Project: Lib Dems coming together, to make politics better

Everyone in politics likes to talk about change, none more so than the Lib Dems (who can forget that fabulous piece of election music…) but do we really practise what we preach? In areas such as diversity, campaigning, and our overall political role, we are frequently found to be behind the times. Our party can still say one thing at one end of a road, and another thing at the other end. Shamefully, we also still have woefully few female MPs, and not a single BME MP.

It’s all well and good discussing our failings, but it is much more important to discuss how we can move the party forward. Our party is always on the campaigning treadmill, just determined to keep going, instead of being able to catch our breath and take a broader look at how we do things. That is why Jo Shaw and myself have decided to put together a book on these issues, with contributions from people across the party. We are looking for solutions, not to restate the problems. The book is being written in a collaborative spirit, and a recent meeting of contributors in Cowley Street (RIP) led to a fantastic discussion around some truly innovative ideas.

British politics has shifted dramatically, and with that the Liberal Democrats find themselves facing a brand new reality. We must embrace this as an opportunity to look at how we can move forward, and ensure that we have as broad a range of people as possible helping advocate liberal ideals, and that they are doing so in an effective manner.

Imagine the future… now imagine the Liberal Democrats’ place in it. How do we adapt to the changes around us, politically and socially?

If you would like to contribute to the discussion on areas such as diversity, looking after candidates, campaigning techniques, or how the Lib Dems use their position in government, please do get in touch with either myself [[email protected]] or Jo Shaw [[email protected]].

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • “Our party can still say one thing at one end of a road, and another thing at the other end.”


    We believe in decentralisation and diversity of decision making. It is a failure of our party that we say one thing in one area and something different in another. It’s a demonstration of our core beliefs being put into practice.

    If you want a belief that there is one standard way of doing things then get New Labour back.

  • I may be misinterpreting, Hywel, but I think what Charlotte (and others before her) argue, is that we should show in our local solutions that we have a core set of principles – ideology, if you like, and that should shine through. Over and above the different solutions to local problems and issues. For instance, nation- (and world-) wide, we are involved in attempts to move to a “green future” (reducing our individual and collective “footprint” on the planet). This may play out in somewhat different ways in different places. BUT, there should be no doubting the commitment of EVERY Lib Dem to those goals. This is very much NOT the case at the moment. We have all sorts of agendas in play. On the issue of “diversity”, we have individuals who are far from committed to our constitutional, “ideological” position. There are many who would try to deny this. If I thought the Lib Dems were unique in hypocrisy, I would no longer be a member, but if we are truly sincere in our desire to make changes at all levels to make things better, then we should face up to it. I welcome Charlotte and Jo’s initiative.

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