Author Archives: Dominic Collard

Opinion: The habit of liberalism

I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make a new habit. By all accounts, predictable behaviour is what the old brain likes. When it sniffs out something new, something out of the everyday ordinary, it’ll fire up the fragile in us and persuade our will power into a quick surrender. Any attempts to break with our norm will be wrestled from us. Until 30 days. At 30 days, the brain tells itself…. hold on, I recognise this, this thing you’re doing – carry on, nothing to see here. 30 days for the reluctant plodder to transcend into the regular jogger; 30 days until the ciggie quitter becomes the “No thanks I don’t smoke”-er.

30 days ago I made a decision to make a new habit. I decided I was going to care more about what happens next in our country. I was a bit nervous; ‘caring’ isn’t really something that comes naturally to me. I am a prolific helper of old ladies with heavy suitcases, and I will confidently stand by my record for apprehending dog walkers with a laissez faire attitude to canine bowel movements; but give me bad things happening elsewhere, to other people, and my default is to lurch for my off switch. Out of sight, ‘n all that. The “And here’s where your money will go to” bits of Comic Relief, the “Scenes some viewers may find distressing…” – these are my tea brewing moments. It’s appalling. I know it’s appalling. But, you know… habits!

So that’s why I joined the Lib Dems, 30 days ago. I had voted for them in the General Election, and they had lost gigantically. I’m not suggesting the former led to the latter, but somehow I felt responsible that I hadn’t done enough. So what better place to kickstart a habit for wanting things to be better.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 7 Comments

Opinion: One month on, why I just joined the Lib Dems

Since the UK elections, something’s been nagging at me. It’s not so much the result – politics needs to create losers so it can create governments. I get that. I backed a losing horse. But heh, that’s good old democracy for you. No point dwelling on it, life plods on.

No, what’s been nagging at me, still one month on, is why I’m still feeling interested. Could it be that I’m flirting with the idea of stepping off the sidelines? Might I be about to unmute myself? Is this how it feels to care about what happens next?

I joined others to find some answers; other people on the verge of becoming a Lib Dem.

I followed the signs to an area ironically marked “Reserved for a private party”. I nestled myself in. In amongst a bunch of very, very normal people. A totally and utterly unspectacular crowd. You could have fished us all up from any old street anywhere in the UK and dropped us right here. It was wonderfully relieving, and revealing.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments
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