Tag Archives: fringe meetings

Radical, distinctive and quite possibly the start of something big

How do we get off 8%? We’ve been at or around that figure in the polls since well before the 2015 election, and despite our very clear and principled stance on Brexit, we’re still stuck.

Maybe we just need some ‘events, dear boy’. We’ve had precious few parliamentary by-elections, which were the lifeblood of the party’s momentum in the 1960s, 70s and 90s, and we haven’t had the kind of Iraq War issue that puts us on the right side of public opinion and leaves the Conservatives and Labour on the wrong side. But do we just wait for such an event to arise?

No, we have to grasp the nettle and do something, and if you’re going to be in Southport for the Lib Dem conference, please come to a fringe meeting that involves doing just that. It’s only for an hour, and at 6.15pm on the Saturday night before the alcohol starts flowing. But it’s aimed at starting the ball rolling towards the party finding a handful of policies that can define us as a caring, distinctive and radical social force in British politics.

Entitled ‘Radical Liberalism – defining what we stand for’, it builds on a paper Paul Pettinger and I wrote in the autumn, and which was the subject of a piece we jointly wrote on LDV on 27 October. Many of the responses from LDV readers were very helpful, and have helped shape the meeting we’re organising in Southport in association with Social Liberal Forum and Compass.

The two central thrusts of that paper – which are also the two thrusts of our meeting – are that we need to be defined in policy terms, not in relation to other parties, and we need to frame our policies so others who support what we stand for in elections where we can win (and their preferred party can’t) feel able to vote Lib Dem. There is also an implied willingness to work with people of other parties who have a similar mindset to ours, be it pre- or post-election, public or behind-the-scenes. As elections get closer, the media will try to present a Lib Dem vote as a closet vote for another party; we will find it easier to rebut such coverage if we can say ‘We’re clear what we stand for – if you agree with it, just vote for us!’

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 23 Comments

The Independent View: Politicians don’t do enough to find out what we really want

The Scottish referendum was an important debate for the people in Scotland to have as it affected the future of Scotland and the UK as a whole. It got the whole country involved – which isn’t always the case with politics. However I don’t think I was alone in feeling like I had heard enough of the seemingly endless campaigning.

People always talk about what women voters want, and the referendum was no different, but it sometimes seems like while the politicians talk about what we are interested in they haven’t really bothered to ask us.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User Avatarexpats 17th Mar - 11:43pm
    Gordon 16th Mar '18 - 9:[email protected] Expats (16th @ 12:10 pm) – I saw that Telegraph article in Sainsburys. The headline is so certain, “nerve...
  • User AvatarJayne mansfield 17th Mar - 10:18pm
    @ David Raw, ' Go away and shut up' Not you David. There is a good article in The Independent, 'Top Cold War Diplomat criticises...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 17th Mar - 9:59pm
    Turning back to the subject of Putin etc., One of the most ridiculous things I've seen recently was Johnson B. doing his Churchill impersonation about...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Mar - 9:57pm
    I set up to record a programme about Vladimir Putin, but what I got was Ken Dodd, who had upstaged him. They are not the...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 17th Mar - 9:17pm
    Peter, as far as the world is concerned if G-T =$2.6 trillion in 2016 then S-I = $2.6 trillion i.e. about 3.3% of world GDP...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Mar - 8:23pm
    @ JoeB, I think all we can say about the world as whole is that M-X=0 We don't trade with Mars or anywhere else! So...