The Orange Book 2004-2014

To mark the ten year anniversary of the Orange Book, CentreForum is commissioning a new publication ‘The challenges facing contemporary liberalism: 2015-2025’ which will be launched at a special conference in June.

As part of this initiative, we are running an essay competition inviting participants to focus on a particular challenge confronting liberals over the next decade.

Contributors are asked to set out an effective response to the challenge they identify and assess the impact this response might have on government and public policy.

Our door is open to any liberal from any camp – economic, social or otherwise.

Selected contributors will see their work feature in the new book.

Essays should no more than 2,000 words in length (excluding footnotes and references), can be single- or multi-author and might broadly follow one of our four key themes:

  • Economic liberalism: damned, discredited or indispensable?
  • Delivering effective public services: the reform agenda for the next ten years
  • Living in a multipolar world: a liberal perspective
  • Taking ‘The Orange Book’ forward: a liberal agenda to 2025

The closing date for submissions is 6pm on Thursday 15 May 2014.

Essays can be submitted electronically to [email protected] or by post to Anna Claeys, CentreForum, 6th Floor, 27 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9BU.

Further details can be viewed here (pdf).

If you are in York this weekend for the party conference, come and speak to us in the exhibition hall. We are on stand number one.

* Tom Frostick is head of press and communications at CentreForum, the liberal think tank.

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  • Genuine question – would Essay’s be accepted from non-members, from liberal thinking members of other parties writing on there own account, or at the extreme – from other parties who have a liberal view on a specific issue?

  • Submissions by Thursday 15th May.
    Because of course there is nothing else Liberal Democrats might have to do between now and 15th May.

    A quick burst of Cleggmania in the week after Thursday 15th May is all that is needed to win us thousands of council seats and keep all our MEPs safe in their jobs, not to mention anything happening in Scotland.

    All that knocking on doors, “where you work you win” and “Liberal Action -all year round” stuff is so ‘last century’ – don’t you think?

  • “The Orange Book 2004-2014”

    For a moment my heart jumped with joy at reading of its death, but then I realised it was just a right-wing lobbying group using the anniversary to push more of the same nonsense.

  • Paul In Twickenham 7th Mar '14 - 10:47am

    Like Steve I thought the headline was an obituary. Fully expected a Private Eye style In Memoriam by EJ Clegg. What a disappointment.

  • Nick Collins 7th Mar '14 - 11:04am

    2Living in a multipolar world”: sounds like a suitable case for treatment.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Mar '14 - 11:48am

    I’m looking to vote Lib Dem again, but the appeal of the Orange Book and Centre Forum is too narrow. However they are not beyond reform.

  • David Allen 7th Mar '14 - 12:11pm

    Who is the FD, and where can we send flowers please?

  • Richard Shaw 7th Mar '14 - 12:55pm


    I reckon there’s more than a few of us who can find time and are organised enough to hold down jobs, campaign vigorously for our areas and write a modest essay. And there’s those members in the party of course who aren’t activists who might like to make a submission, unless they’re too busy making snarkey remarks online.

  • Tom Frostick 7th Mar '14 - 1:51pm

    @ Lennon: We welcome contributions from any liberal regardless of their affiliation.

  • Orange Book 2004-14 RIP

    Conceived illegitimately in advance of unholy matrimony between Tories and Lib Dems, Orange Book passed away peacefully after suffering a protracted bout of cold, hard recession-induced reality and electoral unpopularity, surrounded by ill-wishers and its few remaining nearest and dearest. Funeral to be held at Westminster in May 2015. No flowers please.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 8th Mar '14 - 12:17pm

    Just so you know I’m a Lib Dem:

    I’m not affiliated to any inside group of Lib Dems but Orange Bookers seem so cold and relentless in their view of party organisation that I guess I’m not affiliated to them. I will follow Richard Shaw’s advice, and comment, then start thinking as an ‘otherwise’ as Tom calls us.

  • Steve Griffiths 9th Mar '14 - 8:22pm

    “Taking ‘The Orange Book’ forward”.

    Who in their right mind is considering taking the ideas of this tawdry book anywhere in the future?

  • Stuart Wheatcroft 9th Mar '14 - 10:57pm

    I wish I had time to write an essay. As it is, I’ll have to settle for suggesting that those who have commented above might like to consider whether they are showing the level of respect for the fundamental liberal principle of open debate that they should.

    If you actually read the Orange Book you will see that it is firmly grounded in a commitment to tackling the social liberal challenges of the 21st century.

  • Steve Griffiths 10th Mar '14 - 9:05am

    Stuart Wheatcroft

    I have read it and I do not believe much of it does deal with those challenges, other than in the wrong fashion. As for the fundamental liberal principle of open debate, this has happened before on LDV on this subject at (and other threads):

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