Author Archives: Conor Hilliard

To rebuild our party, we must be unflinchingly bold

There are some moments when I’m unspeakably proud to be a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Last year’s local elections. Marching side-by-side with tens of thousands at the People’s Vote rallies. Every time I crack open Roy Jenkins’ excellent Gladstone biography.

But there’s one rather more recent moment that sticks out as the proudest I’ve ever felt to be a member of this party, and that was reading the general election review. I can’t think of any other party that would have had such a frank conversation with itself about what went wrong.

It makes a tough read, but as important as the review was, it’s even more so to remember that that was the easy bit. It’s easy to feel good about ourselves for having the review, and it’s easy to say “well done” to those who were involved in its construction, before sweeping them under the rug. It’s going to be much, much harder to live up to what it asks of us.

It’s clear that we need to reach out beyond our own circles if we are ever to become a credible force for change again. That means recruiting and retaining voters of all colours, classes, faiths and ages by proving that liberalism is an innovative and bold ideology unafraid to take on the challenges that face these voters. That means dreaming big, but starting small; we need to speak to people’s everyday needs, not just their highest aspirations. Most of all, we need to engage young voters across the country so that we can renew liberalism for the challenges of the new decade.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 5 Comments
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