Liberator 421 is now out

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What’s in this issue?

Find out the news in Radical Bulletin, Lord Bonkers’ thoughts in his Diary, plus Commentary and Letters

PRETTY VACANT

Keir Starmer has a shadow cabinet of nonentities poised to deliver nothing very much in government. It’s a long way from the Blair era, says Jon Egan

LETTERS POTENT

Chris Bowers organised the letter to the Guardian on the Lib Dems identity crisis which led to an intemperate outburst from Ed Davey and the sacking of a peer. he explains what happened and why

DOUBLE CINDERELLA SYNDROME

Child mental health is being neglected by the Government and NHS says Claire Tyler, who is promoting a private member’s bill to fill a vital gap

IS THIS THE END?

Donald Trump is not invincible but it could be the end of American democracy if he returns to the presidency, says Martha Elliott

COUNTRY WAYS

Rural community councils are in danger but once represented liberalism in action in the countryside, says Nigel Lindsay

HAVE THE POPULISTS TAKEN OVER THE NETHERLANDS?

The Dutch general election gave a strong showing to the far right PVV, but Liberal International bureau member Lennart Salemink explains things are more complex that they seem

NO MESSAGE TO GET ACROSS

David Grace offers a few ideas for how the Liberal Democrats could answer the question ’what do you stand for’, if only they wanted to answer it

ONE TO READ, ONE TO RECYCLE

Nick Winch reads new books by former Tory ministers Nadine Dorries and Rory Stewart, and finds the latter a worthwhile volume and the former unreadable garbage

REVIEWS

Our Bodies, Their Battlefields by Christina Lamb

Can Parliament Take back Control? Britain’s Elective Dictatorship in the Johnson Aftermath, by Nick Harvey & Paul Tyler

Drop the Dead Donkey: the Reawakening [play]

The Emotional Life of Populism, how fear, disgust, resentment and love undermine democracy, by Eva Illouz and with Avital Sicron

Enough, by Cassidy Hutchinson

1979 [play]

Tryweryn: A New Dawn? by Wyn Thomas

The Very F*cking Tired Mummy, a parody, by Martyna Wisniewska Michala

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2 Comments

  • Peter Chambers 14th Feb '24 - 12:39pm

    Amusing quote from the Rory Stewart book, ‘Ashdown had said to him, “For God’s sake, don’t become a Lib Dem, the point is to be a minister. Lib Dems get nothing done”.’

  • ‘NO MESSAGE TO GET ACROSS’. David Grace’s title diagnosis is correct.

    And that begs the question of why the great and the good in the party aren’t doing something about it. They MUST know (everyone else does) that the way LibDems have chosen to do things doesn’t work; it’s not even close to working.

    That’s NOT because something just broke and there hasn’t yet been time to diagnose and fix the problem. It’s been broken for all the 40 years I’ve been a member.

    To be fair it’s an immensely difficult problem to solve. It is NOT, as many imagine a case of finding some collection of policies that poll well individually and hoping they add up to something more than a muddle, but of having a vision of how the World can be managed to create a fairer and more prosperous society at ease with itself and its place in the World.

    That implies different visions should contest for the LibDem leadership, with candidates developing and promoting their own take on how the country should be run. Policies should be understood as ad hoc plans; the realpolitik manoeuvres necessary to reach desired ends and not as semi-sacred texts.

    The Tories get this right. They expect leaders to lead, choose the candidate most likely to take them in the desired direction, give them lots of power while they’re winning – and dump them fast when they start losing.

    We should do the same. It works.

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