Author Archives: Richard Fisher

Wanted – a bit more dissent!

The last piece I contributed to Lib Dem Voice appeared a couple of years ago in August 2018 and was entitled Why Aren’t We Doing (Much) Better? That posting (which does seem, at least in part, to have been vindicated by subsequent events) was prompted by a critical analysis of party performance in The New Statesman: this one, which could reasonably be accused of being “Why aren’t we doing (much) better 2”, is prompted by a critical analysis of party performance in The Spectator. Not, interestingly, from The Spec’s ever-growing army of cultural warriors of the libertarian right, but from that pillar of Europhile liberal Toryism, Matthew Parris.

Mr Parris is saying that we Liberal Democrats haven’t said one new or critical or penetrating thing since the last Election. Who can reasonably disagree with him? The scars of 2019 (and 2015, and 2017) go deep within our party, and there has inevitably been an extended period of introspection. Both ourselves and the Labour Party are now in the very uncomfortable position of recognising that in the autumn of 2019 the majority of active party members wanted to take positions on Europe that proved politically disastrous. Those wise older LibDem hands who warned against the Revoke position lost the relevant conference vote by a landslide, with consequences that grew more apparent everyday: as a party we were unquestionably tough on Brexit, but on the (politically more resonant) causes of Brexit we were, and arguably remain, absolutely nowhere.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 72 Comments

Why aren’t we doing much better?

This week’s damning editorial about current Lib Dem performance and prospects in The New Statesman will have struck a chord amongst many Liberal Democrat supporters and activists. I know that the world is unfair, and that we are mass-media-invisible, but nonetheless our lack of progress has to be a real present worry. Mucking up critical votes on what is supposed to be ‘our’ issue above all – opposition to Brexit – only compounds the sense of drift.

I’m glad that Caron Lindsay thought that Sir Vince Cable was ‘sparkling’ on Pienaar’s Politics recently but I fear that such appearances are not …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 125 Comments
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