Five Policies for a Manifesto: In Case of Snap Election, break glass

There’s been a lot of speculation, before and following the fall of Boris Johnson, that there could be a snap General Election this year – initially that Johnson himself might call one as a final desperate throw of the dice; later that whoever is new Tory leader would see the economic prospects as increasingly dire and go for a personal mandate to give themselves five years to try to ride out the coming Winter of Discontent. 

Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have now ruled out an early election. But they’ve promised a lot of other things they cannot deliver too.

So it would be wise to be thinking about what we want to see in a Liberal Democrat manifesto.

A snap election would be dominated by the cost of living crisis, so I’ve given some thought to how we might address some of the “freedom from poverty, ignorance and conformity” with particular emphasis on the “freedom from poverty”, and looked a little to Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs.

Everyone will come up with their own answers. These are the answers that I thought of. 

1st Food and Water: 

No one should starve in this country. 

We will introduce a national basic income so everyone will have some means to feed themselves. We will include extra allowances based on need for medical equipment. 

We will protect and value our farming and fishing industries, and rebuild our relationship with the EU, our closest and largest market for buying and selling food, to lower barriers and bring down food prices.

We will invest in development of new vertical farming and hydroponics, for a food production and security and to reduce the pressure on intensive farming methods.

Britain is a famously rainy island but embarrassingly short of water.

We will address water-resilience through addressing the issue of losses through leakage, new reserve reservoirs, and de-salination plants. 

We will end the discharge of sewage into our rivers and beaches.

2nd Warmth and Light: 

We will build onshore and offshore wind turbines and tidal lagoons to provide sustainable low-cost electricity for all. We will make energy the new UK cash crop. 

With our mix of wind and tide power, Britain should have more than enough renewable energy supply to provide for the needs of the UK and more.

We will invest in and build new forms of power storage, including pumped water (like Dinorwic) compressed-air under-sea storage, molten salt/sand technologies, and battery storage to create a new National Grid for the 21st century, so that British companies can become the dominant players in what is obviously going to be one of the biggest markets in the world.

3rd Shelter: 

We will commit to exceeding the housebuilding targets of any other Party, and substantially increase the number of homes.

We will end leasehold.

We will remove dangerous cladding.

We will require new homes to be built to homes for life standards, so no one need feel forced to move or feels trapped in their home due to ill health/disability/old age, and be ready for climate change.

We will build new homes in communities with access to green space, transport links, shops and services. 

We will support Local Authorities to replace public housing stock lost since the 1980s. 

We will substantially reform the Town and Country Planning Act to share the benefits of development between landowners and local communities, and replace the green belt with a proper re-greening of our cities.

4th Transport: 

Public transport will be cheaper and more reliable than using private cars, and accessible to all users.

We will encourage more use of walking and cycling in cities with cycle schemes, safe cycle routes properly segregated from other traffic, and green pedestrian highways.

We will increase the numbers of bus and train connections in rural areas.

We will extend High Speed Rail through the north of England and into Scotland and west to Wales via Bristol.

5th Wi-Fi:

We will provide a free secure Wi-Fi network available to everyone everywhere. 

(Yes, obviously that’s the Internet joke. And yet it would also be of immense benefit to many people.)

Historically, when the government needed to create a postal service for its own messages and paperwork, they were able to offer the same service to the public at only the extra penny cost of delivery – so the penny post was born. Today, the government wants everyone to do everything online, so it’s in their interest and ours for the infrastructure for that to exist.

Initially this will have to be in urban areas, but a solution for rural communities will follow (probably with 6G rollout).

There’s the obvious question of how to pay for all this (though in an age where the Tories are throwing spending pledges around like money has gone out of fashion, that’s less of a challenge).  

The answer is a good Keynesian mix of tax and borrowing. Infrastructure can and should be paid for through borrowing; subsidies, particularly for the public transport, should be covered by taxes on business that benefits from people being able to come to work, and by increasing taxes on wealth.

These policies are radical, distinctively liberal but also popular and memorable, and give us a simple direct set of answers to “What will you do about the crisis?”

 

* Richard Flowers has been a Party member for 20 years. He’s campaigned in many an election, stood as a local councillor, and Parliamentary candidate, was Chair of Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats, and in 2020 was Liberal Democrat candidate for the Greater London Assembly constituency of City and East. He is currently English Party Treasurer. Thanks to Liberal Democrats in government, he is married to his husband Alex Wilcock. He also helps Millennium Elephant to write his Very Fluffy Diary.

