Author Archives: Samuel Skubala

The Liberal Democrats must remain the party of the Open Society

Throughout the world, the defining cleavage in elections has largely become that between those advocating the Open Society, against a new wave of parties and movements strongly propagating the Closed Society. In the UK, this is at the forefront of the current election, embodied in the debate around Brexit.

Here we see many of the standard clashes in the Open-Closed debate, including on the virtues of globalisation and of international institutions, strong disagreements on immigration, and a debate on whether to take society back to the communities of the past, or forward to the future.

In addition, with the rise of those advocates of the Closed society – Marine Le Pen in France, and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines among them in what appears to be a global phenomenon – there has been a return of authoritarianism, and strong law-and-order values where freedom and liberty have been seconded in importance to the mercurial concept of “collective security”. Carrying this message are the aforementioned populist figure, with the most notable figure within the UK having previously been Nigel Farage, although the Prime Minister has done well politically in co-opting much of this rhetoric.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: Left or right? Which way lies the Future of the Liberal Democrats?

This is my first article for Lib Dem Voice – I’ve often been on the site,  and finally decided I’d try and write for it!

It was a night of tragedies for the Liberal Democrats.

Sitting in my student accommodation, I was watching my first election being old enough to vote, with horror. Vince Cable, Charles Kennedy, Danny Alexander – bastions of British liberalism fell, one by one. As I’m sure we’re all aware, the party lost over 85% of its representation in parliament, having just eight seats midday on the 8th May. Nick Clegg’s resignation speech later that day really resonated with me – the flame of liberalism in this country was still flickering, but far dimmer than it was 24 hours earlier.

The party now stands on the precipice – without the right leadership, and policies, we risk being cast into the oblivion of obscurity along with the other minor parties. Elections within majoritarian systems such as the UK cannot be fought from the centre-ground – the First Past the Post voting system does not allow such parties to thrive, aside from being the recipient of protest votes.

This is why, we must, ironically do as we told the voters during the campaign – look left, look right. The party must shift one way or the other – doing nothing is out of the question. It must find an identity.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 48 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • Chris Moore
    No party "owns" any issue. Everything is contestable. Forgive the typo in my spelling of your name....
  • Chris Moore
    @James Fowlee: why would we want to talk in one word sentences? Why would we want to stand in line and repeat after YOU? Why would we want to say somethi...
  • JohnMc
    Well, given that the Tories have just announced they want to bring back National Service … and that’s their best plan, this is well timed!...
  • James Fowler
    Repeat slowly after me: Labour. Own. The. NHS....
  • David Allen
    There is such a thing as coalition phobia. It's understandable - The Lib Dems made a pig's ear of it, and rightly got punished. But if the Lib Dems can't cure...