Tag Archives: Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Not going to lie, I’m still reeling from the rollercoaster we’ve been on this year. The physical exhaustion of the general election campaign is slowly diminishing, but, for me, the emotional effect is still weighing heavy.

In January 2019, we were starting to make a tiny step forward and were in double figures in the polls most of the time. We had 12 MPs who were doing their damnedest to make sure we didn’t leave the EU on 29th March. Jo Swinson was just about to come back to full time work after her maternity leave.

We had high hopes that we might gain 300 or so seats on a good night in the local elections in May.

We all kind of dreaded Theresa May getting her Withdrawal Agreement through with the help of Labour votes.

And then she didn’t. And a million people at least took to the streets to call for a People’s Vote.

We gained over 700 councillors o that first Thursday in May. Our success was a springboard into a vibrant and uncompromising European election campaign where our Bollocks to Brexit message resonated.  Although the Brexit party won more seats, more votes were cast for remain parties and the Liberal Democrats won an unprecedented 16 MEPs, 20.3% and 3.3 million votes. Between them, the Conservatives and Labour Party didn’t get much more than that.

For a time, we thought sense would  prevail after all and we might be able to stop Brexit.

We had a friendly and uplifting leadership contest between Jo Swinson and Ed Davey and, to our surprise, our poll ratings hovered around the 20% mark.

Our parliamentary ranks swelled as, first, Chuka Umunna joined us in June and Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith, Phillip Lee, Luciana Berger, Sam Gyimah, Antoinette Sandbach followed suit.

In the Summer, we’d decamped to the gorgeous Welsh constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire where a by-election had been called following a successful recall of the Conservative MP. We were thrilled when, in the early hours of 2nd August, Welsh Leader Jane Dodds triumphed.

We had a brilliant new leader, we had maintained our high poll rating and, in fact, there were four parties in the 20% range.

As we end the year after a brutal general election which saw us one seat down from our 2017 total and minus a brilliant leader, we have to ask where it all went wrong. There will be a formal review of the General Election – this takes place after every election – and all the decisions we took, from deciding to vote for the election to the targeting decisions we made during the campaign will be subject to scrutiny. Did we deliver enough/too many leaflets? Did we sell ourselves well enough?

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Happy New Year, everybody!

Happy New Year, everyone! Enjoy the Sydney fireworks which I’m posting because my friend Tom is out there at the moment and he sent me a photo of himself a while ago with the bridge in the background.

Eat, drink and have general fun in whichever way you like today because tomorrow (or Wednesday in Scotland since we have a much-needed extra bank holiday) we get on with stopping this Brexit nonsense.

Let’s hope that we can still say that we are citizens of the European Union at the end of this year.

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2017: A year when Liberals across the world need to work like never before

It’s here. We’ve bid the often crushing 2016 farewell and now have to face up to its consequences.

In politics and world affairs, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have signified a terrifying and undoubtedly disastrous change in direction. The irony of powerful rich men railing against political elites has not yet been realised by the general population. As liberals we really have our work cut out for us to challenge a chilling new orthodoxy of national selfishness, of scapegoating, insularity and the unravelling of decades of international European and transatlantic co-operation.

The hideous and entirely preventable suffering we see in Syria, Yemen and in refugee camps across Europe is a powerful reminder of the need for countries to work together, not to retreat into isolation and enmity.

The Liberal Democrats have a lot to offer this uncertain world. We have always and will always be on the side of the powerless against those powerful elites. We have and always will call for people to have decent housing. We have and always will champion people being paid a decent wage and having decent employment rights. We are that radical, insurgent, planet saving, establishment busting, freedom loving force for good that this country needs and we need to get out there with absolute confidence in that. You don’t see the likes of Farage or Theresa May (and the two, sadly, are almost interchangeable these days) waver one bit in what they are saying. We can be too darned reasonable sometimes. We need  to counter the most serious threat to our way of life we have ever known  with passion. This is not going to be easy. We’ve already seen Tim Farron called all sorts  of names – and some Conservatives have called for him and anyone else who supports the EU to be charged with Treason.  It’s going to get a lot uglier. The treatment meted out to Charles Kennedy when he rightly opposed the Iraq War is going to seem like a teddy bear’s picnic but we all have to step up, face it and roll up our sleeves to fight for what we believe in.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

A guid New Year tae ane and a’

Ok, even if you don’t speak Scottish, you get the gist.

Few Lib Dems will be sorry to see the back of 2015, but we’re an optimistic bunch so we hope that 2016 will fulfil its promise for us as a party.

We hope that wherever you are, you have peace, health and happiness throughout the year.

And, we know that some of you will be seeing in the New Year without someone you love. For some of you, that sense of loss is very, very new. To you especially we send our love and solidarity.

Posted in News | 6 Comments

A Guid New Year tae ane and a’

Yes, that’s right. They’ve let the Scot at LDV Towers take over the site this New Year’s Day.

If you are in need of translation services, the headline basically says Happy New Year to you all.  We hope that you end 2014 with health, happiness, prosperity and  a sense of achievement for you and yours.


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A guid New Year tae ane and aw…

Hogmanay celebrations - Some rights reserved by The Queen's HallSee what happens when you give the Scot on the team the key to Lib Dem Voice Towers on Hogmanay…

On behalf of all of us here, I wish all our readers, commenters and  contributors all the very best for 2013.

I’d also like to say a huge thank you to the rest of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. They are a great bunch of people to work with and are an illuminating and understanding  source of help,

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