Time for a Progressive Alliance?

There is a lot of noise on social media at the moment with Labour members having to confront the awful reality that Jeremy Corbyn really does support Brexit, and if he succeeds in passing a motion of no confidence in the government then that will be the general election policy of the Labour party too. Many are giving up on Labour and are looking for a progressive alternative. So how about the Lib Dems?

There is the question of the ownership of the word progressive. There was an odd debate at conference in 2016 which rejected the “Progressive Alliance” because it meant doing a deal with Labour. At the same time it was argued that Labour were not progressive anyway. If that is true why assume Labour is part of the Progressive Alliance then? Maybe instead we should define what we mean by progressive?

But let’s consider the boring part first. An electoral arrangement with Labour is very unlikely given the highly tribal nature of Labour at the moment, and Momentum in particular. Whatever we think of Labour, they make our minds up for us. And given the chaos the Tories are in right now, with all the leadership alternatives even more pro Brexit and to the right of Theresa May, any arrangement with them looks impossible. As far as the Greens are concerned, having pitched themselves to the left of Labour in the past, Jeremy Corbyn has blown the wind out of their sails. Under our very unfair voting system they can only win one seat in Brighton and are nowhere near winning any other. I should say however that we do owe them for not standing against some of our MPs, and Tim and Layla may have lost without them doing so. We can certainly promise we will not buckle in favour of our support for Proportional Representation now that AV has been rejected (although to be fair that is in our interests too of course).

In short, significant electoral pacts are not really on the cards. Instead we should be thinking about a Progressive Alliance of ideas. It has been done before. For example the famous 1945 government – you thought that was a Labour government? Well yes and no. As David Marquand explains in this fascinating book review, that government would have probably been a footnote without the considerable contributions made by Beveridge and Keynes, very much in the social liberal tradition of Lloyd George.

In truth many of the best political ideas are developed by thinkers outside of party politics. If anyone ever thought our priority should be to reduce the size of the state, well we tried that in the Coalition and it did not work out well. Liberal objectives today now recognise our priorities include stopping global environmental catastrophe (notably climate change), stopping WMD proliferation (notably ensuring nuclear weapons do not destroy human life on earth), devolving power as far as practical both in government and in the workplace, eliminating poverty and reducing inequality – just to mention a few. In other words this is a progressive liberal agenda. There are many people who believe in it, some in the Lib Dems, some not in any political party, and dare I say some belong to other political parties such as Labour, SNP or the Greens?

Of course we want to re-establish the Liberal Democrats after two disappointing general elections. Insularity is tempting but for new ideas we need to look outwards.

* Geoff Payne is the former events organiser for Hackney Liberal Democrats

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  • “A progressive alliance of ideas” was exactly the phrase taken out of the strategy motion in Southport I believe, so this seems like a bit of a non-starter to be honest. Perhaps we should focus on reclaiming liberalism and leave the socialists and nationalists to get on with their harmful agenda alone.

  • Liberalism isn’t advanced by seeking to assist regressive Socialism into government.

  • By all means vote with people when you agree with a specific action and tell them why you do so. However relying on a “progressive” label can lead to some very reactionary outcomes. In certain parts of the north of England in the post WW2 years there were Progressive Councillors who owed their seats to electoral pacts amongst all parties who were not Labour. In some places this set Liberals back decades.

  • “A progressive alliance of ideas” perhaps a better term is a “rainbow coalition/alliance”.

    It is obvious from events at Westminster, party politics played a big part in getting the UK into the current mess. For the current version of Brexit to be defeated, will require individual MP’s to break with their party and stand up on their own two feet. I suggest that talk of alliances should be more about changing the manner in which the UK is governed and thus be about the creation of a new political movement than the creation of a new political party.

    The trouble is the Libdems didn’t cast themselves in a good light after failing to deliver a “new politics” when in coalition and then running away from the coalition as fast as possible to the relative safety of being a protest party on the opposition benches where you didn’t have to make difficult decisions.

  • John Marriott 14th Jan '19 - 1:12pm

    A ‘Progressive Alliance’ YES, a new Party NO!

  • A “Liberal” Alliance is a good thing – which would mean working with Liberal conservatives, pro-market pro EU Labour moderates and smaller parties such as Renew and The Womens Equality Party.

    What we do not want is an alliance with the Europhile hard left in Labour or the Greens (fundamentally the same thing). Old school Left wing economics – especially renationalisation, militant trade unionism, autarky, protectionism, hostility to globalisation and hatred of free trade, state aid and statism have absolutely no place in modern society and are as retrograde and unpleasant as social conservatism, xenophobia and nationalism.

