Tag Archives: #libdemfightback

#LibDemFightback campaigners busy on the streets this weekend

There are some fantastic, smiling action photos coming out from Lib Dem campaigners this weekend!

Victor Chamberlain has been out twice, campaigning for Simon Hughes with colleagues at the Elephant and Castle:


…and at Borough and Bankside:

Tim Farron visited Leeds – and Leeds Young Liberals captured their excitement at the leader’s arrival:

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Lib Dem members must all do their bit in this election

As I write this I am filled with pride as the party of rational thinking, the party of evidence based policy not knee-jerk reactions reaps the rewards of our stance on Brexit. Our membership is soaring, our poll ratings are creeping up and our results in by-elections both council and parliamentary are truly a sight to behold. However just beholding the wonders of our achievements since the General Election in 2015 isn’t enough. We have a General Election on the horizon!

While some may have the “Brenda “reaction of “not another one” we cannot be complacent. We must win as many seats as we can in order to show Mrs May we mean business! This means we have a number of Richmond Park campaigns to run.  We’ve got to win big in South London and return Sir Vince Cable and Sir Ed Davey to parliament. In Cambridge we’ve got to get the phenomenal campaigning machine who is Dr Julian Huppert back. But, we can only achieve this if we pull together and enthuse our newfound membership base.

To paraphrase Nelson, Tim expects every activist to do their duty! I am what we would call a “newbie” to the party. I joined during the local elections last year from Labour.They had a membership surge too  they they  haven’t motivated their new people. They obsess about internal matters and  not about who really matters, the public. We have so far engaged the membership, now we must motivate all of them into action.  Remember every vote counts. What this means is that we have target seats where we really must win. If you’re unsure where your nearest target seat is then bug your local party chair and they’ll let you know. We can only be an opposition truly worthy of the title if we take seats. Votes in all constituencies are needed but we won’t win them all (this time). Therefore targeting is key.

So remember:

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Islington’s Liberal opportunity

Islington is one of the most liberal places in the country. Cosmopolitan and confident, Islington was a natural home for the Liberal Democrats, but when voters moved on from Iraq, Labour moved back in. Labour hold 47 of 48 borough council seats (the other is a Green) and have held both parliamentary seats for longer than I’ve been alive.

I am relatively new to front line politics, but then so too are most of our members. Islington’s membership soared past 700 last week and from these newcomers, a majority of our executive have been elected into a Lib Dem role for the first time.

Our first action day of the year last Saturday was a spectacular success. 60 local members came out in the rain to help deliver four different wards across our two constituencies and for many, it was the first political thing they had ever done. An Islington veteran told me afterwards over a drink that she’d never seen anything like that level of enthusiasm, not even on general election day.

Our local residents are enthused as well and it was the first Lib Dem leaflet they had received for at least a year.  Since we delivered our bundles, dozens of residents have emailed through our contact address asking how they can join the party, asking how they can help locally, and of course there are always, always pot holes to fix!

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WATCH: The fightback continues in 2017 and READ how it’s happening in the South West

A short video released by the party over the holiday period summing up the last two years. Enjoy and share.

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I should have joined the Lib Dems years ago

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my father’s shoulders, protesting the poll tax. I don’t remember much, just the feeling of all those people being together, a community outraged by what was happening.

A few years later, I stayed up with my parents to watch the 1997 election. When the exit polls came through, they popped champagne. I remember my mum crying: “it’s over and we’ll have socialism again”. Sometimes people live a stereotype all too easily.

As I grew up, it seemed preordained. My parents became more and more disillusioned by Blair, but for me any time before New Labour was a distant blur. When I could vote, I voted Labour without question – who else would I vote for?

When the coalition came to power, my parents prophesied doom. Many of my friends had voted Lib Dem, on the strength of their promises about tuition fees and in the thrall of Cleggmania, but I hadn’t. I voted Labour, of course. It was in my blood. Not being able to imagine anything else, I joined the party.

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If you thought we were having a #libdemfightback – you’ve seen nothing yet!

Like many people, both in our party and out of it, I felt a sense of numb devastation following the result on June 23, a date etched into our country’s storied history.

The resulting euphoria of the Leave campaign, pouring salt into the wound, has little consolation in that the Remain euphoria would have been as high. It doesn’t surprise many of us, however, that a Conservative election for a new leader has started (don’t be so sure that Boris is loved by everyone in that party).

What did come as a surprise to me, is how quickly the Leave team have started rowing back.

Controlled immigration at a lower level? No, they say no.

£350million a week to the EU? Oh, I never believed that, some say.

You’re now giving all that to the NHS? We aren’t the government; we can’t make spending commitments they now admit.

I’ve been keen to say the Leave team – implying the leaders of the Leave campaign. Please remember, there are liberals who did want to leave in our party. The ones I know personally, are not anti-LGBT, anti-NHS or any other badges we could give to the likes of Boris or Farage so please, be careful when directing your anger to the right places.

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Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity

 

Each day seems to bring another installment in the ongoing sagas of the red and blue camp. Either it’s the EU referendum backbiting and divisiveness in the Tory party or the long, slow and painful fall out from Corbyn’s election and the unleashing of some rather unsavoury elements in the party.

Scandal, drama and political machination may command media attention and interest from keen political observers, but it’s another nail in the coffin for the reputation of politicians and crucially politics in the eyes of the voter.

Politics should be about improving people’s lives, creating a more harmonious society and ensuring that our country is in the best position economically both now and in the future. In a word it should be about ‘opportunity.’ Opportunity and improvement is something we all strive for and is a uniting and resonant word shared with people across classes, faiths and creeds. It’s a word that often crops up in our conference speeches, slogans and leaflets because it is a natural fit for our party, but now is the time to make it central to our message and communications.

Posted in Op-eds | 10 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 18th Feb - 12:15am
    No Rob Parker, the referendum didn't mandate anything, however, various influential fringe elements of the Conservative party, being worried about UKIP and wanting to appear...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Feb - 9:22pm
    "middle-class Remainers of the north of England to be given more attention?" Why only middle class remainers? I live in the North too and, from...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Feb - 9:06pm
    As always it comes down to wanting more money for the NHS and social services. We are always asked "But where is the money going...
  • User AvatarRob Parker 17th Feb - 8:56pm
    "May’s speech shows that staying in the EU is best for Britain’s security" Right, but the referendum result, which politically speaking May HAS to implement,...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Feb - 8:40pm
    @JoeB, To be fair to Ricardo, he did float the idea of Ricardian equivalence, he later backed away from the idea. His entry in Wiki...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 17th Feb - 8:27pm
    Can I put in a plea for the middle-class Remainers of the north of England to be given more attention? It is reported that the...