New edition of Liberator

The latest edition of Liberator magazine is landing on subscribers’ doormats this week. The consequences of the economic crisis for Liberal Democrat policy feature heavily in this issue. Here’s a preview of the contents:


* The ‘Commentary’
– editorial criticises Lib Dem policing policy as an example of the party lumbering itself with “a policy that is wrong, incomprehensible except to specialists, indistinct from the other parties and likely to be neutral in its electoral impact since voters will be unaware of it.”
* The insider gossip column ‘Radical Bulletin’.
* Our lead article – ‘Please ignore us’ is written by former ALDC chair Bill Le Breton. He argues that the Liberal Democrat response to the economic crisis is wrong and might have been designed to pass unnoticed by the public, but the answer is staring the party in the face.
* ‘When the markets fail’ – Spontaneous disorder is a stimulus to rediscover and restore radicalism to liberalism, says Ed Randall.
* ‘The chance of a lifetime’ – The economic crisis has overthrown the political assumptions of the past thirty years. Why aren’t the Liberal Democrats exploiting this opportunity, asks Simon Titley.
* ‘Leading the mighty atom’ – Two female candidates have fought for the Welsh Liberal Democrat leadership, and winner Kirsty Williams faces some fundamental problems, says Russell Deacon.
* ‘Will Obama govern from the centre?’ – Barack Obama confounded received wisdom to win the US presidency, but do his accommodations with Democrat power brokers really herald an era of change, asks Liberator’s American correspondent Dennis Graf.
* ‘Who’s the real conservative?’ – Does Jeremy Browne think that change for its own sake defines liberalism? Matthew Huntbach takes issue with Browne’s article in the previous issue of Liberator.
* ‘Keep the customers satisfied’ – Pressure to treat citizens as customers has destroyed social capital, says Rob Wheway.
* ‘Cats, bikes and an old boy network’ – A Liberal party has been launched on the Isle of Man to tackle its ossified political system. Not a moment too soon, says party chair Kate Beecroft.
* ‘Popular path’ – Economic conditions mean the Liberal Democrats could not deliver tax cuts even if they wanted to. Time to rediscover popular ownership, says Jonathan Hunt.
* Readers’ letters.
* Xmas books – Once again, Liberator has invited leading Liberal Democrats to recommend their favourite books of the year.
* Lord Bonkers is unwell this month, but his diary will return in the next issue.

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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9 Comments

  • “Lord Bonkers is unwell this month,”

    Worrying given that he is at least 123.

  • David Morton 23rd Dec '08 - 9:04pm

    Its a great mystery why a small opposition party with a track record of often shameless opertunism at a local level is quite to sclerotic even dare I say it Conservative when it comes to the changed economic situation.

    I think the Church has spotted it. Also sorts of signs that it has spotted its niche market in recession economics. A more welcome audience for traditional morality, a demand for free leisure activities and social action/community spirit type things.

    I think the BNP has spotted it. That Cumbria result last Thursday is still making me think. Much of Nick Griffin’s stuff a few years ago was predicated on a “resource crunch” rather than Credit but that aside he is looking precient. He understands that recession economics change everything and has his message ready.

    I think the Green Party and wider movement has spotted it. Opertunity to argue for a massive green shift and money/consumption never made you happy anyway..

    I think the Labour party has spotted it. The state, borrowing and big government is back.

    and yet and yet the party of the Yellow Book seems, so far, incapable of seeing how much has changed so much and what that makes possible.

  • Martin Land 23rd Dec '08 - 9:49pm

    David Morton: Congratulations. Such a piece of total, arrant nonsense is so refreshingly rare in this era when people so often think before they speak or put pen to paper. No spin from you, David! Just utter bollocks.

    Both at a national and local level, the Liberal Democrats have warned for years about the potential consequences of the foolish ‘Pink Tory’ Spend! Spend! Spend! culture. At a national level, Vince has led the only credible critique of, and opposition to, the folly of the Tory twins. While we have urged a degree of rectitude in the city and in the economy in general the Tories have criticised the Labour Government for OVER REGULATING Banks and the City.

    We were already urging caution some time ago and advocating more help for the poor and elderly in what were increasingly difficult conditions. We were urging Tory Councils to restrain their annual, automatic 5% increases.

    Indeed in my area, the Lib Dem Mayor and I had the wind up us so much last year we were paying for full page adverts in local newspapers urging old people and families to economise and take care and advising them how to go about it.

    Nick Clegg has taken a lot of stick for pushing for tax cuts and urging the government to reduce waste. Steve Webb has urged the government to create new green industries to help bring us out of recession. Across the board our Shadow Cabinet has shown real leadership. And I say this as someone with a record of being (highly) critical when I do not think they are performing.

    Keep on Trolling David! Seasons Greetings to you and Gollum!

  • Martin, I think if you pause for breath and go back to read what David Morton said, you’ll find a theme. That is, that the Church, the Greens, and the Labour Party have each found a simple, credible story to tell about the crisis, and how to deal with it.

    You have tried to make the argument that we have been equally clear. You mention our comments on pink tories, excessive spending, under-regulation, help for the poor, telling the elderly to economise, tax cuts, waste reduction, and new green industries. Amongst other things.

    In so doing, you make David’s point perfectly. Which is – Verbal diarrhoea does not equate to a clear, credible stance. Nobody will vote for us just because we’ve talked about everything but the kitchen sink.

    So perhaps you could rethink who it might be who has been talking utter bollocks?

    (PS, I’ll award you a consolation prize, Andy is right about the BNP bit.)

  • David Morton 28th Dec '08 - 1:04am

    Andy,

    I think I can spot “Racist Horseshit” the question is how many people can’t or won’t want to. Griffins views on a resource crunch giving political oppertunity to the far right were never ( on this occassion) about “living space”. His argument was that the current consumer model of late capitalism was unsustainable and likely to come to a sudden end when the minerals/oil became prohibitedly expensive. The cold turkey period in western societies was the moment to strike. As it turns out the credit dried up first but the oppertunity is the same.

    Martin,

    Merry Christmas to you to ! The only bit of your comments i take exception to is the Troll/Gollum bit which is ungracious given your track record of saying what you feel on lots of topics.

    I don’t agree that a single, coherent message has come out from the party about what to do about the recession. It may have been consistant about what would happen, That “we told you so” but not I fear about what to do now.

    The Green Road is an impressive first step but even in the last two months you don’t have to look very hard for multiple public statements calling for the VAT cut money to be spent on income tax cuts in stead. Weeks later “every penny” should be spent on public spending. Its not just a practical shift but a philosophical one as well. VAT cuts breaks the 312.5bn into millions of pieces and hands the power down to millions of indivuduals. The Green Road has the government spend every penny and decide what on.

    I may have used different language but i don’t think I have gone very much further than one of the Liberator articles that this this thread is about.

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