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44 Comments

  • My top 6 policies would be:

    1) Rejoin EEA/Single Market
    2) Introduce PR
    3) Radical devolution to regions/localities
    4) Replace Council Tax with an alternative
    5) Introduce a Finnish style education system
    6) Open a network of addiction treatment centres

    Not original but distinctively liberal.

  • Chris Platts 3rd Aug '22 - 12:57pm

    How about giving more funds to Health and Welfare .

  • Brad Barrows 3rd Aug '22 - 1:06pm

    My priorities would be:
    1) cut Westminster down to size – full Federalism across the UK with powers protected by a written constitution that can only be amended if agreed by all national parliaments in the UK.
    2) end poverty – a Basic Income for all citizens, index linked to the rate of inflation
    3) stronger conventional defences instead of spending on nuclear weapons

  • Richard Flowers 3rd Aug '22 - 1:18pm

    There are plenty more things that a Liberal Democrat government would do, given the opportunity. We are not short of policy.

    We would repair the broken constitution that has allowed Boris Johnson to get away with so much sleaze and corruption, and replace the gerrymandered voting system that gives all power to a minority with one that gives a voice to everyone.

    We would support education so that everyone has the best start in life.

    And, of course, we would support the Health Service, improve Social Care, increase provision of ambulances and access to services, and give more support to carers so that you have the best chance to live your best life without sickness.

    But it’s important that we have a message that is both distinctive and in tune with the concerns of the voters.

    Every other Party – yes even the Tories – will be saying they will “give more funds to Health and Welfare”.

    To stand out from the crowd, we need Lib Dem policies that say: “we’ve got a plan that answers your needs now AND will build a better future where giving more funds to Health and Welfare becomes easy.”

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Aug '22 - 1:40pm

    On the warmth and light part….
    Add levy on profiteering energy companies to fund insulating homes of the less well off..?

  • Steve Trevethan 3rd Aug '22 - 2:07pm

    Thank you for an outstanding article!
    Might we publicly, and with reasons given, dump Neo-liberal Socio-Economics, which makes the very rich even richer and the not rich poorer?
    Might we start using Modern Monetary Economics to inform, but not control, our clearly stated socio-economic aims and targets?

  • Paul Barker 3rd Aug '22 - 3:24pm

    Mostly nice stuff but completely missing the point.
    First we need to ask what The Libdems are for & what the minority of Voters who may Vote for Us in the near Future think we are for. Back in the Noughties there was Polling showing that most of our Voters didn’t think of us as a Government Party – that was part of the reason they reacted so badly to us joining Government – though only part.

    My guess is that most of those who might Vote for us still don’t see us as a potential Party of Government & changing that is a work of Decades not Months. That has drawbacks but also advantages – we can afford to much braver than Labour.
    We can be upfront that we want to Rejoin as soon as possible, including The Euro, Schengen etc. Full-fat Rejoin.
    We can say that House Prices are a bubble & need to be brought down & kept down.
    We could announce the End of The “War on Drugs” & admit that Drugs Won.

    What we don’t need is a platform for Government – leave that to Labour.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Aug '22 - 4:46pm

    Paul

    And with this list of yours, we can get no votes! This is a centre to centre left mainstream organisation. You want to offer the electorate no borders within mainland EU including us, and euro, only two years after Brexit! You often site your enthusiasm for the Green party. This is not the Green party. We don’t have to be in govervment to be deserving of being in it.

    Richard

    Well done for starting with basic income. This is one unique and radical policy which, if explained, could be popular, if married to abolishion of the authoritarianism of the DWP, and savings from that budget.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Aug '22 - 5:22pm

    @Paul Barker
    On the rejoin etc. point – politics is the art of the possible. Right now it isn’t possible. We need to talk about what IS possible to achieve during the next Parliament.

    @Steve Trevethan
    “Might we….dump……
    Might we using Modern Monetary Economics to inform…..”

    Can you do this in plain English as opposed to academic gobbledegook? I suspect not and hence it would be a waste of time.

  • Leekliberal 3rd Aug '22 - 6:49pm

    Lots of good ideas here. Living in a rainy island l would query the need for desalination. It sounds expensive and is it green?

  • Paul Barker 3rd Aug '22 - 6:52pm

    Its not a matter of if We want or deserve to be running a Government – the point is we won’t be for Decades, if ever . No-one expects us to be leading a Government so we will be judged differently. We can say what we actually want because our Role will be to generate ideas for & put pressure on Parties in Government. Some Rejoiners will Vote for us to make a point, similarly for other issues where other Parties don’t dare say what they really think.

