Author Archives: Laurie Eggleston

Opinion: Let’s talk about Europe

I’ve been surprised how little trouble Europe has caused the coalition so far. For all that we were vilified as ardent Europhiles during the election, it’s not really been mentioned since. In allowing it to drop off the radar, I think we’re now missing an opportunity.

Labour were always too scared of mention the E-word; so paralysed by their terror of the Mail’s wrath were they. Cameron too seems content to let the issue lie. The Coalition agreement makes it clear in no uncertain terms that this government won’t go anywhere near changing our current relationship with the EU – both …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Lent us your vote to keep the Tories out? Thanks, it worked.

So what are we as Lib Dems going to say on the doorsteps to voters during the next General Election campaign to justify ourselves in reply to the ‘I voted Lib Dem to keep the Tories out’ challenge? I can imagine it will be a common enough question, especially in close Lib Dem/Conservative constituencies where we appealed to Labour voters to ‘lend us their vote’.

To me the answer seems quite simple. We reply to the voters “We asked you to vote Lib Dem to help keep the Tories out, and it worked. Thank you and well done.”

We don’t have a Tory government; we have a Coalition government – a very different thing. In voting for us in such large numbers, our supporters achieved their aim of preventing a Conservative majority. So that means no £1 million Inheritance Tax threshold, no fiddling with the tax system to promote marriage, no brushing the expenses scandal under the carpet. It means instead raising the level people start to pay income tax, having Lib Dems in the Treasury to help ensure fairness in the upcoming cuts, and the cleaning up of our political system. As a party, we must make it clear just how different things would have been if there had been a Tory majority, and the hugely important part our supporters played in preventing that.

But what then when Mr or Ms Hypothetical voter on the doorstep accuses us of jumping into bed with the Tories?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 106 Comments

Radical and different: our proposition to voters

As a party, we get increasingly defined as one of the ‘3 main parties’, and accordingly lumped together with Labour and Tories as being the same. This view is encouraged by Cameron’s foolish “we’re all the same really” message (as that’s really what the voters want to hear Dave. Let’s not even bother debating policy anymore, eh?).

It’s a consequence of our increased success, but as a result we need to remind voters that we are the radical alternative to the Lab/Con status quo, and that we are most definitely not offering more of the same. If I was designing our manifesto …

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments
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