Tag Archives: rushcliffe

Opinion: A Local Philosophy for the Lib Dems

The message from Paul Holmes MP at Regional Conference was clear. If, perchance, some of us felt that the national Lib Dems were not presenting a very strong narrative these days, then it would be up to us locals to make up for them. We needed to demonstrate a distinctive appeal at local level.

Well, in the course of gaining a 19% swing* from the Tories at a Rushcliffe by-election last month, I think we did just that.

We had all piled in to a small rural ward and put out five leaflets. So we did expect to make progress. However, if our Focuses had simply reported local news, I suspect it wouldn’t have been a 19% swing. Our crucial extra, I believe, was to explain a clear local philosophy and put it into practice. This helped people understand what we are about and why it was worth voting for us.

First, let me say what we didn’t do. We didn’t argue that devolving every decision down to parish level was the answer to life, the universe and everything. We didn’t go in for overblown sixties rhetoric about community politics and how “Focus” was more revolutionary than the Kalashnikov. But equally, we didn’t just limit our vision to street-level drudgery and getting pavements fixed.

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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