Welcome to my day – 10 May 2021: reasons to be cheerful?

It’s been a tough decade or so to be a Liberal Democrat – losing sucks, and watching your friends and colleagues fight unsuccessful campaigns doesn’t exactly raise the spirits. But this year felt a bit better, despite the losses in some places, some familiar faces were pictured smiling, and there were plenty of new faces doing the same. We’ve demonstrated some relevance and proven that, with hard work, spirit and persistence (and, occasionally, a fair wind), Liberal Democrats can win pretty much anywhere.

That’s not to say that the results are great. Caron, who knows far more than I ever will about Scottish politics, has commented on Scotland here, and I think that she says all that needs saying. We dodged a bullet in Wales, and we do look a fair way from winning a Westminster seat based on the results this time. Finding ways to stay relevant is the key, I guess.

And, in England, those who had a message to broadcast, and a record of hard work, did well. There aren’t enough of us yet, but success tends to begat success, so there is hope. The number of young candidates was a promising sign too, and if they can be encouraged to persevere, and supported, the makings of some good results in the coming years exist.

With English Councils finishing their counts yesterday, the BBC shows us up 1 council and up seven councillors overall, whilst the Guardian shows us up 1 council and up three councillors (they’re a council short as I type this though). Which leaves us the question, will Theakes run naked around his kitchen as promised, and will it be on video?

So, what does today bring?

We’ve got a piece from Stephen Barber on political realignment, which is in the air again, following Labour losses and Green successes. Is a progressive alliance possible, do Labour have to be part of it, and where does liberalism fit in? Also, William Wallace responds to the outcome of the elections and anticipates Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech.

Let the week begin…

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  • Steve Trevethan 10th May '21 - 8:30am

    What are we doing about the strongly alleged plans to exclude citizens from the right and power to vote?

  • Context matters, most of us were expecting to make Losses but in fact we made (tiny) gains. Whats more, those gains were not all in the south or University Towns, many were in Brexit Voting areas.
    Plus Covid, that hamstrung our campaigning & gave a massive boost to Parties in Government & especially The Leaders of those Parties – Johnson, Sturgeon & Drakeford.

  • Phil Beesley 10th May '21 - 10:37pm

    The Green results are worrying. I mostly like Greens, but some of them are not very liberal.

  • Peter Martin 11th May '21 - 11:34am

    One reason that some might be cheerful is the pound is riding quite high at the moment. It is currently sitting at US$1.4125

    There will be those won’t be too cheerful about that because they predicted the pound would fall off the proverbial cliff as a result of Brexit. They haven’t been proven right!

    Others, like me, are concerned that the pound can be too high and can damage our export industries. It also means that our current account deficit will likely rise. This in itself doesn’t have to be a huge problem if Governments recognise that they will have to replace the pounds that are leaving the economy, to pay the import bills, by deficit spending new ones into the economy. They should only not do this if inflation starts to become an issue.

    But, can we rely on the neoliberals in Government to get it rght?

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