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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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:38pm
    MPs would be absolutely mad to put no deal on a ballot, and the EU will not grant an extension for such a crazy purpose....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:18pm
    Joseph Bourke, the only somewhat beneficial Brexit resolution is its cancellation, the sooner the better. Consequently, compensating public "investment" might have some payback only in...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 12:02pm
    Arnold, point taken that public investment cannot of itself resolve the structural damage to the economy that Brexit would involve. But what we are talking...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 11:50am
    Peter Martin, the Berlin example supports my viewpoint. Bonn continues to do ok as part of the old "rheinischer Kapitalismus" area, while Berlin continues to...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 11:36am
    PeterMartin, economic growth athough slowing over the longer term has a relatively consistent trend of a little over 2%. Investment spending and spending on public...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 21st Jan - 11:25am
    @David Beckett You can blame Sir Winston Churchill for that. When the House of Commons was bombed in WW2, it was the Government that he...