  • James Fowler 3rd Aug '22 - 7:06pm

    Interesting wish list. I especially like the bit about ending leasehold. As for the rest, God alone knows how it might be paid for. There’s a simple question to ask though for every billion pound commitment (and there are several multiples of these casually scattered about above!) – Which million people are you going to take a thousand pounds away from?

    I hear what you say about borrowing. A few years ago I agree there was a (missed) opportunity to do so. Then came lockdown and now interest rates are really rising. It’s not an easy answer anymore.

    However, I don’t think our manifesto will be particularly rigorously scrutinized, so I suppose that all kinds of ideas won’t do much harm either way.

  • Almost everyone I know is deeply disturbed by the state of the nation and desperate for decent political leadership.

    Unfortunately, the LibDems’ obsession with policies doesn’t deliver since policies in isolation are just sticking plasters applied without diagnosis. Effective treatment of the sickness in the body politic must start with a diagnosis which leads to a treatment plan, aka ‘narrative’ where the doctor explains to the patient what he thinks is wrong and how he proposes to treat it in non-medical language.

    But, the LibDems don’t have any way to reach a diagnosis since their approach is centralised, formalised, and balkanised which, taken together, effectively rule out diagnosis and limit them to policymaking.

    Another challenge is that diagnosis is fundamentally about understanding why the economy doesn’t work more efficiently and equitably. That’s an economic question (more precisely one of political economy) and few LibDems feel comfortable in that area so either skip it or take a lead from the Tories. Either choice is an instant fail; skip it and you’re not in the fight, look to the Tories and you’ve fallen for their self-serving propaganda that got us into this mess.

    So, I agree with Paul Barker that policies may be nice but miss the point.

    The question is, what do we propose to do about this? Do what they have always done and fail again? Surely not!

  • Steve Trevethan 3rd Aug '22 - 10:15pm

    For those who are interested in/wish to know something about Modern Monetary Theory, “The Deficit Myth” by Stephanie Kelton is worth reading.

  • I struggle to see the rationale for free broadband. Why should people who can afford broadband not have to pay for it? TV is not free as you need a license. Free internet is a Corbynite policy.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Aug '22 - 10:49pm

    Gordon

    You speak a truth here. Paul is correct if by this we recognise we are a third force, unlikely to be in govt, but why presume that? The Liberal Democrats, had we been in power with good, decent centre ground colleagues of centre right or centre left, might have pushed those into the terrain where this party belongs, and much of ther electorate feel akin to also.

    But the Liberal Democrats were hoodwinked. First off, they bought into the exageration, the bank crash, was all about it was all the fault of Labour, the spendthrift.

    They then bought, as did Labour, into the solution was austerity.

    Then , worse, austerity could be shouldered more by the pooreset than the ones who both led to it, the bankers, and did not suffer through it, the richest.

    We vdo need an analysis of everything wrong. But it must be radical only on economics. To be obsessed with the EU, immigration, drugs, all those favored Lib Dem issues, is to fail when this country needs this party.

    Labour are split and riven asunder. The Tories likewise. But this country needs the Liberal Democrats. And for us to speak the truth: the poor are the victims. Not the well paid. Not the most unionised. Not the ones with clout. The loewest paid, self employed, the gig workers, the students, the homeless, the disabled, the unemployed.

    Speak for these as well as the squeezed middle, after realising the system favours the most powerful, and we are relevant.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Aug '22 - 11:01pm

    Adding if I could, to that. I say we ought to be radical only on economics, but actually I mean to begin, in a crisis, we ought to start there only. But my feeling is if we were and are truly the party we ought to be, we could be truly radical. This would identify that in our realisation that those in the bottom half suffer, we have policies across the board that, favouring them, helps the middle and upper middle too. For a society without dreadful poverty is a happier, more successful , open, society . We could be more honest on health care. Ours is not system those on the left think it is, those on the right, make sure it isn’t. We could radically, suggest how we could change it, bottom up, top down. We could stop the state vs private corporation nonsense, in public services, like most other European nations do. We could integrate all aspects, we could liberalise the management. We could favour not for profit slimline, and small providers.

    On education we could emphasise well being and quality of life. We could reward those who want to contribute to society, in any way.

  • Helen Dudden 3rd Aug '22 - 11:30pm

    Yes Richard, that says it all.

  • Nice contribution Richard. I don’t agree with all of it; the price tag does need to be addressed, and PR is a conspicuous omission. But there’s a lot of good ideas here, and a nice theme.