  • Some of the posts here seem very, how shall we put it, right-wing? As we well know from the history opf the Liberal Democrats and Liberals, we are a so-called “broad church”. When the Liberal Party came together in the 1870s, it was described as an alliance of “Whigs, Peelites and Radicals”. There are still these trends in the modern Lib Dems. As someone from the Radical wing, which also embraces environmentalism these days, I find it unacceptable to rule out working with either the Greens, or certain parts of the Labour Left. To suggest as Stimpson appears to be doing, that we rule out many features of the “Post World War 2 settlement”, which saw a more equal society, with less damaging so-called “orthodox economics” seems to me highly illiberal. Britain took a profoundly regressive turn in 1979, and nuLabour’s fundamental mistake was not to banish much of the flawed and unequal economics which came out of that vote. That is one of the huge and unacknowledged underpinnings of the crisis we are in now.

  • Paul Barker 14th Jan '19 - 3:55pm

    Clearly The UK is in desperate need of wholesale, Progressive Reform & clearly we can’t offer that on our own or in Alliance with The Greens (GPEW). Right now there are no other Parties we could ally with but that could change next week. Brexit has broken both The Tory & Labour Coalitions, the potential for breakaways is ready for someone to make the first move. We can help by being as open-minded & open-hearted as we can.
    We can make it plain that we are willing to play our part.

  • Stimpson 14th Jan ’19 – 2:03pm………….What we do not want is an alliance with the Stimpson 14th Jan ’19 – 2:03pm
    A “Liberal” Alliance is a good thing – which would mean working with Liberal conservatives, pro-market pro EU Labour moderates and smaller parties such as Renew and The Womens Equality Party.

    What we do not want is an alliance with the Europhile hard left in Labour or the Greens (fundamentally the same thing). or the Greens (fundamentally the same thing)………

    I wish posters would make up their minds!….

    “Europhile hard left in Labour”??? Most of the complaints about Corbyn, et al, on here, are that they are ‘Europhobic’..

  • David Warren 14th Jan '19 - 4:40pm

    The alliance of ideas that is needed can come from within our party the Liberal Democrats.

    I don’t see anybody from outside our ranks who has much useful to say, probably because they are all authoritarians of one kind or another.

    There are social liberals in the Labour and Green parties but on economic matters they are big state socialists.

    Amongst Tories it is often the other way round i.e. economic liberal but socially very conservative.

    Let’s get on with the job of developing a distinctive Liberal programme by utilising the abundance of talent we have within the party.

  • Katharine Pindar 14th Jan '19 - 5:37pm

    David Warren, I agree with you absolutely. We Liberal Democrats have the resources within our party, whether vision, policy already passed or progressive further thinking, to benefit the country and reduce the poverty and inequality so many now suffer from.

  • To clarify there are Europhile and a Europhobic strands of the hard left. We must not fall into the trap of thinking the Europhile hard left are allies.

    The post-war consensus led to capital flight and rampant inflation. It failed in the 70s and will fail again. We are a free market and pro business party, the last thing we want to do is enable extremists such as Len McCluskey, Stop the War coalition, POA, ASLEF and the RMT get their dangerous views any traction.

  • Stimpson 15th Jan ’19 – 12:32am…………..We are a free market and pro business party, the last thing we want to do is enable extremists such as Len McCluskey, Stop the War coalition, POA, ASLEF and the RMT get their dangerous views any traction…………

    Really? Perhaps you might, again, explain your reasoning over the privatising of police, welfare and, if memory serves, the armed forces.

  • I have ‘complained’ many times about LDV’s constant theme of concentrating on the ‘differences; between us and Labour and the complete lack of coverage on the issues on which we agree (Scotland, Caron).
    To remove this government we need to work alongside Labour as I ,for one believe, that we have far more in common with them on the matters that really count (welfare, affordable housing, child poverty, employees’ rights, etc.) than with this Tory administration.

    Homelessness, and it’s consequences, is an issue very close to my heart. A report in today’s guardian about the issuing of mass ‘section 21’ notices appalled me.

    In early december Karen Buck (Labour) moved a motion on section 21. She was ably supported by our Wera Hobhouse, who spoke several times in support of Buck (” I congratulate Ms Buck on securing this very important debate”) and ‘had the temerity’ to interrupt the Minister to raise a point about social housing for rent.

    I must have missed the LDV coverage of that debate; if so, I apologise.

