Author Archives: Dani Tougher

A dirty word


There has been an upswing in certain sections of the press of the condemnation of a particular demographic: the ‘liberal, metropolitan elite’.

When did ‘liberal’ become a dirty word? Why is it being used as a word to mock, or incite loathing? It is defined by the OED as a willingness “to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different to one’s own…” and as someone who is “open to new ideas“. That all sounds great. Perfectly reasonable.

It’s concerning, then, that the word is being twisted to suit an agenda that runs on stoking fear and hatred. When it becomes disgraceful to show empathy with those who are suffering, just because those people are not from your country of origin, that is scary. When people who have gained positions of responsibility are told that it is because they are part of the ‘system’ (alright, sometimes that’s correct!) rather than because of their own merits and work ethic, that’s disturbing. And when a politics of scaremongering, scapegoating and ‘other-ing’ becomes acceptable, and electable, rather than a politics of understanding, rationality and inclusivity, then I worry for the future of the world.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 31 Comments

Changing the political culture to be more accepting of women

Prime minister Theresa May has called for “dads to talk to girls about current affairs and politics” in a bid to encourage more women to enter Parliament.

The Liberal Democrat party has a long track record of encouraging, training and mentoring women who have parliamentary aspirations. I have attended Inspiration Days at LibDem HQ and have come away buoyed by the brilliant, erudite, passionate and diverse women I encountered there; and not once has the subject of wishing their fathers spoke to them more about politics been raised.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 28 Comments

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