Operation Phoenix

phoenixIt’s been a few days now and hopefully most of the hurt is over, though for some it’ll take a long time. Jobs have been lost and decades of work finished overnight. The country lost some of its best MP’s, and we lost some of the best of our own.

I’ve heard a lot of people saying that we’re dead. We’re wiped out in politics. Insignificant. Clearly the 6000 people who have joined us didn’t get that particular memo. And it’s lit a fire in me personally and I’m sure many more people feel similarly invigorated.

I realised long before election night that this was a cause that I believe in and that I could really dedicate myself to. No matter what the result I was determined to fight for what I believe in and I know that’s a feeling shared by most of you. I’m upset yes, but I realised (after admittedly trying) that kicking the nearest solid object wouldn’t do a lot of good for anyone.

There are elections to come, boundary changes in my town means council elections next year that I’ll do my best to help with even if university has dragged me up north.

I knew I wanted to do something. After seeing the fantastic news about our new membership figures I realised that the fightback had already begun. So I went to the Liberal Youth chat page and spoke to a few people. I decided there should be a nickname for this fightback.

We came up with “Operation Phoenix”, inspired after seeing Sal Brinton’s video on this website and it turns out a couple of people had already been using that name to describe it which settled it really.

I know we’ll be back, and I know that we still have some of the best people there is, the next election will be under a different atmosphere. But before then we’ve got various minor elections and the EU referendum likely to come to fight. We’re already building up membership and that should only continue and there have been some fantastic views on this sight already to discuss what’s needed. All I know is that when called I’ll help fight for our voice to be heard, I’ve already resolved to try and convert a few people at university.

There’s now an Operation Phoenix thunderclap set for next Friday, it’d be great if we could get #OperationPhoenix trending even a little if nothing else as a show of defiance to our opponents. We’re not pining for the fjords just yet.


* Will Wilshere is a member of Watford Liberal Democrats. He blogs here.

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  • Bill le Breton 11th May '15 - 2:48pm

    Thanks for your GREAT enthusiasm and encouragement Will

  • Alexander Hegenbarth 11th May '15 - 2:51pm

    I am completely on board – we should really advertise the rise of this ‘Pheonix Liberalism’!

  • paul barker 11th May '15 - 3:11pm

    Thanks & good luck.

  • Keith Redwood 11th May '15 - 4:21pm

    Lots of enthusiasm there which we will all need to restore liberalism to its rightful place in UK politics. One moan, however, we have the Scottish Parliament elections next year which aren’t exactly ‘minor ‘ !!!

  • Jane Ann Liston 11th May '15 - 5:08pm

    @Keith Redwood ‘… we have the Scottish Parliament elections next year which aren’t exactly ‘minor ‘

    Exactly what I was thinking, Keith. But perhaps Will lives too far from the Border for these to impinge; after all, I don’t know when all the English local elections take place.

  • Perhaps those that continually preached (despite all the evidence showing that it wasn’t what the country wanted) the Clegg, Alexander, Laws, etc. ‘Liberal’ message might wonder why, now they’re history, thousands have flocked to the party….

    Just imagine what might have been had the ‘seed change’ happened two years ago…Still that was then; this is now…Onward and upward!

  • Perhaps the fight back could start in Wisbech South,I know we finished 4th to UKIP in 2013 but if we have some people looking for a fight perhaps those living within travelling distance could vent their ire at that by election(see flock together)

  • Will Wilshere 11th May '15 - 7:30pm

    @Keith and Jane I would NEVER call the Scottish elections minor my Scottish family would kill me. I honestly just forgot about them, my head was on local council elections and by elections at the time and I forgot about those.
    I may be part Scot but sadly I live in Watford so I’m a southerner sadly

  • We need to tap into the renewed enthusiasm. These members are appearing on the ground and are putting wind under our wings . Many of these members are joining online so using the web is a good way to deal with the new members. It would be good to use this to link the new and rejoining members with local activists.

  • @expats “Perhaps those that continually preached (despite all the evidence showing that it wasn’t what the country wanted) the Clegg, Alexander, Laws, etc. ‘Liberal’ message might wonder why, now they’re history, thousands have flocked to the party….”

    Others may draw the conclusion that their electoral demise has provided the catalyst for people inspired by our presence in government to work towards our reconstruction.

    They only way we’ll find out us to ask them – do if the powers that be are reading a survey of new members beliefs and motivations for joining would be instructive.

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