Tag Archives: Change UK

Heidi Allen reveals she offered to quit as Change UK Leader over tactical voting row

Heidi Allen gave an extraordinary interview to Channel 4 news tonight. 

You normally use your eve of poll interviews to talk up your own party. Instead, she told of a split within the group over recommending tactical voting to maximise Remain support. Allen wanted the party to endorse the Liberal Democrats outside London and the South East.

You have to wonder if the majority who were against it were the same people who blocked a Remain alliance in the European election.

From the New Statesman:

Allen believes the party should encourage Remain voters to back the Liberal Democrats outside of London and South East, where Change UK are polling strongest and thus stand the best chance of picking up MEPs.

Her fear, shared by Sarah Wollaston, is that Change lacks the requisite support to win seats elsewhere and could instead act as a spoiler. She warns: “Putting all the votes in one direction doesn’t always necessarily create the result that you want. If the next party further down in the polls isn’t still big enough to win a seat, you can end up, if you’re not careful, giving more votes to the Brexit parties.”

In private, she has always been clear that her strong preference is for cooperation with the Lib Dems. Earlier this week she even admitted that there was every chance that Change might not exist in its current form by the time of the next election. On the basis of current polling it is difficult to disagree. The party will be lucky to return a single MEP to Brussels and, faced with a Liberal Democrat revival none of its leading lights had anticipated, has failed to make serious electoral headway. As Allen herself says, it is a “really, really difficult time”.

Allen’s mother grew up in Germany as Hitler rose to power. She had stories about how people revered him because he promised all sorts and she clearly sees parallels with populist parties and people today. She clearly feels a sense of duty to stand up to the populists with what she called calm and moderate politics.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

Why I returned to the Liberal Democrats

At the age of 49 and being of a naturally cynical disposition, you would think that I would be immune to unreservedly believing in exciting shiny new things. Well, reader, I have a confession to make – I signed up as a supporter of Change UK. Yes, I believed that they were the future of British politics and yes, I actually believed that they would transform the political landscape, kill off tribalism and usher in a new age of cooperation and consensus. Truly this was the glorious bright new dawn…

However, as we seen the bright new dawn is more like a rainy November morning in West Bromwich. 

I joined the Party in November after leaving the Labour Party in a mixture of disgust, guilt and embarrassment. The Liberal Democrats seemed ideal for a centre Left socially liberal person like me, I really liked the policies and every one was so nice (if you want to see not nice, attend the average CLP meeting and criticise Jeremy Corbyn). Great, here was my new political home. But then came TIG. 

TIG looked wonderful; a happy gang of pragmatic modernists drawn from all parties and none. They hung out at Nandos and seemed like regular guys.  So I wrote to Lib Dem membership to cancel my membership, signed up to Change UK, became a group admin and started spreading the word on social media. 

Then reality intruded into my centrist idyll. It became apparent that Change UK seemed to mean radically different things to different people. This non-party (no members, no structure and no policies) was simply a blank canvas on which anyone could project their ideal political party. CHUK had all the solidity and depth of one of those old 2D Hollywood film sets. The groups I was in were full of well-meaning, enthusiastic, idealistic people campaigning for ‘change’ but with no clear idea of what that ‘change’ actually might be and no direction from CHUK high command. I could not fault their commitment to the cause but I did not actually know what the cause was and, truth be told, neither did they.  I had made a mistake. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Katy Brand and Emma Kennedy back Lib Dems for European elections

Celebrity endorsement for the Lib Dems in the European elections:

And Emma Kennedy joined in:

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15 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Brexit vote shows Tory and Labour talks are pointless

Responding to the announcement from Downing Street that MPs will vote on Brexit legislation in June, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is now clear that nothing whatsoever has come of the Tory and Labour Brexit talks. These negotiations are yet another example of pointless and irresponsible time-wasting by both the government and the official opposition.

The Liberal Democrats have been fighting Brexit for nearly three years and are the strongest party who support remaining in the EU.

To get our country out of this mess, orchestrated by Theresa May

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Change UK peacocking threatens to let jingoists and the far right run amok

As a lifelong active member of the Dutch party “Democrats 66” (D66), I know how difficult constitutional, structural and cultural improvements of state (and European) democracy can be. My party had both improving national democracy (example: direct election of the prime minister who would lead the formation of the post-election coalition government) and direct European elections in its 1966 founding manifesto,

As anybody consulting Wikipedia can read, D66 was founded by a coalition of both members of existing parties (including an orthodox Marxist one) and unaffiliated, new citizens who’d become concerned that Dutch politics was stagnating and becoming oligarchic. (From 1963 until 1967, there were three different coalition governments on the basis of the 1963 general election results).

So, I can sympathise with the pride of Chuka Umunna over assembling a similar British party (wanting to renew the existing party democracy, solidly pro-EU feeling; assembled from active party members and concerned unaffiliated citizens) in Change UK.

We entered the Dutch parliament in 1967 with a spectacular 7 seats (of 150) thanks to proportional voting, but struggled to be heard for years.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Change UK plan to grab the Lib Dems’ money, members and policies – leaked memo

The Mail has published a leaked memo from Change UK which sets out its current strategy in relation to the Lib Dems.

It is a bit of a shock.

We were hoping that there would be co-operation between Change UK and our party.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 69 Comments

Change for change’s sake wouldn’t be worthwhile

Change UK reports that among 3,700 applicants to be their candidates in the Euro elections are 105 former Lib Dems, along with 895 former Labour activists and dozens of former Tories.

Why would former Lib Dems join Change? Did they leave our party in the rout of the Coalition and haven’t been won back since? Do they think they have a better chance of getting elected now with Change? Or do they simply feel that in the current British political crisis some real change is essential to unstick it?

The trouble with the last argument is that it isn’t the Lib Dems …

Posted in Op-eds | 94 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 26th May - 11:11pm
    When all the dust settles, on the assumption that what we had in the U.K. was really a watered down referendum on EU membership, we...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 26th May - 10:59pm
    Eastern: The 7th seat goes to Tories with 163K votes Lib Dems 3rd MEP candidate having 120k Chane UK 58,274 So you can see again...
  • User AvatarJohn Chandler 26th May - 10:57pm
    Well, we have a big membership drive at the moment. Change UK members are more than welcome to trade in and join our party. I...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 26th May - 10:57pm
    The North East result points a how the LIb Dem vote is reshaping. In that in 2009 the party polled 17.6% on a national share...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 26th May - 10:56pm
    Peter Martin, during the financial crisis Japanese car manufacturers in the UK and other large employers used short-term working and temporary pay-cuts to avoid layoffs....
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 26th May - 10:52pm
    @frankie I really hope you have misunderstood what I wrote. If you haven't misunderstood me, you are advocating calling 17 million people "racists", "fascists", and...
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