+++The first defectors are initiated in the Liberal Glee Club tradition

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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Live from the Conference hotel:

Sarah Wollaston and Luciana Berger have just had the guts to be subjected to initiation by Glee Club. They got up front to sing a special new version of “‘Twas on a Monday morning…” which has been adapted to the continuous flow of defectors to the party….

Full marks to Luciana and Sarah!

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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12 Comments

  • Jayne Mansfield 16th Sep '19 - 11:36pm

    Would we have seen such a duet when Glee Club sang ‘ Tony Blair can F-ck off and Die?

    It seems that the Liberal Democrats have turned into the Liberal Democrat drop in club.

    Question: when one of the Conservatives who has moved to the party is covered in ordure because of the amendment that has caused resignations , why just him? Was he supported by others?

    As a former Liberal Democrat supporter, I am really, truly interested.

    Does the Liberal Democrat Party have values and principles? What are they?

  • Jayne – I’m sure you are familiar with the preamble to our constitution. Those are our values and principles, just as they always were. What has happened is that some members of other parties have come to adopt them. That’s a good thing. We want to grow our party, and that will occasionally mean some ex-Tories and ex-Labour people joining us. Our values don’t change when that happens. We have more than 120,000 members. I think we can absorb a few new MPs without losing our soul.

  • @ Tim Hill “Very well said Ross. I’m not sure why a former supporter is commenting on a supporters web site, ”

    Maybe it’s because Jayne has something to say from outside the bubble that you ought to listen to and inwardly digest, Tim..

  • @ Tim Hill: “… to be successful, we have to be a broad church, rather than irrelevant, exclusive sect.
    And snarky comments by those who are no longer Liberal Democrats … are irrelevant”.

    Really? If we truly wish to create a “broad church” to promote genuinely liberal, progressive and internationalist values, how can we afford to be so dismissive of the views of former supporters (such as Jayne) who still share those values, but no longer call themselves Lib Dems? We need to address their concerns and win back their support every bit as much as we also need to attract and welcome new recruits and defectors from other parties.

  • @Sean Hagan: we might be able to address the concerns of people like David Raw and Jayne Mansfield if they weren’t so fixated on one particular chapter of recent Lib Dem history, seeing everything through the prism of the Clegg era even though both the party and UK politics have long moved on from it. Indeed the Lib Dems are pursuing a very different strategy from the Clegg era, boldly advancing Lib Dem policy instead of trying to triangulate with our opponents, and not letting our opponents run rings around us by playing by Marquess of Queensberry rules even when they do not. But those two (as well as others like expats) can’t even accept that the Lib Dems refused to go into coalition with the Tories after the 2017 election, when we would have been able to.

  • Anthony Acton 17th Sep '19 - 11:19am

    Sobering to read David’s and Jayne’s comments, but career politicians who switch to the Lib Dems can hardly be doing it out of self-interest and certainly add to the party’s strength and appeal at a critical time for our nation. So long as they sign up to Lib Dem policies now, that’s enough, isn’t it? As for their past errors – let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Jane Ann Liston 17th Sep '19 - 11:52am

    If the song was a version of ‘The Gas Man Cometh’ (Flanders & Swann) I hope there was a good pianist to do the accompaniment justice!

  • Jayne Mansfield 17th Sep '19 - 1:44pm

    @ Ross McLean,
    Yes I am very familiar with them Ross. I am also familiar with the reality that there are some who find those values and principles easier to articulate than to live by, as demonstrated by their actions not their words.

    @ Alex Macfie,

    I am not so much fixated on your party’s recent history but on the fact that there is a dissonance on what your party says when it does not have power and what it supports when it does. You say the party and politics has moved on. I would argue that it is this attitude that has led to this this mess the country is in. Our representatives in Parliament had become remote from the views of the electorate on issues that were important to them.

    I am afraid that when the country is so polarised and a different political view such as one’s support or otherwise of Brexit is met by increasing aggression, Ms Swinson and your party are playing a very dangerous game.

    Rules are what has kept this country civilised, and when the going gets tough it is even more important to play by them.

    @ David Raw, Ruth Bright,
    I have broad shoulders having lived and worked in situations where I have dealt with actual threatening behaviour of extremists face to face. The opinion of a few middle class men ain’t going to upset me or throw me off course. I am afraid that your party has become just another party of division with no interest in the consequences of that division. It is a stance that in my opinion, is too important to ignore.

    @ Tim Hill,
    B-ll—s to the unsnarky. I am not afraid to listen to and speak with those who disagree with me. I sometimes change my opinion and view as a consequence.

  • @ Alex Macfie “we might be able to address the concerns of people like David Raw and Jayne Mansfield if they weren’t so fixated on one particular chapter of recent Lib Dem history, seeing everything through the prism of the Clegg era”. Well, thanks, Alex. I’ll avoid the temptation to say some folk are fixated in denial about said era.

    As a matter of fact, as a Liberal since 1962, one time party employee, five times Councillor, parliamentary candidate, ….. and now Chair of a too busy Foodbank, I’m not fixated by the Clegg era (inept and awful as it was – and judged so by the electorate) I see the evidence in 2019.

    What I am fixated by is inequality and injustice now in 2019 and sadly the Lib Dems being the only political party not to respond to the UN Report on UK poverty and inequality (published 2019 – long after Sir Nicholas emigrated). Despite several attempts by members to get a response the then DWP spokesman even failed to attend a Commons debate on it.

    My stance on inequality has been consistent since 1962… though the party has wobbled all over the place in recent years. It now appears to be in a self congratulatory bubble with little to say other than Brexit (and now inconsistent even on how to deal with that). Bubbles burst when entering a vacuum. And to avoid doubt, yes, I oppose Brexit….. but then what ?

    @ Jayne Mansfield I know you have broad shoulders – and a big heart.

  • @Sean Hagan “Really? If we truly wish to create a “broad church” to promote genuinely liberal, progressive and internationalist values, how can we afford to be so dismissive of the views of former supporters (such as Jayne) who still share those values, but no longer call themselves Lib Dems?”

    I don’t think declaring yourself a Socialist means you share Lib Dem values, and I think, judging by her speech, Jo Swinson agrees with me on this.

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