Tag Archives: lib dem leadership

Guidance for selecting the next Lib Dem leader – keep it simple and human!

It was just gone 7am, and Boris Johnson couldn’t resist it. ‘Let’s get breakfast done!’ he said, to great laughs. And therein lies part of the secret to why he won a general election with an 80-seat majority – it was a corny line, but people could relate to the awful humour.

There’s a massive lesson for us in that as we choose our new leader. Being embedded in the world of politics, we so easily overlook just how little politics resonates with most people in this country, in fact one polling analyst said the public engages so little with politics that he had even heard some people asking whether Nigel Farage was the leader of the Liberal Democrats. And we forget that some people vote simply on whether they see a politician as a normal human being or not.

This is where Johnson scores. A normal human being he is most assuredly not, but he makes the same kind of bumbling mistakes we all make in our daily lives, and that makes him relatable. His slogan ‘Get Brexit done’ was so effective as to drown out the inherent mendacity of it. The lesson for us is that the next Lib Dem leader needs to be relatable on a human level and to keep it simple.

To those of us who are Lib Dem members, we may wish more for a social liberal or an economic liberal, we may want someone who reaches across the divide to other parties or is more tribal, who respects the liberal tradition more than the social democratic tradition, or vice versa, who is uncontaminated by the coalition or not. All this is fine in terms of satisfying ourselves, but if we want to cut through with the voters, we need a leader the public can see in a largely positive light, who says things in simple terms that we can all understand.

Posted in Op-eds | 42 Comments

Welcome to Jo

As everyone will have heard by now, Jo Swinson is our new Party leader. I want to congratulate her and also congratulate Ed Davey for a spirited campaign that he ran. I had several opportunities to watch both of them in hustings and to be honest both were impressive.

In her acceptance speech, the two points that struck home was when she said (I paraphrase) that “She had limitless ambition for the party” and “she would fight the next election to be the Prime Minister”.  I like such ambition as it gives focus.

This got me thinking, what values does the average …

Posted in News and Op-eds | 39 Comments

Layla: I’m thinking of standing for leader..

We know that there is going to be a leadership election at some point in the not too distant future. Vince said as much last year when he launched his plans for a supporters scheme.

He said:

Once Brexit is resolved or stopped, that will be the time to conduct a leadership election under the new rules.

Those new rules will be voted upon by the York Conference next month.

We’re not going to get a leadership election imminently and of course nobody has yet announced their candidacy. But we can make an educated guess about likely front-runners.

In 2017, both Ed Davey and Jo Swinson decided against standing.  It’s interesting that they have joint billing with Vince at the Conference rally in York. Or maybe that’s down to Federal Conference Committee’s diplomatic skills.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 28 Comments
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