Tag Archives: strategy

Parking the bus or total football?

For those football fanatics among us tactics are something we study closely in our desire to enhance our enjoyment of the beautiful game.

Some of us marvel at a defensive approach where a team plays an unadventurous formation designed to avoid conceding goals and then nicking one at some point in the game to come away with a 1-0 victory. This is often called parking the bus and despite his protestations to the contrary it is the favoured approach of the self styled Special One Mr Jose Mourinho.

Others prefer a purist method, the most advanced version being the one used by the Dutch national team in the past and christened total football by admiring commentators. A number of teams have deployed a variation of this philosophy but few have gained the plaudits earned by Rinus Michels the coach of the legendary Netherlands 1974 World Cup team playing in those fabulous bright orange shirts.

So what does this have to do with politics I hear you ask?

Well as in football, politics is about tactics and for our party the Liberal Democrats the way we deploy our key players will be crucial to our fortunes at the next General Election.

Do we take a cautious approach and look to retain the seats in the House of Commons that we currently hold, extend ourselves a bit by trying to win a handful of target seats or be really adventurous by running campaigns wherever we are able.

There are of course many factors to consider in making a final decision, not least the strength of the opposition and the willingness of members of our team to be deployed ‘out of position’. We also have to bear in mind the fact that politics has become much more unpredictable post Brexit.

Success may well come in some unusual places.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Why a liberal response to taking back control matters

When Vote Leave chose their slogan they broke the mould of British politics. It stood in stark contrast to the established formula of successful general election narratives. New. Better. Ambition. Difference. Forward. Fairness. Future.

Vote Leave initially intended to go down the same route. Vote Leave, Get Change. But a last minute change from campaign director Dominic Cummings left the campaign as Vote Leave, Take Back Control. Cummings, fascinated by psychometric voter profiles, intended the slogan to act as a direct channel to voters with authoritarian tendencies. It worked. Campaigners hammered in the message at every opportunity and Leave won …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Why aren’t we doing much better?

This week’s damning editorial about current Lib Dem performance and prospects in The New Statesman will have struck a chord amongst many Liberal Democrat supporters and activists. I know that the world is unfair, and that we are mass-media-invisible, but nonetheless our lack of progress has to be a real present worry. Mucking up critical votes on what is supposed to be ‘our’ issue above all – opposition to Brexit – only compounds the sense of drift.

I’m glad that Caron Lindsay thought that Sir Vince Cable was ‘sparkling’ on Pienaar’s Politics recently but I fear that such appearances are not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 125 Comments

The Brighton Declaration?

There is no leadership from the government, the Labour Party and we are not getting through. We are letting a golden opportunity pass by.

Pointing fingers at the government and repeating,  “Exit from Brexit” is not enough. We need a full programme that offers hope.

I am reminded of the golden memories of he most successful campaign I was involved in, the Newbury by-election. This took place when the Tories were in trouble.

A key to this campaign was the Newbury Declaration. a summary of the then current mess and  an offer of hope.

We need a similar declaration now. I give an example below. I call it the Brighton Declaration, ready for Conference, though maybe this is too late.

This is a draft attempt, it could be better but it is a start.

THE BRIGHTON DECLARATION

Posted in Op-eds | 26 Comments

John Pugh MP writes…Liberals must tackle rising social inequality and improve social cohesion

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKThe nice thing about Lib Dem Voice is that they print what you say rather than what they want you to say.

After the disappointing General Election of 1987 I made the press ,when as Party Chairman of the only constituency in the England we had gained, I suggested it would be good for the party if David Steel  stepped down and Paddy Ashdown took over. I think I got that one right.

So understandably I thought long and hard before saying …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 55 Comments

Opinion: We need to get better at talking up our achievements and rebutting the lies

Liberal Youth at Eastleigh - Some rights reserved by Helen DuffettI joined the party in the autumn of 2012; I did so more out of interest than any burning zeal, on the basis that the Liberal Democrats were the party I disagreed with the least profoundly, on the smallest number of issues.  In that time I’ve met wonderful, inspiring people, and come to feel increasingly that joining this party was one of my better ideas.

We are at a time of profound reflection in the Party; with that in mind, in the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 38 Comments

Opinion: Time for Liberal Democrats to stop saying “No”.

If you Google “Lib Dems say no”, this is the result you get. Beyond the recent headlines on new runways you will see that this phrase is widely used in our campaigns. In the same search, click on Images to emphasise the point. One would be forgiven for thinking that this phrase is printed on our membership cards. This phrase is deeply  conservative and does nothing to help with our problem of explaining what the Lib Dems stand for, something I recently argued we urgently need to do.

At the next election an opportunity to set that vision our …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments
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