Author Archives: Dean Moore

Should we make it policy to apologise for historical UK atrocities?


The Transatlantic Slave Trade, famine in India, Social Darwinist programs across the globe (which included racial science influencing policy and creating what were effectively concentration camps for indigenous peoples in Australia and in South Africa during the second Boer War) and the destruction of the city of Benin – the United Kingdom is far from an innocent player on the international stage.

Even in the modern age, our hands are not exactly clean. Churchill openly endorsed eugenics and now-illegal warfare (saying in one letter that he saw no issues with “giving the natives a sniffle”, regarding biological weaponry). We engaged in the War on Terror and this year official government figures have shown that we are the second biggest arms dealer in the world, having sold two-thirds of our weaponry to the destabilised Middle East.

Our history, though sometimes a progressive one, is drenched in human rights abuses across the planet. Of the 196 countries in the world, only 22 have not experienced an invasion led by the British.

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Mental health awareness was one of the reasons I became a Liberal Democrat

In 2013, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a long-lasting period of depression; a few weeks ago, I was discharged as an out-patient after spending several weeks under a mental health home treatment team, having suffered a manic episode crammed with delusions, little sleep and a somewhat adamant neglect of both food and hygiene (I lost weight and I’m still in desperate need of a barber due to a matted dreadlock that has formed from the absence of a comb during this period).

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Reforming Drug Policy Shouldn’t Just Be About Cannabis

drugsWe are the party at the forefront of drug reform policy. There are and have been smaller, single-issue parties that have been campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis for years, but we are the only major party to bring the debate on to the political mainstage.

There are different arguments for the cases of decriminalisation or legalisation – though the two main arguments are almost always centred round healthcare. The first is: with decriminalisation, we can treat addiction like an illness instead of a crime – a noble idea, …

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We are not a party of compromise

In the autumn of 1980, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was urged by political commentators and members of her own party – including Ted Heath – to U-turn on policies that ushered in a fierce liberalisation of the economy. In a response that was to gleam through the decades as one of the most memorable moments of UK politics in recent history, with her now-iconic sternly glare and aura of authority, she addressed her party at the Conservative conference with the immortal phrase, “You turn if you want to – the lady’s not for turning”. And so, Thatcher’s ferocious refusal to compromise was to solidify her part in British history, play a juggernaut role in keeping her in power for the next eleven years and earn her the nickname ‘The Iron Lady’.

However, for the past six years, public perception has been that the Liberal Democrats are the antithesis of that caricature Thatcher had built for herself – we have been branded as the party of the centre ground; the party of compromise. The party that sells itself as radically centrist, able to flexibly navigate in and out of both the left and right, pandering to voters on both sides. I am here to argue that this is not only unabashedly false, but frighteningly hurtful to the causes of liberty, freedom and equality, the three main tenants of our party.

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

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