    Today’s Guardian article reminded me of the item posted by a landlord, which was read out during the debate…..
    “We need to fight to protect section 21…2 months is plenty to find a new rental…although if a tenant has annoyed me I wait to pull the trigger in mid-November to screw up their Christmas”.”

    That landlord might well have copied Scrooge’s…”Union workhouses.” “Those who are badly off must go there.””If they would rather die,” “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”….

  • Joseph Bourke “An alliance of the Conservative Party shorn of the far right and the Labour Party shorn of the far left might be a grouping that Liberal Democrats could find some common cause with.”

    I completely agree – as this would in fact constitute the reunification of the Liberal diaspora into a single party. This long over-due realignment would see a major reshuffle in all three parties, with the Socialists and Little Englanders being the other two major groupings.

  • Expats – “To remove this government we need to work alongside Labour as I ,for one believe, that we have far more in common with them”

    I’m not sure how authoritarian, anti-EU statists have much in common with liberal, internationalist, pro-market, pro-EU Lib Dems.

  • I favour private provision of all public services. Regarding the police and justice system plenty of functions are already outsourced to companies such as Serco, Geo Group, G4S and Securitas with great results and better efficiency. There is no reason why core front line policing could not be outsourced or maybe police forces franchised in the same way the railways are.

    As for the armed forces – we have used mercenaries for years – Gurkhas. Somalia has used G4S to sort out the piracy issues successfully. G4S have also provided plenty of armed guard services in Iraq. Dynacorp and Academi have also been very successful in the middle east.

    The armed forces are facing a recruitment crisis and like all other public services have to tighten their belts. Foreign investment and privatisation would be the logical step.

  • TCO 15th Jan ’19 – 9:36am….I’m not sure how authoritarian, anti-EU statists have much in common with liberal, internationalist, pro-market, pro-EU Lib Dems……

    Instead of Daily Mail headlines I suggest you read the Labour manifesto; we have much in common.

    Stimpson 15th Jan ’19 – 11:09am.

    In as far as my concept of what being a LibDem means TCO’s ‘Liberal’* thoughts are not mine. However, your’s are ‘over the horizon’ and still going.*

    * My remarks are just my opinion of your views. Please don’t take them as being intended to insult either of you.

  • @ TCO – it is plainly ridiculous to brand the whole of the Labour Party as “authoritarian, anti-EU statists”. Some, on the hard left, undoubtedly are – but Labour is a broad and increasingly unstable coalition which also includes many “liberal internationalists” and moderate “social democrats” who are already working with Lib Dems and others … pro-EU Conservatives as well as SNP, Plaid and Greens, etc … within the cross-party ‘People’s Vote’ Campaign for a “final say” on Brexit. We should not be so tribal that we fail to build bridges to those within Labour or other parties who broadly share our values or with whom we can make common cause on specific issues.
    @ Stimpson – is this, seriously, your position … or intended to be “tongue in cheek”? Perhaps such “interesting”, but somewhat idiosyncratic, views are what passes as “economic liberalism” within our party these days – or are we being infiltrated by ideological libertarians?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 15th Jan '19 - 2:19pm

    As far as the article goes, some ideas are indeed worth aligning with, but it is for others too, in fact, to do so with ours, not merely the other way around.

    Liberalism, particularly in its modern form, is the only worthwhile political ideas based philosophy, conservatism and socialism only worth a consideration, if preceded by liberal, as a describer.

    And that means as far as aligning with parties, yes, with individuals and groups within them, no , to aligning with one though not another.

    I have far more in common with Bright Blue and the Tory Reform Group, in the Conservatives, than I do with Momentum, in the Labour party.

    I have far more in common with Progress and the Fabian Society, in the Labour party, than with the European Reform Group, in the Conservatives.

    I have much in common with Caroline Lucas, little with some of the wilder and the rather contradictory anarchistic and authoritarian protest oriented politics of some of her Green party members.

    The Liberal Democrats should be cross party, and cross with parties too!

  • @Sean Hagan – ” it is plainly ridiculous to brand the whole of the Labour Party as “authoritarian, anti-EU statists”. Some, on the hard left, undoubtedly are ”

    Crucially the Hard Left anti-EU authoritarian statist cabal are the ones running the party. Any Liberals in the Labour Party should leave and join us. Similarly the left wing pro-EU Tories like Soubry.

  • Katharine Pindar 15th Jan '19 - 4:47pm

    Lovely post: thank you, David, for lightening the atmosphere in this fraught day!

