New edition of Liberator out

Liberator subscribers have just received the latest edition of Liberator magazine (issue no.345 – April 2011). For those of you who are not yet subscribers, here’s a summary of the contents:

  • The editorial column Commentary considers the risks of an open-ended commitment to war in Libya. There is also a warning to STV purists and Clegg-haters on the left not to vote ‘no’ in the AV referendum for purist or puerile motives respectively.
  • The insider gossip column Radical Bulletin begins with an account of the strange handling of the conference debate on the NHS.
  • Our lead article ‘Danger stalks a damaged party’ is written by Adrian Sanders, Liberal Democrat MP for Torbay. In this controversial piece, Adrian argues that the party has been taken over by opportunistic careerists, and its real supporters must act to save it.
  • ‘Too much Lansley can damage your health’ – John Bryant (a Liberal Democrat councillor in Camden and chair of Camden’s Health Scrutiny Committee) says that the resolution at the Liberal Democrat spring conference might stimulate some useful changes to the Health and Social Care Bill, but the damage could already have been done.
  • ‘Our Barnsley chop’ – Geoff Reid (a former candidate for Barnsley Central, now secretary of Bradford Liberal Democrats and a councillor in Bradford East) says that the Barnsley Central by-election was awful, but he has seen it all before.
  • ‘Out of the paper bag’ – Matthew Oakeshott (a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords) explains why he quit as Treasury spokesman over the government’s deal with the banks.
  • ‘A class act’ – Simon Titley (a member of the Liberator Collective) says that the Liberal Democrats rightly want more of their MPs to be women, ethnic minority, disabled or gay, but asks why the party lacks a similar concern about social class.
  • ‘Barriers outside, aqua within’ – The Sheffield conference took place under siege. Mark Smulian (a member of the Liberator Collective) says no wonder, since the Lib Dems vary between being unwilling to explain themselves or incapable of it.
  • ‘Open on all sides’ – Simon Hebditch (a party activist and one of Liberator’s founders) says that equidistance means keeping lines open to Labour and the Greens.
  • ‘Party first’ – Jonathan Hunt (a former Liberal Democrat councillor and parliamentary candidate) says that the Lib Dems can survive 2015 only with a vision of an attractive future.
  • ‘The tribe gathers’ – Geoff Payne (a member of the Social Liberal Forum executive) explains why the Social Liberal Forum will hold a conference on 18 June for Liberal Democrats concerned about the coalition’s direction and the party’s future.
  • ‘Time for pressure in the Middle East’ – Guy Burton (a researcher at the Centre for Development Studies at Birzeit University in Palestine) says that the Israel/Palestine peace process may have run into the sand, but that foreign aid gives both the EU and UK more power than either thinks it has to get the process moving again.
  • Letters.
  • Book reviews.
  • Lord Bonkers’ Diary – in which Lord Bonkers (Liberal MP for Rutland South West 1906-10) turns ‘agony uncle’ and answers some readers’ queries.

If you missed any of our previous editions, they are available online here and you can subscribe to Liberator here. Liberator welcomes your articles, letters and book reviews. Please read our style guide before submitting any copy.

The Liberator Collective may be emailed at [email protected].

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • paul barker 1st May '11 - 6:26pm

    Your description makes Liberator sound like being trapped in a lift with a group of bores & nutters. What a litany of whingeing misery.

  • George Morris 1st May '11 - 7:35pm

    That must make me either a bore or a nutter then, Paul, as I’m tempted to subscribe!

  • Bill le Breton 3rd May '11 - 8:54am

    Neil, why not write something for it? The Sanders article is important and worth reading. I think you can reach it via the Liberator site even if you are not a subscriber. Try here:

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd May '11 - 12:24pm

    This issue of Liberator tells us very starkly where the Liberal Democrats are going wrong.

    In particular, put together the Sanders and Titley articles and what you have is that our party is run by upper class twits who only got there because of their wealth and connections, and who then refuse to listen to those who have a better connection with the real world.

    As Simon Titley says, class discrimination is rife in our party, it really does seem if you have the right accent, connections etc, you rise effortlessly to the top, whereas if you haven’t, it’s always a struggle. As Adrian Sanders tells us, despite the litany of mistake after mistake after mistake made by our current leader and the upper class twits who advise him, he isn’t even listening to most of the MPs in the party let alone anyone else. The huge amount of talent and wisdom that exists in our party is being ignored by the twits at the top, they are getting things wrong, wrong, wrong, and still they think they are superior types who know oh-so-much-better than those who put the donkey-work into keeping the party going at local level,

    The whole way the coalition has been played has been so totally wrong from the start – and there are plenty of people in the party, in particular veterans of tricky balance of power situations in local government, who could and did tell the twits at the top that. The twits at the top threw away our initial success in the general election last year, in the past we went up during the election campaign, this time it was a steady descent. Yet the ones who got it so wrong then crow over us and still refuse to listen. They got it SO wrong in the AV campaign, it was a waffly, ignorant campaign which threw away our best advantages and let the Tory money backing the No campaign get away with their lies and fear tactics.

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