Nick Clegg launches Liberal Youth

Later today, party leader Nick Clegg will be launching the new Liberal Youth organisation – the new name for LDYS.

Here’s what the press release says:


Nick Clegg will take a major step in reaching out to new voters on 25th March by formally launching LIBERAL YOUTH, the new Liberal Democrat youth and student movement, at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane. Nick plans to turn the small-l liberal values of Britain’s young people into active support for and involvement in the Liberal Democrats.

Mark Gettleson, Chair of LIBERAL YOUTH, said, “Whether in calling for real action rather words on climate change, protection of hard-won civil liberties, an internationalist approach to foreign policy, or closing the gap between the richest and poorest, young people hold liberal values. Elections in recent years have seen amazing Liberal Democrat victories in areas with high numbers of young people, and we’re organising to mobilise that vote even further. Britain has a liberal youth. We’ll make it Liberal Democrat.”

Liberal Democrats are learning from the experience of the 2005 election and are adopting techniques pioneered by the Democrats in the USA, particularly Barack Obama, in motivating young people to engage in politics.

In his speech Nick Clegg will say, “Young people all over Britain are ready to join a party that shares their values. On the core issues that young people care about, we are the only party that stands with them. LIBERAL YOUTH will be a movement led by young people that will give them the chance to turn their values and hopes into political change.”

It’s been an excellent couple of years for the youth branch of the party. 2005 saw the Lib Dems picking up 5 of 8 constituencies in the country with the highest student populations. And this academic year, freshers’ fair recruitment has had a huge increase – 400%! – over previous years’ recruitment campaigns.

The launch event is at a happening bar on Brick Lane later this evening – you can find the Facebook event listing here.

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  • The website of the Liberal Youth seems to be online, already

  • Indeed it is…the decor reminds me of a local night club we have in these parts called ‘Flares’ :$

  • Gavin Whenman: “Sieg Heil!”

    – I don’t see the point. “Youth” was included in the old name, and nobody complained then.

  • Martin Land 25th Mar '08 - 9:37pm

    Fascinating, however many times they try to rebrand the youth wing, the powers that be avoid the obvious … Young Liberals.

  • Cheltenham Robin 25th Mar '08 - 10:33pm

    I vote it should be called the:

    Young Liberal Popular Front or the Popular Young Liberal Front.


  • Painfully Liberal 25th Mar '08 - 10:58pm

    Liberal Youth – didnt they sing “pass the dutchie”?

  • Cheltenham Robin 25th Mar '08 - 11:01pm

    “Liberal Youth – didnt they sing “pass the dutchie”?

    Yes, but at least it was to the LEFT hand side.

  • I am actually registered on the LDYS forums…but I feel too old to be young…or am i at 26??

  • Darrell. The cut of point point for automatic membership of LIBERAL YOUTH is twenty-six. By paying money you can remain a member until your thirty.

  • Mark, fair enough….:)

  • Think it was Musical Youth actually.

    But why have they dropped the Democrats. In Council chambers up and down the country stuck in the past Tories and Labour still call us the Liberals in a disparaging way – they can’t even be bothered to update our name.

  • Gavin Whenman wrote: “Yep, but it wasn’t “Hitler Nazis Youth and Students” was it?”

    I don’t see the words “Hitler” or “Nazis” in the new name, either. And I don’t see why Hitler and Nazis should be granted the sole right to the word “Youth”. As for the German word “Jugend”, it translates in English “Youth”, but also “Art Nouveau”, which preceded the Nazis and was despised by them (and by the communists) as bourgeois and decadent – maybe exactly the same reason why I love that style so much.

    The new name might be related to the names European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) and International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), where the youth organisation of Lib Dems is a member. There are also a Organisation of African Liberal Youth and a Liberal Youth South Asia, are you claiming they are nazis because of their name, too?

  • Gavin Whenman, I have seen some Tories making the connection with Hitler Jugend before. Not sure what’s your motivation, and beside that we just might have different senses of humour.

  • Gavin with all due respect, this is a bit silly.

    LDYS/LIBERAL YOUTH has impeciable anti-fascist credentials. Many of our members have fought the BNP. To say that this is some kind of homage to the HJ is as absurd as it is offensive.

    A number of our present exec including the person who actually came up with the name are Jewish. I doubt they would be pleased to have it implied that they harbour some kind of nostalgia for the Nazis.

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