Author Archives: Mark Johnson

With this leadership election, let’s draw a line under the Coalition forever

As a Liberal Democrat candidate at the last General Election, I found myself working out answers to the inevitable questions which I knew would come about the Coalition Government. The questions that all Liberal Democrats have had to contend with in debates, on doorsteps and across the media since the Clegg-Cameron press conference in the Downing Street Rose Garden in 2010.

I write this as someone who broadly supported the Coalition, while not being blind to its faults. I worked as an intern for a Lib Dem MP during the middle of the Coalition, and I was inspired to sign up as a Party member by Nick Clegg’s resignation speech; an act which came not out of any pleasure at his standing down, but out of the realisation that the Lib Dems’ electoral failure was leaving a gaping hole in British politics.

Since then my view of the Coalition has been mainly that I think we did some good things, that many Lib Dems can be proud of. However, rightly or wrongly, we have not been judged kindly for this period, and I believe that it is time to move on. Rather than continually look back at the past, it is time to take the present by two hands and look to the future. This is not a judgement on what happened during the Coalition; it is a rallying cry for us all to move forward together.

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Why the Conservative Party can no longer be considered the natural party of business

Our market economy is certainly far from fair but as a result of a series of poor Government decisions, it is going to get a whole lot worse, for businesses and private citizens. The Conservative Party has often been considered the natural party of business, but a raft of policy outcomes on the horizon means this may no longer be the case.

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The Party of Human Rights

Much has been made of the repurposing of the Liberal Democrats in the aftermath of December’s General Election.  Enter the Orange Bookers, the social liberals and the FBPE Europhiles all of whom are beginning to set out the course they feel the party should embark on as it looks to the future.

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Opinion: Here’s to our fallen comrades

Nearly two weeks have passed since the general election and while much has been analysed in reaction to that fateful day, as the party looks to turn a corner, it is also worth looking back and mentioning all of those good Liberal Democrats now out of office.

The election of 2015 will leave its mark in history for being the election of political scalps. Countless big names lost their jobs while the press looked on in disbelief as three leaders resigned all within a couple of hours of one another (and one even reinstated himself!). However we must also reflect on the loss of a large number of Liberal Democrats and their backroom teams whom the country will sourly miss. From Charles Kennedy in the North of Scotland to David Laws in the South West, Britain has lost many a servant to liberalism and the remaining eight MPs must shout louder than ever to have their voice heard.

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