate pro-EU MP, elected leader of the Labour Party with more votes in the first round than Jeremy Corbyn got in 2015. This is a welcome change, with the old hardcore socialist vanguard being swept away and replaced with a softer, more broadchurch team.

Compared to the past 5 years under Corbyn, the bar is very low for Keir to be successful. However, his election also shows just why who we pick as our next leader is so crucial to the success of our party.

No longer do we have two extremes on the ballot paper, …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 18 Comments

Addressing our lack of diversity

It’s long been accepted that diversity in the Liberal Democrats is patchy at best. 

Often our lack of diversity is compounded by a lack of understanding of what causes it, and how we work to make sure we better reflect society in an inclusive and meaningful way.

Diversity comes in many forms, and this often makes it difficult for us to develop strategies to expand our membership in a diverse manner.

In the Young Liberals we’re acutely aware of this issue and want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help make us more accessible, understanding and mindful of people from diverse backgrounds.

In 2018 the Alderdice report delved into this issue and found that, on all levels of the party, racial diversity often fell so far down the priority list that it often got forgotten about completely.

The report’s findings, endorsed by Federal Board, placed a responsibility on the party, and all it’s constituent parts, to draw up a strategic response to it and its findings. 

Indeed, the Federal Party has recently created a Vice President BAME role to help shape our interactions with the BAME community.

That is why we’re working with LDCRE (Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality) to try and fix this issue. 

We’re working to develop a new “BAME Officer” role and overhaul our existing diversity system to ensure it encompasses and represents all liberation groups. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 11 Comments

Young Liberals need your help!

Young people are such an important part of our party. Not only do we offer an army of eager campaigners and young candidates, we also help speak up for youth issues and ensure the party has this voice on things it may otherwise overlook.

The Young Liberals are committed to ensuring that the voices of all young people are heard and represented, and this is why we need your help.

At our Spring Conference in Glasgow, we passed a motion to explore increasing the age range of our membership.

The way it works at the moment is that you are automatically a member of the Young Liberals if you are under 26. This is significantly lower than our European counterparts, who’s youth wings tend to encompass everyone under 35.

We feel this limits our ability to represent the issues facing young professionals and those who don’t attend University. This is due to those people who leave University taking a step back from the Young Liberals, failing to see how we are relevant to them given they’ll age out soon anyhow.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 4 Comments

The need for us to work better together

One of the things that often pains me in this party, in my eight years of membership, is the way we seem more obsessed with fighting each other than we are getting out there fighting for liberal ideas and candidates.

Far too often our party becomes personality-centric, you either love someone or hate them. We define our relationships and views of people based upon one or two key things we either agree or disagree with them on, this is not constructive and doesn’t help us work together as a party. You can have grievances with someone, you can incredibly dislike them, but do we have to turn everything into a war of “I don’t like this person; therefore, I’m going to oppose everything they do and try to lock them out of things”?

We are a party which prides itself on freedom from conformity, the rights of the individual and the tolerance. We need to accept people can be different, hold different views and have a different set of values from us and still be members of the same party. We need to move past this hyper-personal atmosphere and change the party culture towards one which fosters ideas, involves & engages members from all walks of life and builds a genuine movement for change.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 16 Comments

The Young Liberals need to take themselves more seriously… and the party does too

When I joined the party eight years ago I was surprised at the disdain some held for the Young Liberals (formerly Liberal Youth). Infighting, popularity contests and a distinct lack of coherent long-term objectives are all things which have came to epitomise the Young Liberals, and sadly much of that is true.

Our party can be daunting for young members so when I joined the party back in 2010 the thing which kept me involved was the youth wing. The knowledge that, somewhere within the party, there was a person not too dissimilar from me who was able to speak out …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 9 Comments
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