  • David Raw – “Anyway, Mr. Stimpson, thanks again for your radical thoughts. You have provoked me into looking at our radical roots and reconsidering all that old Benthamite utilitarianism. You’ve also make me chuckle because I had never realised the party contained such a range of opinions within such a minority base. I say, and say again, who needs Corbyn and May when we’ve got such original thought from Messrs Stimpson and TCO.”

    I’m not sure why you’ve appended me to that statement as you’ve not addressed any of my points. However, taking your admiration of a range of opinions within the party at face value, I’m put in mind of that great 1960s Liberal Jo Grimond, who famously wrote:
    “The state owned monopolies are among the greatest millstones round the neck of the economy…Liberals must stress at all times the virtues of the market, not only for efficiency but to enable the widest possible choice…Much of what Mrs Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph say and do is in the mainstream of liberal philosophy.”
    Jo Grimond, The Future of Liberalism (October, 1980).

  • TCO 15th Jan ’19 – 4:54pm………….“The state owned monopolies are among the greatest millstones round the neck of the economy…Liberals must stress at all times the virtues of the market, not only for efficiency but to enable the widest possible choice…Much of what Mrs Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph say and do is in the mainstream of liberal philosophy.”
    Jo Grimond, The Future of Liberalism (October, 1980)………………

    All I can say, albeit with hindsight, that he was absolutely WRONG.

  • Peter Watson 15th Jan '19 - 5:54pm

    @TCO “this would in fact constitute the reunification of the Liberal diaspora into a single party”
    I am not convinced that such a grouping would necessarily be stable.
    Over the years of visiting LDV I’ve seen disagreements between those who are a bit to the left or right (often with regards to economic liberalism) get just as heated as those between people with more extreme positions.
    Perhaps the Conservatives and Labour are stabilised by opposition to each other and by being broad churches on one side of the political fence or the other without (usually!) straddling it.

  • @David Raw – so it looks like the old adage about “older and wiser” held true in Jo Grimond’s case, at least.

  • nvelope2003 15th Jan '19 - 8:01pm

    David Raw et alia: The cathedrals do not belong to the state. They are owned by the Church of England.
    Many of the functions of the police seem to have either been taken over by the private security firms or abandoned. Only a tiny percentage of crimes are solved. The Courts seem to be trying to disprove the notion of justice delayed is justice denied as cases seem to go on for weeks, even months and that is often after months of delay in starting. Not surprisingly many witnesses have either forgotten what they saw or are not interested in giving evidence, especially as police protection seems often to be a fiasco. Lawyers are allowed to waste hours of court time in persuing arcane points of law. In one case I had to witness the Government lawyer brought up the Bill of Rights of 1689 just as the case was at long last coming to an end and the Court was adjourned so that the Judge could look into the implications. The bill was several million pounds – no surprise there.

    These are matters which need to be reviewed and reforms implemented where necessary.Of course they won’t be as there are vested interests at stake. As regards state education as Sir Oliver Letwin said – he would rather beg in the treets than send his children to a state school.

    Cocerning the subject of this post in the event of a General Election surely some arrangement with pro Remain parties such as the Greens to avoid splitting the vote could be entered into just for this occasion though the collapse of the Labour vote according to YouGov might deter them from pushing for a dissolution which is only wanted by Corbyn as he is afraid he will miss the boat if he has to wait until 2022.

  • Joseph Bourke 15th Jan ’19 – 7:13pm…Expats,I would say it should be self-evident, Jo Grimond was absolutely right on that point…………….

    And I would say, “Open your eyes and look at post Thatcher/Joseph Britain”.

    If you think the privatisation of Rail, water, gas, etc. has led to competition and a subsequent rise in efficiency (other than what would have been achieved by advances in technology) and that the sell off of social housing has been to the advantage of tenants then you and I live in a different country!

