Category Archives: Party policy and internal matters

Anything to do with Lib Dem internal business, including policy development, consultations, rules and constitutions.

Want to fly the Liberal Democrat banner in 2022 (or maybe sooner)?

It is easy to forget sometimes that a majority of Liberal Democrat members have joined since the 2015 General Election. Even in my rural corner of England that is Mid Suffolk, membership numbers have increased by more than 150%. What that means is a huge infusion of new blood, potentially willing to hold aloft the Party banner in elections, if only they could find out how. Perhaps I can help…

It may surprise some readers to hear that the process of selecting Parliamentary candidates is already underway in some constituencies. In some cases, they might represent potential target seats for 2022, …

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Here, there and everywhere – a report back from Federal International Relations Committee…

So, (some of) you very kindly voted for me last year to serve for three years as a member of Federal International Relations Committee. And, as promised, I am reporting back on what I’ve done, as well as making a few comments on our recent meeting on 13 July.

I’ve spent much of the first half of 2017 bringing the Committee up to constitutional speed. I produced our first Standing Orders in January, and have since amended them to create some formal process for selecting our candidates for positions on the Bureaux of Liberal International and the ALDE Party, following …

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BREAKING NEWS: Vince Cable announces his candidacy for Leader

A statement from Vince Cable MP:

Today I am announcing that I will be a candidate in the forthcoming Liberal Democrat leadership election. I wanted to do so on Lib Dem Voice, the leading forum for discussion amongst our membership.

With 20 years on the national political stage I am passionate as ever about our liberal values. I am ready to commit my energy, enthusiasm and experience to the task of leading the Liberal Democrats through what will be a period of chronic uncertainty. With the prospect of another election looming large, we must be ready for the fight.

Brexit negotiations have begun. The government is split and weakened; Labour is equivocal about Europe. The Liberal Democrats alone have a consistent and principled, outward looking, and approach to the issue. We must fight for the British public to have a final say on the government’s deal with a chance to stay in the EU if the deal is not good enough. To achieve this, we will need to work with like-minded people in other parties.

As Shadow Chancellor I secured a hard-won hearing for the party on the economy, warning of the 2008 financial crisis which has been a source of economic weakness, great inequality and political anger ever since. In government for five years as Secretary of State for Business I created a distinctive Lib Dem vision for the economy with a long-term industrial strategy, promotion of science and innovation, banking reform, investment in young people via apprenticeships and the promotion of socially responsible capitalism. With the economy approaching the Brexit iceberg, Liberal Democrats need more than ever to warn of the dangers ahead and the need for a new course.

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Policy consultation deadline approaches

The Party conference may be over, but whether you got there or not, there is still a chance to make an input into policy. There are four policy consultation papers inviting your comments with a deadline of this Friday. These are each likely to come to a future conference as a full policy paper. Given that it is pretty hard for ordinary members to change much if anything in a policy paper from the floor of conference, this may be your best chance to influence policy. The papers can be found here.

I could have tried to offer neutral summaries …

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Let the trumpets sound, the banners fly, Federal International Relations Committee has met…

The Federal International Relations Committee held its inaugural meeting in central London on 28 January which, for those of us living beyond the M25, meant a rather early start, albeit for a good cause. And we had much to do, not all of it entirely political.

For, with any new body comes a panoply of administration which, although rather dull, is essential to making sure that, when decisions are taken, they are valid. We had, fortunately, elected a Chair in advance, as only one of the directly elected members, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, applied for the post. Standing Orders have been adopted, a secretary elected, and a communications plan initiated.

The bureaucracy dealt with, the Committee looked at forthcoming business. Liberal International is currently drafting a new manifesto, timed for release during its Congress in Andorra in mid-May. 2017 sees the Liberal International reach its seventieth birthday, and the new document is intended to be a reboot of the original “Oxford Manifesto”, written in the shadow of World War 2, which espoused a liberal platform for the rebuilding of peace and democracy after such a calamity. But time moves on, and global liberalism faces new challenges. I’ll report more on this in the coming weeks.

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Alderdice Review: A Further Call for Evidence

John, Lord Alderdice, who is conducting an independent inquiry into improving process and culture within the Liberal Democrats – focusing on race and ethnicity – has put out a further invitation for comments and responses on the issue.

I am most grateful to the significant number of Party members, officials and others who have responded in writing or in confidential meetings, to my invitation to provide relevant experiences and views to help me form an accurate picture. I have also appreciated their thoughts and ideas about how to address issues that they have observed. Some have responded to the invitation for evidence and others to direct approaches by me.

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Internal Party Elections – Round 2

This weekend the Federal Board met for the first time. It was great to have such a mix of new talent and experience to drive the party forward.

You may have noticed during the elections to Party committees late last year that there would be a second round of elections to some of our more specialised party committees, not least the Federal People Development Committee and the Federal Finance and Resources Committee.

While all members are invited to seek nominations to these committees (and a variety of other individual posts – see here for details), due to the specialised nature of these …

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  • User AvatarDaniel Walker 17th Oct - 10:18am
    @Catherine Jane Crosland "isn’t exactly a candidate for the Nobel peace prize" Leaving aside some dodgy winners of the Peace Prize (Kissinger springs to mind),...
  • User AvatarJane Reed 17th Oct - 9:31am
    Yes!
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 17th Oct - 9:00am
    Catherine Jane Crosland, being a pacifist and against all weapons is an interesting and legitimate standpoint. Believing in the necessity of a defence-capability is equally...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 17th Oct - 9:00am
    Katharine - you have brought about a valuable and moving discussion here but it is not enough for the emphasis to be on a victim...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 17th Oct - 8:41am
    Not only was the referendum a victory of the past over the future, but most of the victorious felt also protected from its consequences through...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 17th Oct - 7:36am
    "The greatest man-made force for peace and progress in human history"?? Matthew, even apart from your non inclusive choice of language, this sort of wildly...