  • David Warren 4th Aug '22 - 10:25am

    Great proposals here from Richard. The only things I would add would be around the area of employment.

    Fire and rehire needs to be outlawed, zero hours contracts should go to, plus the old Liberal policy of employee participation needs a relaunch.

  • @Nonconformistradical – Add levy on profiteering energy companies to fund insulating homes of the less well off..?
    There is already levy on our energy bills for insulation and energy efficiency, so perhaps in the first instance we need to question how these monies are being spent and whether they could be more targeted to give better social benefit.

    Mind you reading through the list of policies, I do get a sense the author is in denial and prefers cakeism.

  • Paul Barker 4th Aug '22 - 12:12pm

    I simply repeat that we are not, now, a Party of Government. Voters don’t want to hear us talking as though we were a smaller Labour, we need to ask what our potential Voters want us for & how we can speak to that. Plans for Government will look arrogant or deluded.

    Labour are doing fine, they will form the Government after The next Election, Minority or Majority, it doesn’t much matter. Starmer has done what Cameron should have done, he is squeezing the Extremists out, so slowly that they can’t get a narrative of Civil War going.

    Our Recovery is going OK but lets not run before we can walk.

  • Richard has prepared a good to do list that, I expect, would require a great deal of fleshing out over a parliamentary term. As regards economic policy, it needs to begin with an understanding that global economic conditions and their consequences for the UK economy are largely outside the control of the government. Where the government can make a difference is in not making things worse and in protecting the most vulnerable from bearing the burden of recession. Fiscal deficits are likely to grow as the UK economy enters recession in the coming months, but both tax cuts and spending cuts should be avoided and inflation allowed to subside.
    A guaranteed minimum income, job guarantees (particularly in insulation of social housing and child and social care) and tax reform based around taxation of land and natural resources (beginning with Council tax and business rates) to address inequality are essential foundations.

  • Peter Watson 4th Aug '22 - 2:55pm

    “We will introduce a national basic income so everyone will have some means to feed themselves.” (Richard Flowers)
    “A guaranteed minimum income …” (Joe Bourke)
    I’m still trying to work out where the party is on this. UBI is often discussed here, and my impression is that:
    (a) it is a “big idea” which would probably distinguish Lib Dems from other parties (too redistributive for Conservatives, and the word “idea” is anathema to Labour these days);
    (b) many Lib Dems are far from convinced about it.
    The Autumn 2020 Conference voted to “campaign for a Universal Basic Income, paid to all long-term UK residents.” I’ve referred often enough to ignored/forgotten conference votes on grammar and faith schools to realise this is not the same as a policy, but given that Ed Davey wrote very positively about it at the time, UBI looks like a policy.
    The party has gained three MPs in by-elections since that vote. Is that evidence that UBI is a vote-winner in “blue wall” targets, or is it the policy that dare not speak its name and not mentioned for fear it would have the opposite effect?

  • Peter,

    next months conference in Brighton will consider policy motion F17: Towards A Fairer Society https://www.libdems.org.uk/a22-f17.
    The proposals to end deep poverty, include a radical overhaul of the welfare system by:
    Taking immediate steps to repair the safety net, including restoring the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, introducing emergency grants (not loans) and stopping deducting debt repayments at unaffordable rates.
    Following this up in the longer term with fundamental reforms to the welfare system by:

    OPTION 1:
    replacing tax and national insurance allowances with a Universal Basic Income for working age adults, set at a level which would compensate for the loss of allowances (while retaining most of the existing benefits structure including universal credit).

    OPTION 2:
    introducing a Guaranteed Basic Income by increasing Universal Credit to the level required to end deep poverty within the decade and removing sanctions.

    OPTION 3:
    conducting large scale trials of UBI and GBI, keeping our strategic options open until the outcome of such trials is known.

  • Peter Watson 4th Aug '22 - 4:30pm

    @Joe Bourke
    Thanks for that. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
    However, I fear that option 3 looks like a bit of a cop out and the key word is “strategic”, but trying to knock any controversy into post-election long grass risks back-firing in an Andrew Neil-style interview if the party looks both enthusiastic and vague about UBI. Also, I’m not convinced of the feasibility of large scale trials. This is partly because an argument often levelled against UBI is that people will be discouraged from working, which I think is less likely in a fixed term trial, but mostly because the main argument against UBI is “who pays?”, and I doubt that redistribution will be part of any trial. Rather than treat it as a cop out, proponents of option 3 ought to make it clear how they would carry out such trials, what they would measure, and the definition of success/failure. If it simply comes down to asking if people would like free money, then, for a modest fee, I would be happy to give a very accurate answer! 😉

  • @ Lorenzo – Thank you and well said. We will indeed never be ‘party of government’ if our aim is, like Blair’s Labour, to offer a different team and slightly better welfare. So, what changes are needed?