  • Joseph Bourke 15th Jan '19 - 11:52pm


    what I said about the problem with monopolies (public or private) and what Jo Grimond said about the state owned monopolies of the 1970s being “among the greatest millstones round the neck of the economy” is what I think. I am not against the sale of council houses to long-term tenants (Rent-to-buy is part of Libdem housing policy) as long as the proceeds of sale are used to replace housing stock . On the pressing need for social housing, I set out my views a couple of days ago https://www.libdemvoice.org/a-land-value-capture-approach-to-social-housing-provision-59645.html

  • Joseph Bourke
    Railways use a fixed track and are franchised, There is no competition, thus there is a natural monopoly. Also privatisation has not exactly produced efficiency. As a regular train user I can honestly say the service is usually hit and miss as well as over priced and in some case flat out scruffy, with old creaky unkempt carriages and stained seats. Plus closed toilets on the platform and smelly ones on the train. Also lets be honest about the utilities. They are a billing service, not energy providers. The power all comes from the same source, When you change “providers” they don’t hook you up to their own personal power stations. They all basically use the old National grid. It’s utterly ridiculous to pretend they are providing anything except poor customer relations and a few quid for their owners. Privatising the Royal Mail simply means posties have worse pensions. So sure, there were mistakes in the Nationalisation era, but the free market fad was not that great and has arguably delivered worse result at a greater cost, with merely the pretence of choice.

  • Joseph Bourke 16th Jan '19 - 1:28am


    Japan is a densely populated Island not dissimilar in size to the UK. The rail network is highly efficient, virtually subsidy free and running extremely punctually.

    Services are run by more than 100 private companies. The main Japan Railways Group (JR) regional companies were state owned until 1987 but were privitised after governmeht subsidies reached what was considerd an unsustanable level.

    Many of the private rail companies rank among the top corporations in the country. The key to success is in the developent of integrated communities along the railway lines, allowing them to achieve profitability by diversifying into real estate, retail, and numerous other businesses.. Regional governments, and companies funded jointly by regional governments and private companies, also provide rail services.
    The Mass Transit Railway in Hong Kong was developed along much of the same principles but is a publicaly owned corporation. The reason being that all land is publically owned and the Hong Kong government were able to utilise land value capture and commecial real estate development to fund on an ongoing basis what is considered as the best subway system in the world.
    The National Grid is a private company as are the energy distribitors. Asthe National Grid owns and maintains the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and is the owner and operator of the only gas transmission infrastructure in the U.K electricity and gas are a regulated sector subject to pricing control.

  • Glenn: The railway tracks, signalling and stations are still owned by the public sector Network Rail. There are still some alternative routes despite BR’s efforts to close them down and the franchising of train services is done by competitive tender although few British companies put in tenders as the returns are low and interference by the DfT means that the train services are now tightly controlled by the State. Not surprisingly this makes the franchises attractive to foreign state railways who like that form of operation. However, there are competing services on the East Coast mainline. It is time the Government considered abolishing the franchise system on that route and allowed private operators to run the services.
    The trains I use are not normally dirty except in so far as the users make them so. Some carriages are only used at peak times so it makes sense to retain some older rolling stock to enhance the frequency and reduce overcrowding.

    I have just read that 3 miles of trunk road are to be made dual carriageway at a cost of £250 million. Three miles of railway track was restored from single track to double track, after being singled by BR, for £20 million, including rebuilding one station and resignalling. On that basis the whole line could have been redoubled for the cost of 6 miles of dual carriageway trunk road, possibly less.

  • Joseph Bourke
    We don’t live in Japan and our privatised trains are not well run or cost effective. I just don’t see the big problem with the state owning things. The National Grid is only a private company because it was privatised and as I said the “energy suppliers” are basically just billing services. We’re just going to have to agree to disagree on the merits of Franchised services and state assets being sold off.

  • Joseph Bourke 16th Jan '19 - 11:11am


    how effective any business is in meeting the needs of its customers comes down to the quality of management and the culture of the organisation. Whether a business is privately owned by shareholders or publicly owned by taxpayers the managemet and staff tend to be the same people. What changes is access to long-term finace is determined by markets/return on capital not public sector borrowing constraints/taxes.
    In public ownership, British Rail was starved of capital and much of its track, signalling equipment and rolling stock fell into disrepair with attendant safety issues. Since privitisation there has been considerable progress in modernising rail infrastructure and rolling stock.
    Franchsiing is not the only model. Regional governments in Japan use a system similar to airports in auctioning time slots on shared lines to private companies to introduce compeition. Another feature of the Japanese system is that most employers reimburse the cost of commuting from home to work on public transport; and are able to do so tax free under their tax code. These are the kind of evidence based policies that can be usefully developed to improve the operation and cost effectiveness of our railways.
    As noted above Network Rail remains in public ownership. Direct public operation of routes may be appropriate in certain circumstances, but it is not the panacea that it is sometimes made out to be on ideological grouds.

  • Joseph Bourke 15th Jan ’19 – 11:52pm….

