Opinion: Reasons to be Cheerful

Waking up to the encouraging string of headlines as I did on Monday, I’m suddenly wondering if this is the point where we as a party have started getting it right?

If there are three uncontroversial elements to Lib Dem identity then equal marriage rights, campaigning against Trident and defending the individual (Nick Clegg launching the #thisisabuse campaign) are surely good starting points?

Conference is this weekend, so you could be forgiven for thinking these brilliant policies appear pre-emptively in our packs – but no, it’s almost as if we are a party of government: the Deputy Prime Minister appearing on the BBC; CentreForum’s report featured in the Guardian and our calls for Equal Marriage igniting support across Twitter, and appearing in the Times (£) leader.

I’m very cautiously contrasting this to recent years of the party bemoaning the media bias against us; the constant struggle to show people that the policies they so agree with can be implemented if only they gave us power.

I think this might just be the start of our comeback. We had a Liberal Youth meal last week, and someone pointed out that this was probably the last parliament before all parties start turning their attention towards the fight of 2015. We’re nearly 2 years into a coalition government, and the Liberal Democrats are in power, playing a vital role in shaping the government’s identity and initiative.

Let’s make the most of it – playing a positive and influential role, celebrating our successes and being the engine of reform and progress in government. We’ve finally broken through the establishment to show the press, and the public that we can hold power and be effective, now we have to capitalize on it in local elections in May, and continuing to shape the government’s agenda for the rest of our time in power.

* Sean Davey is the Chair of London Liberal Youth

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5 Comments

  • Paul Westlake 9th Mar '12 - 8:49am

    It always pays to remember that most voters don’t read The Guardian.

  • “If there are three uncontroversial elements to Lib Dem identity then equal marriage rights, campaigning against Trident and defending the individual (Nick Clegg launching the #thisisabuse campaign) are surely good starting points?”

    I’m afraid that sentence illustrates in a nutshell the devastating effect that two years in coalition has had on the party’s identity.

    It might be OK if you were a couple of pressure groups, but if those are the most important examples you can think of it’s pretty disastrous, given the fact that you’re meant to be a national political party.

  • paul barker 9th Mar '12 - 9:00am

    We have every reason to look forward to May, lets get on with it.

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