Author Archives: Will Parker

Liberal Democrats must think big and long to thrive. Craving exit from Brexit does neither.

The Liberal Democrats are not in a good place. They haven’t been for some time, but there’s now a risk that recovery will never come. Since 2015, the party has failed to rebuild support. Tim Farron talked of a “Lib Dem Fightback” which proved to be anything but, now Vince Cable is declaring the Lib Dems a “well-kept secret” – not much of a boast.

The rise in membership has been a success story and the party had a very decent showing in May’s local elections. Yet the big picture is one of a rot left untreated. The local …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 89 Comments

‘Occupying’ the missing middle is not enough – Lib Dems must build it

Vince Cable recently said that if Lib Dems can “occupy that enormous ground in the middle of politics we’ve got tremendous opportunity”.

He’s only part right. To occupy is to inhabit a space that is otherwise vacant. There is a missing middle in British politics but that’s the point – it’s missing. There’s nothing there to inhabit. First it needs to be built in terms of a reality in Parliament and an idea based vision. This requires leadership.

So before Vince gets carried away with talk of the “political winds blowing in the Lib Dem’s favour” he would do well to remember that 7.4 per cent of the vote and 12 MPs isn’t much to work with. It’s a stump – and the centre ground cannot be rebuilt by it in its current form. He should then ask: Who are the Lib Dems? What are they for?

Here are the answers he should come up with. The Liberal Democrats are the party of the radical centre, not some confused wet-lettuce centrism.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 76 Comments
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