    For starters, it’s important that markets are human artifacts, governed by manmade rules that tilt the playing field in the desired direction and not, as Tories want us to believe, an immutable force of nature like gravity and hence not to be considered. Anyone who buys into that view has lost the game before the kick-off.

    This has allowed them to stealthily do something akin to the enclosures of yesteryear except this time it’s skimming off money that should have gone to wages being taken by predatory finance, weakly regulated privatisations, spreading monopolies etc.

    For example, a growing supermarket concentration created an oligopoly that pushed food prices to around a third higher than they should have been by the early/mid 1990s. I thought that fairly obvious at the time and it was eventually proved so when Aldi and Lidl became large enough to force change. Preventing that oligopoly would have helped more people than most feasible welfare.

    Another big source of cost and wasted talent is Britain’s abysmal failure to adequately train our workforce compounded by trying to make universities a one size fits all solution which they aren’t and can’t be. It’s hard to guesstimate the cost penalty this causes but between less dynamism, poor workmanship, and extra welfare it’s massive.

  • A book I discovered entirely by accident that people may enjoy is ‘The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life’ by Anu Partanen. She is a young Finnish journalist who met, and subsequently married, an American.

    That background enables her to contrast with deep insight the very different way Finnish (and in varying degrees other Scandinavian societies) works compared with the way the US works. I sort of knew some of it, but she takes it to an entirely new level and, even better, writes in exceptionally easy-to-read English.

    For my money, our own version of the cultural values and approaches that constitute the ‘Nordic’ model is what we could and should be aiming for. It’s doable but requires leadership with a big ambition.

  • (This is the second half of an over-long piece — the first half accidentally deleted in the re-write.
    It was and is a response to Nonconformistradical complaining (unfairly, I considered, though sympathetically) about “academic goggledegook”:

    But do read THE DEFICIT MYTH , recommended above by the same Steve Trevethan you accuse of gobbledegook. It is extremely readable, and not gooky at all. Ironically, a slip of Steve’s pen wrote Modern Monetary Economics. Remember, what he meant was MMT, the T for Theory — and easily remembered as the same initials as Teresa May’s (or was it Thatcher’s?) non-existent ‘Magic Money Tree’!

    One more point. Note the dishonesty highlighted by Steve Trevethan: the sneaky invention of the Conservatives’ ” Neo-liberal Socio-Economics”, which makes the very rich even richer and the not rich poorer? ” It smears us LDs as accomplices in the Tory swindle of ‘Austerity’. Or were we complicit . . . . . ?

    I also suggested that our nation was astonished when Churchill lost the Election in 1945, and that the new Labour Government was successfully applying Keynesian Economics, now re-branded as MMT

  • Peter Martin 6th Aug '22 - 8:53am

    How about a pledge to take back control of monetary policy from the Bank of England? The problem we have now is an inflation which is caused by a combination of Covid, sickness of workers, war, natural disasters, such as floods and fires, and energy supplier cartels. Interest rate increases won’t do much at all to rectify any of these.

    Possibly a small rise in interest rates is justified but monetary policy needs to be carefully adjusted in combination with any fiscal changes. It doesn’t make have any sense to have two pilots of the plane. This is recipe for another 2008 style crash.

    MMT has been mentioned by several on this thread, but it isn’t all about running higher deficits. MMT suggests that increased deficits should be run to stimulate a flagging economy. So increased deficits aren’t necessarily the solution now. However, neither is an overreliance on monetary policy to control inflation and regulate the economy generally.

  • Neil James Sandison 6th Aug '22 - 9:32am

    Well done Richard i am glad its not just me .The party cannot rest on its laurels of previous by-election wins under a government which will have little relevance two years down the line . What we need as Liberal Democrats is a refresh starting at the Autumn Conference . Should Miss Truss be crowned by the tory faithful then the conservatives will have drifted much further to the libertarian right ,basic freedoms and rights will be under significant threat . Our challenge will be identifying and challenging that threat . We will certainly need an agenda that can tackle both a recession and institutionalized poverty for many of our citizens a growth in what Shirley Williams identified all those years ago as a disenfranchised underclass .

