Tag Archives: Ian Kearns

Ian Kearns: Why Liberal values are the answer this country needs

Ian Kearns joined the Liberal Democrats from Labour in the Summer. He gave a barnstorming speech to the rally at Federal Conference in Brighton. 

This Autumn, he has spoken at both the Yorkshire and London Regional Conferences. The speech below was the keynote speech at the Yorkshire and the Humber conference three weeks ago and Ian delivered a version of it at a fringe event at the London conference yesterday. 

The most powerful section of his speech is on what we stand for:

I’m here today because this is the party that is ready to fight the politics of division and hate, and I intend to be part of that fight.

I’m here because I know we won’t beat the extremists of left and right by mimicking their message or by defending the status quo, but only by radically extending the liberal commitment to equality of opportunity to the millions of people in our country currently denied it.

I’m here because I won’t stand idly by and watch the disaster of Brexit unfold.

We know the Leave campaign lied to the country; we know they’ve failed to deliver; and now the people must have a vote on the truth!

I’m here because our forebears didn’t see off the fascists in the last century so we could sit back and watch fascism rise again in this.

I’m here to fight for a patriotism that celebrates the divides we bridge and our achievements as a people, not for one that drives a wedge between one community or nation and another.

And I’m here because I want to look my children in the eye and know they have a good chance of a life of happiness and fulfilment in a country at peace with itself.

A country where they will be judged not by the colour of their skin, their race, religion, gender or sexuality but by the content of their character.

A country of free men and women where we all have equal rights and equal opportunities because if these rights and opportunities are denied to anyone, then none of us are truly free and our country is not truly free.

A country where politics is conducted in a civil manner, because between anarchy on the one hand, and the settlement of our political differences through violence on the other, liberal democratic politics is all there is; and the only ones who benefit from cynicism about politics are those with a vested interest in maintaining the status-quo.

I’m here too because I want my children to grow up in a country that doesn’t fear the outside world, but equips its people to go out into it, experience it in all its wonder, and work with others to shape it to humanity’s common cause.

A country where we take power out of the hands of bureaucrats in Whitehall, and put it into the hands of the people, who know what their challenges are and have good ideas on how to meet them.

A country that doesn’t fear new technology but becomes a world leading centre for the productive and ethical use of it.

And a country that was once the birthplace of the industrial revolution, seized by the climate emergency and geared up both economically and diplomatically to meet it with a new age of green revolution.

It’s powerful and inspiring stuff. Here’s the speech in full.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Dec - 1:19am
    Oh dear, Glenn. "Don't confuse my brain with actualy figures and evidence. The world is the shape I conveniently think it is. It just is."...
  • User AvatarGlenn 17th Dec - 1:12am
    Malcolm England really is teeny tiny. It just is. I'm not comparing it with anything beyond it being a small country.. If you split England...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Dec - 12:55am
    Glenn Don't be silly! England is nor "teeny tiny". Since you seem obsessed about comparing England with Germany: modern Germany, which is divided into sixteen...
  • User AvatarGlenn 17th Dec - 12:12am
    PS History and geographic area are more historically important than population size. Population's ebb an flow. The population of England is increasing mainly because it...
  • User AvatarGlenn 16th Dec - 11:31pm
    John Marriot You've said more or less the same thing twice. My point is that England is teeny tiny and dates back to 927EC,whilst Germany...
  • User AvatarJock Coats 16th Dec - 11:28pm
    @Richard Underhill 16th Dec '18 - 10:40am With respect, you are misconstruing the meaning of "land" in economics and therefore in the idea of "land...