Opinion: Our party is a choir of many voices – Let’s not single out the sopranos

Our party is becoming one of a few, select voices.

Many members, which I include myself alongside, are quickly cementing our position as liberal radicals – those that choose not to define ourselves in the centre, nor on the left, but merely as those who wish to seek to form policies that will aid many in society. We will let history decide which end of the political spectrum we allegedly sit on.

Along the way, we may be asked for more radio or TV appearances, or be asked to write articles for certain websites or newspapers. This is good for furthering policy, but is not solely for personal gain (I won’t be foolish enough to suggest that those of us who aspire to some type of elected office wouldn’t wish to come across well to potential voters). We see appearing on TV or radio or in writing as a tool that may increase our policies’ media attention, which is a good thing to further our cause; this is done for policy rather than to say “hey Mum, look, I’m on TV!”

Of course, a media presence is required for anyone (including myself!) who wishes to further certain causes and promote particular policy. I certainly ask that those doing so now should continue. Go on Sky News, BBC News, Breakfast programmes and write articles and blogs that reach the millions of viewers readers around the world. However, please remember you’re doing this for the benefit of those you wish to serve, represent or protect in society.

Politics is often seen as a popularity contest. Which really, it is. However it should be fought on the popularity of ideas and the wish for common, social good, rather than a battle for the best title, the most blog hits or the highest number of TV appearances.

Do I wish to stop such media appearances? No, of course not. I want more Liberal Democrats than ever to be on TV and other media espousing our liberal values and successful policy achievements in government, so I’m certainly not asking anyone on TV, radio or print media to stop – quite the contrary!

All I seek is that many more people fight elections to become councillors, MPs and representatives on the many local, regional and federal executives to strengthen our base.

Without our base, we are nothing. The base is all we are – literally. From reporting faulty lamp-posts to forming new education policy and from fixing potholes to saving the NHS – we cannot do any of this without our members. All members should be respected, and for those that are happy to be in the limelight, they should be seen as equally in the media as other members.

We shouldn’t become a party of two or three voices (outside of obvious roles such as Leader and President).

Please, keep our prominent speakers in the limelight, and let them shout from the rooftops about our achievements in government and future aspirations. Just don’t let them be the only people doing so.

* Lee has long campaigned on mental health in and out of the Lib Dems, he is the PPC for Birmingham Ladywood and speaks for the Party on Health, in the West Midlands.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Malcolm Todd 9th Jan '12 - 6:06pm


  • The problem is that because your party has abandoned so many of its principles and sided with the Tories on so many issues your base has disintegrated.

  • @MacK – you seem to be confusing the Lib Dems with New Labour.

  • David Allen 10th Jan '12 - 5:47pm

    “We will let history decide which end of the political spectrum we allegedly sit on.”

    Er, if we can’t be a*sed to explain what we’re in aid of, then history won’t be a*sed to stop us sinking without trace.

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