New edition of Liberator

The latest edition of Liberator magazine (issue no.334 – July 2009) has just been mailed to subscribers. This month it’s a bumper 32-page crisis edition, packed with comment from many leading Liberal Democrats.

Here’s a summary of the contents:
• The editorial column Commentary considers the Liberal Democrat response to the political crisis. The party must question why it is poor at fighting PR system elections and timid in putting forward its principles and policies.
• The insider gossip column Radical Bulletin examines the circumstances of Chris Rennard’s abrupt resignation as chief executive.
• Our lead article ‘Considering the beam’ is written by Bill le Breton (former chair and president of ALDC), who argues that the Liberal Democrats should scrap their highly centralised Campaigns Department and revive authentic grassroots campaigning.
• ‘Now we can’ – Simon Titley (a member of the Liberator Collective) argues that the Liberal Democrats can profit from the political crisis only if they understand its true causes.
• ‘A convenient distraction’ – Matthew Huntbach (a former Liberal Democrat councillor in Lewisham) says that the row over MPs’ expenses gave right-wingers the excuse to divert public attention from the failings of the economic elite. But it also masked a crisis for the political left.
• ‘Too little, too late’ – Andrew Duff (Leader of the UK Liberal Democrat MEPs and MEP for the East of England) says that the Liberal Democrat European election campaign was an improvement but not strong enough to be overwhelmed by the expenses scandal.
• ‘Cork on the ocean’ – Chris Davies (Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West of England) reflects on the frustrations of the European election campaign.
• ‘How was it for you?’ – Jonathan Fryer (no.2 candidate on the Liberal Democrat list for the European elections in London) asks why a more proficient Euro election campaign did not improve the Liberal Democrat vote.
• ‘Shoot – the goal’s wide open’ – Michael Meadowcroft (former Liberal MP for Leeds West) asks why Liberals and Liberal Democrats become more timid when voters agree with them, instead of exploiting obvious opportunities.
• ‘Surviving a perfect storm’ – Chris White (Liberal Democrat group leader on Hertfordshire County Council and leader of the opposition) explains that the county and European election results do not add up to a crisis for the Liberal Democrats, but says the party cannot go on like this.
• ‘Now is the time to be bold and local!’ – Richard Kemp (leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the Local Government Association and a councillor in Liverpool) has never seen a time when the public mood of opposition to the centralised state is so close to the Liberal Democrat position, he tells leader Nick Clegg in an open letter.
• ‘Bristol stomp’ – One bright spot for Liberal Democrats in the local elections was winning overall control of Bristol. Steve Comer (a Liberal Democrat councillor in Bristol) explains how it was done even while the rest of the south west declined.
• ‘What sort of state?’ – Keith Sharp (a member of Islington Liberal Democrats and former PPC) says that the political and financial crises are a good time to ask what sort of state we want.
• ‘First above equals’ – John Hemming (Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley) argues that the political crisis calls for a separation of powers and a presidential system.
• ‘Obituary: Sir Clement Freud’ – Michael Meadowcroft pays tribute to the former Liberal MP for Isle of Ely, Beaujolais Nouveau race inventor, dog food promoter and passionate anti-smoker.
• ‘Flying solo’ – Stewart Rayment (a member of the Liberator Collective and a former Liberal Democrat councillor in Tower Hamlets) reviews a new book that tries to explain the rise of non-aligned councillors and parliamentary candidates.
• Book reviews.
Lord Bonkers’ Diary.
You can subscribe to Liberator online here.
Liberator welcomes your articles, letters and book reviews. Please read our style guide before submitting any copy.

The Liberator Collective may be e-mailed at: [email protected].

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