Opinion: Today is a good day to be a Lib Dem

As dawn broke over Bronte House, South Kilburn, I realised.
I realised that with this beautiful sight (the dawn, not Bronte House!), change was coming.

My local MP will soon cease to be Sarah Teather (Lib Dem, Brent) and soon will be Ed Fordham (Lib Dem PPC, Hampstead & Kilburn). Boundary changes mean that the tiny triangle of estate that I call home is being cut and pasted into the new Hampstead & Kilburn constituency. So, it feels a little like moving home.

But looking at the wider picture – change is coming.
Let me tell you what I believe. What I believe so strongly that I’m willing to get up at dawn and go to bed in the early hours every day.

It’s not just my belief.

I see it in the papers. I see it in people’s faces. I hear it from them as they tell me that for years they’ve voted for one party or another – but no longer.
I watch as hundreds of volunteers pile through the door at the local Lib Dem office – concerned by their current local MP’s (Lab, Glenda Jackson) lack of interest in their home – and the two main party’s disregard for the best interests of the country.
I see it on the internet – where polls point to an increase in Lib Dem voters following our spring conference.
I hear it on the radio.
I feel it on the street.
I see an elderly, deaf man who signs to me that Ed Fordham of the Liberal Democrats has his vote.

It would be so very ‘politics’ to repeat Nick Clegg’s messages from his speech on Sunday – but they are winning votes.

Not because Nick went out to find out what voters wanted, so that he could promise them ‘education, education, education’ or ‘halve child poverty by 2010’ and fail to deliver, or even prioritise, these.

No. Nick made these commitments because it’s what Britain needs. Britain needs fairness. Everyone likes a tax break – but a break for the poor, a charge on the rich. Isn’t it simple? It’s a concept dating hundreds of years – yet Labour (the self appointed ‘Party of the many’) have completely failed to implement it.

Britain needs a boost – a return to a diversification of our income – ‘not just betting on things – but making things’. I don’t claim to be a financial whizzkid – I leave that to Vince Cable. And I can ‘leave it to him’.
I don’t need to be suspicious that he’s going to favour the strong over the weak, or plough Britain’s limited money into new wars, or failed initiatives.

I can sit back and let the expert do his job. It’s a nice feeling.
Britain needs a decent schooling reform, reform founded on basic principles that will stand up to the test of time.
Britain needs to wake up to the reality of climate change – and actually act on it.
Regardless of what other countries are doing, we need to make an investment and make a change. Once, we led the world. Now, Labour want to lead where it suits them, and work by committee where it doesn’t.
Well, it’s not working – and unless we act now, it’ll never work. It’ll never have a chance to work, because there won’t be a planet left for it to work for.

Britain needs hope – and Nick Clegg has given them that.

A vote for the Lib Dems isn’t just a vote for fairness. It’s a vote for anyone who wants to draw a line in the sand and move onwards.
It’s a vote for common sense.
It’s the common sense vote – and people are coming to their senses.

So, you can see – today is a good day to get up before dawn. To stuff letters into envelopes. To stand outside tube stations. To spend hours on the phone. To go to bed completely shattered.
Today is a good day to be a Lib Dem.

* Jack Holroyde is an active Lib Dem member and freelance campaigns manager for the third sector, who blogs at Hope is mine …

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4 Comments

  • I too live in H&K, in West Hampstead, and was out delivering Lib Dem newsletters yesterday in the warm spring air. Here’s hoping for a change for the better. I really think that if we collectively pull out all the stops, we have a chance of having a voice in governing this country and setting it back on the right course.

    Let’s get out there and go for it!

  • Roger Roberts 18th Mar '10 - 6:36pm

    As a long-standing candidate – now in “another place” !! I’ve never known canvass returns as good as these. Nor a sixth form election at the John Bright School, Llandudno (where many years ago I was a pupil and later a governor) Tories and Plaid Cymru insisting that it is a marginal between them – the result Plaid ONE vote, Conservative NINE votes, Labour THIRTY NINE votes and Mike Priestley , Lib Dem FORTY NINE votes. I’ve always been an optimist but I truley think that this time the whole scenario is different !

  • “As a long-standing candidate – now in “another place” !! I’ve never known canvass returns as good as these.”

    And if you go canvassing with Roger in Llandudno (an essential part of developing as a campaigner I would say) you would see some pretty good returns!

  • Roger Roberts 19th Mar '10 - 11:52pm

    Thanks Hywel – you organised one of our first by-election wins in the Marl ward – still held by us with Mike Priestley our excellent General Election candidate .

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