Liberalism in lockdown

I confess that when lockdown began I was like many feeling pretty low. I had been planning to get more involved in political activities as the year progressed and that looked like it was going to have to be put on hold for some weeks. My favourite sports were cancelled and the library was closed! So I watched the news, went for my daily walk and hunted for home food delivery slots on supermarket websites. My village set up a helpline for vulnerable people which I volunteered to help with and that has been a very rewarding experience.

Then I discovered the joys of online meetings and in the past few weeks I have taken part in so many I have simply lost count. I have heard all three candidates for party leadership and a variety of other inspirational speakers. ALDC has organised webinars which I have found really informative given my plan to be a local election candidate in the future, and I haven’t just restricted myself to Liberal themed events. The Young Greens had a number of interesting talks open to non party members and I have joined others from across the political spectrum. As a result I have attended more political meetings in this period than I have in 40 years of activism.

As lockdown eases and we edge slowly towards something close to normality I really hope the option of online meetings is continued because they are so accessible. I particularly welcome the proposal to have an online Federal Conference this Autumn which will open up the event to more members than ever before. I hope the party will also look at using Zoom for policy groups and other meetings that are usually London based. The possibilities are endless.

So how has my lockdown been overall? Well, it has been an almost surreal experience, living through a period no one could have predicted and I mourn the loss of so many lives that could have been saved by a competent, caring government. Looking forward I see our party, the Liberal Democrats, which is in great shape to face the challenges ahead.

I am confident we can make gains in the elections that are due to be held across the country next year and build for a major breakthrough in the next General Election whenever it comes. I hope to play my part in those campaigns working alongside old Liberal friends and some of the new ones I have made in these weeks of lockdown.

* David is a member of Horsham and Crawley Liberal Democrats

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5 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th Jun '20 - 1:42pm

    Of itself one can say, on reading the name of a piece or that of the author, what it says.

    The subject is important to me and many.

    The writer is amongst the most sensible and constructive.

    A small piece in length, huge in scope.

    Agree with every word, thanks David.

    I despair at libertarians, thankfully not Liberal Democrats, who loath the lockdown but think in loathing it, should be that we must see the ending of it.

    It , the lockdown, where nobody was locked down, at all, is essential. The most liberal of leaders is in New Zealand and is a social democrat. Tightly, voluntarily , because it was totally supported, restricting, led to the country being, guess, what, free, of the virus!

    We can discuss the politics. As a Social democrat as much as a liberal or Liberal, one could think less numbers, coming into the country by plane ,did much, no real need here to think of that now.
    Better to say yes to all in this article. As an advocate of online activity it is a good piece.

    But I find very very few engage very much or could care, less, or, better, more!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th Jun '20 - 1:43pm

    And do see the new book Build back, better!

  • Rosie Sharpley 20th Jun '20 - 9:00am

    Gosh David ! That was like a nice cool drink from a stream at the end of a long hot day. Thank you Mr Motivator.

  • I entirely agree with this posting. It is this positive attitude that we need.
    We need discussion on how we can engage members More fully by using the internet.
    As far as our results next May are concerned, we need to remember that many people in our communities have been relying on the social media for local information and will appreciate approaches by the same media in the local campaigns.
    I know that many have made use of the internet, and am always interested in reading about their activities.
    Cannot contribute anything myself as to me the idea of personal computers is too modern for me. The internet I claim to understand, but still feel more at ease using the Royal Mail and the telephone.

  • David Warren 20th Jun '20 - 5:44pm

    Thanks for the positive comments. Pleased to report that I have a further set of webinars and zoom meetings planned over the next two weeks. Even better live football and horse racing are back!

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