Author Archives: Michael Mullaney

The future of Social Democracy – a book to mark 40 years since the Limehouse Declaration

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January 25th marks the 40th Anniversary of the Limehouse Declaration, when four former Labour Cabinet Ministers Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams met to issue a statement that would shortly afterwards lead to the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The SDP in alliance with the Liberal Party took 26% of the vote in the 1983 election and 23% of the vote in the 1987 election, two of our highest general election vote shares since the 1920s. The bulk of the SDP then merged with the Liberal Party in 1988 to go on to form the Liberal Democrat party we know today.

To mark this occasion the Social Democrat Group have arranged for the publication of a book of essays called The Future of Social Democracy.

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A century since the birth of Roy Jenkins

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The 11th of November is the 100th anniversary of the birth of a political giant who helped form the modern Liberal Democrat party.

Roy Jenkins made a huge political impact, firstly within the Labour party as a reforming Home Secretary in the 1960s bringing in reforming legislation on decriminalising homosexuality, modernising divorce laws, and liberalising censorship laws. Then as one of the four founding members of the SDP that was to merge with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats.

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2019 Election Review – the Social Democrat Group responds

The Social Democrat Group is a grassroots organisation which seeks to promote the social democratic, as well as the liberal, tradition in the Liberal Democrats. In response to the publication of the party’s 2019 Election Review, the group has issued a statement broadly supporting the report.

In particular, the group welcomes the references in the report to the need for the party to concentrate on the issues that really matter to normal people. We believe that if we are to start winning back people’s trust we need to emphasise the big ticket issues of health, education, transport, housing, the environment, that …

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Liberal Democrats for the heart of England

Many of us living in the Midlands often feel we’re a part of the country forgotten by Government.

Liberal Democrats in the Midlands, having had some tough general election results, may sometimes feel we’re a forgotten part of the party.

To try and address these issues a group of Midlands Lib Dem activists have come together to found Liberal Democrats for the Heart of England. With twin aims of raising issues for the Midlands that need championing within the party and to get more Lib Dems elected at local and Parliamentary level to champion the Midlands’ cause.

As a Leicestershire County Councillor I see first hand how we’re often a part of Britain forgotten by the Tory Government. Despite having all Tory MPs, Leicestershire is about the worst funded county in Britain. Residents see Council Tax regularly soar but services, such as Sure Start Children’s Centres, support for rural bus services, cut right back. Similarly a number of other Counties across the Midlands are among the worst funded in Britain.

Leicestershire also has among the worst funded schools in Britain. This has an effect in limiting opportunities. With social mobility in places like my area of Hinckley and Bosworth being among the lowest in Britain. If a young person grows up here in poverty sadly they’re very likely to stay there. Championing fairly funded education services to give everyone a fair start in life is a key cause for the group.

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