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Aug '22 - 10:06am

    “t needs to be said that Brexit is significantly augmenting the economic woes.”

    https://twitter.com/ByDonkeys/status/1554357886368858112

  • Peter Martin 7th Aug '22 - 9:42am

    ” our own version of the cultural values and approaches that constitute the ‘Nordic’ model is what we could and should be aiming for”

    Definitely our own version. We can all learn from each other but we shouldn’t run away with the idea that the Finns or anyone else in the Nordic countries have it exactly right.

    “Statistics Finland’s preliminary data on statistics on living conditions show that 873,000 Finns, or 16.0 per cent of the entire household population were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2019”.

    https://www.stat.fi/til/eot/2020/01/eot_2020_01_2021-02-09_tie_001_en.html

  • Martin Gray 7th Aug '22 - 9:52am

    The next GE will be fought around those post industrial towns that voted heavily to leave …Labour lost 60 seats – 52 voted to leave ..
    Outside metropolitan areas there’s never been any deep affection for the EU for millions of British people .
    Any rejoin policy with Schengen & the Euro would be political suicide…

  • David Evans 7th Aug '22 - 12:04pm

    Martin, not necessarily … It would focus our campaigning on people who are like us – internationalist, liberal and can see the huge mess both the Conservatives and Labour have done to our country with their Brexit apologists.

    We won’t win by fighting in Labour – Conservative marginals – our battle has to be elsewhere. Sheffield not Wakefield, North Shropshire not Northwest Durham, Winchester not Manchester, Tiverton not Warrington.

    In the good old days when we were successful, it was called targeting. I’m sure you get my drift.

  • David Evans 7th Aug ’22 – 12:04pm………… It would focus our campaigning on people who are like us – internationalist, liberal and can see the huge mess both the Conservatives and Labour have done to our country with their Brexit apologists….

    I agree with Martin’s “any rejoin policy with Schengen & the Euro would be political suicide”…
    Sheffield, North Shropshire and Tiverton are all ‘Leave’ areas; hardly intrnationalist, liberal (small l) and anti Brexit..

    Our gains were made, as far as I remember, by staying clear of the ‘B word’

  • Expats … victory in Honiton and Tiverton was accompanied by an excellent little leaflet printed on yellow which said the LD’s number one policy priority was to rejoin the EU. So perhaps even in leave areas a rejoin stance would not have the chilling effect on swing voters that some people fear.

  • Martin Gray 7th Aug '22 - 6:19pm

    @Martin..
    People are exhausted with Brexit – they’ve moved on ..
    8+ years after the vote, it would bring up the tired old divisions yet again .
    No serious political party should be advocating to rejoin after such a short period .
    There is no deep affection for the EU for millions of Brits, irrespective of how things are currently .
    I cant envisage the British public ever accepting the Euro..As for Schengen – it fasciltated brexit , a big mistake by both governing parties…

  • richard 7th Aug ’22 – 5:10pm……….Expats … victory in Honiton and Tiverton was accompanied by an excellent little leaflet printed on yellow which said the LD’s number one policy priority was to rejoin the EU. So perhaps even in leave areas a rejoin stance would not have the chilling effect on swing voters that some people fear…….

    Richard, I live at the complete opposite side of the country (coastal Suffolk) and wasn’t aware of the leaflet; I only followed the reports on the husting.. Personally I think rehashing Brexit is a mistake; at the moment; most ‘Leavers’ I talk to still blame the EU for our ‘Brexit woes’ (and why wouldn’t they with the right wing media’s obsession)..

    Telling people that they were duped often does more harm than good (at least to the ‘teller’)… There will be a time when a rational argument can take place but that’s not yet;

  • Nonconformistradical 7th Aug '22 - 7:20pm

    “There will be a time when a rational argument can take place but that’s not yet”

    I’m inclined to agree with that. There may be opportunities to bring up specific issues where Brexit has done serious damage and I think it right to bring those up. But I don’t see the country as being ready for a serious discussion about our relations with the rest of Europe yet.

  • Peter Watson 7th Aug '22 - 11:09pm

    @richard “victory in Honiton and Tiverton was accompanied by an excellent little leaflet printed on yellow which said the LD’s number one policy priority was to rejoin the EU”
    Now I’m seriously confused!
    Last year, Ed Davey made a bid deal out of stating that Lib Dems were not a rejoin party. Is this like Chesham & Amersham, when (locally? temporarily?) Lib Dems became the party of opposition to HS2? Targeting is one thing, but I don’t see inconsistency like this being a great general election strategy! 🙁

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