    The sale of council homes has been a major cause of homelessness and high rents; in short, a disaster for those on low incomes. When Thatcher came to power over 40% of tenants were in affordable council homes; now it’s less than 8%. Over 40% of those homes sold are now rented out at much higher rents (supported by taxpayer’s housing benefit). And you still support it?
    A for state owned monopolies of the 1970s being “among the greatest millstones round the neck of the economy”; it’s strange that they are still regional monopolies but often owned by states other than the UK. l don’t know if you ever travelled British Rail but, as a commuter at the time, their overall performance was far better than the private ‘monopoly’s problems I now read about.
    BTW, I note when challenged with facts by ‘Glenn’ you dash off to the far east.

    Your view on these matters are Thatcherite Tory, in everything but name. We, as a party, cover a wide spectrum of views and you, TCO and Stimpson (to name a few) are at the other end to me.

  • Peter Hirst 16th Jan '19 - 1:20pm

    Perhaps we are seeing a loosening of the Party system with the whips having less control and MPs voting according to their consciences. More cross Party initiatives would also be welcome. This could be the new centre.

  • nvelope2003 16th Jan '19 - 3:05pm

    David Raw: The point I was trying to make was that restoring a railway can be cheaper than widening a road but it might not always be as useful. Road widening usually requires the purchase of additional land and the acquisition and demolition of property, alterations to nearby roads, building or widening bridges etc, whereas restoring double track to a railway line that had been reduced from double track to single track would not necessarily require any extra land, bridges etc. Widening a railway where the number of tracks had not been reduced previously might be very costly, however, as there might be a need to buy land and rebuild stations.

    Network Rail often uses private contractors for major projects which normally have to be put out to tender like road improvements. I believe their own staff are normally employed on routine maintenance.

    Glenn: Why are Japanese railways so much more efficient than our state controlled railways where the DfT is responsible for almost every timetable change and the train operators are merely contractors providing the agreed services ?

  • Joseph Bourke 16th Jan ’19 – 1:12pm…..Expats, what I respect is evidence and facts not meaningless labels like Thatcherite,neo-liberal, Blairites, orange bookers etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with giving long-term tenants the opportunity to buy council houses, as long as the proceeds are reinvested in replenishing the stock of social housing, as Libdem housing policy advocates……………………

    I gave you facts and, as the policy of council home sales was Thatcher’s, the term ‘Thatcherite’ is hardly meaningless (your introduction of ‘neo-liberal, Blairites, orange bookers etc’ is just a distraction).
    You say you support the sale of council homes yet your support appears to be for a policy that doesn’t exist. Legislation, specifically aimed at preventing councils from replacing sold houses, was introduced and the results are in the ‘facts’ that I gave you.

    In 2012 we promised to build up to 300,000 affordable homes a year; in 2014 we promised the same (BTW we didn’t even reach 50k). This thread is about ‘co-operation’ although, it seems, not with Corbyn’s Labour. Our targets still stand and Labour promises to build around 200,000 a year (1 million over 5 years).

    We have, as I’ve said umpteen times, much in common with Labour.You mention ‘meaningless labels’;if I had a £1 for every ‘Marxist’, ‘Trotsky’, ‘Commie’, ‘Statist’ label on here I’d be a wealthy man.

  • Joseph Bourke 17th Jan '19 - 1:45am


    I think I have been clear that I support Libdem housing policy as updated last spring https://www.libdems.org.uk/spring-18-f4-local-government-housing
    This policy includes allowing receipts from the sale of council housing to be used for the provision of new social housing by local government including meeting the needs of rough sleepers (and giving Local government the discretion to abandon Right to Buy, depending on local need).
    The shelter report on social housing makes the case for an ambitious 20 year program of social housing development https://www.libdemvoice.org/a-land-value-capture-approach-to-social-housing-provision-59645.html . It is an initiative and analysis I fully support.

    The point I am making is that the policy of applying receipts from the sale of council housing to build new stock increases the overall supply of housing while replacing older social housing with new stock. That is something that should be encouraged as part of ensuring that there is adequate levels of housing (both private and public) to meet demand.

  • David Murray 20th Jan '19 - 8:04pm

    Geoffrey Payne “I am tempted to suggest we should re-reclaim Liberalism, say from the Charles Kennedy era …” You should read Charles Kennedy’s book ‘The Future of Politics’ published in 2000, 3 years into the Labour government. It is as relevant today as when it was written, and considers what ‘the voter of 2020’ would be like, and the actions that Liberal Democrats should take to tackle the problems of our society.
    So if you want to be forward looking, read this book, which was looking 20 years ahead!

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