Welcome to my day: 28 November 2022 – lifting one’s eyes to the horizon…

It’s been a somewhat trying week for your Day Editor, as we’ve come under fire for doing pretty much what we’ve always done from people who’ve previously taken no interest in what we do but would now really rather we did it in a way that they approve of.

In fairness, when you take on a role like this, you expect some criticism. We’re too loyal to the leadership, or not loyal enough. We don’t address the big issues, or focus too much on perceived minutiae. We don’t allow freedom of speech or our moderation is too lax. And, sometimes, that criticism is not unreasonable. As a group of volunteers with our own skill sets and enthusiasms, we will inevitably shape the content and ethos of the site. We may not, in that context, cover a full range of subjects, relying instead on content supplied by others to do so.

In that sense, the support that we receive from our regular contributors helps to keep the site relevant. And if there’s something that you, our readers, feel should be covered, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t offer us your thoughts. Do read our guidelines for authors first though – it really helps us if our editorial role can be delivered with less resource.

We do have an ethos as publishers, however. We try not to do harm and to be respectful to our readers. For example, if we have issues with comments, we prefer to deal with them privately, so as not to harm individuals unduly. We also take a stance on how we will address certain highly controversial issues where we know that strict neutrality is actually harmful to a group or individual. That, as publishers, is our right.

It never does any harm to reflect on how one carries out one’s role, or whether or not you are doing more harm than good in it. And this week has been useful in providing a spur towards carrying out such an exercise.

There is a danger, at moments of controversy, that you allow yourself to be sucked into the vortex of social media, arguing with people who simply don’t see the world the way you do. They can’t, or won’t, be persuaded that you are simply doing your best, guided by your own principles. And, this week, I fell into that trap.

So, all I can do is return to my oars and continue to do what I’ve always done, balancing the competing demands of my responsibility as a Day Editor as best I can, reflecting my support for my Party, my respect for my colleagues and a sense that Liberal Democrat Voice retains some value as a place for liberals to meet, debate the issues of the day and keep up to date with events.

But enough editorial philosophising. I was out on the streets of Ipswich on Saturday, delivering personally addressed envelopes to postal voters in advance of a Borough Council by-election on 15 December, and I was reminded that it’s now only five months until another set of local elections. Across the country, Liberal Democrat activists and supporters are leafleting, canvassing and working in their communities, and we’re keen to hear from you in terms of how it’s going. So, if you’re out there, why not let us know how it’s going?

Next weekend, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) meets in Bratislava, and Liberal Democrat Voice will be covering the event at a critical time for European solidarity. I’ll be offering a preview of the event.

I took some time out from walking the “mean streets” of south-east Ipswich to attend the AGM of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association, and we’ll have some news from that event too. By the way, if you’re attending an event organised by one of the Party’s many recognised groups, why not tell our readers about it?

And with that, I’d better return to my day. I hope that all of you have a great one and we’ll maybe catch up at the end of it…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and, apparently, a Party apparatchik.

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13 Comments

  • Emily Smith 28th Nov '22 - 8:17am

    Moderating sites like this must be a largely thankless task, but such an important and valued one. So I wanted to say thank you, to Mark and the others who volunteers to do this for us. It is appreciated (from so done who rarely comments and never writes for LDV, but always reads it)

  • Graham Jeffs 28th Nov '22 - 10:06am

    Seconded Emily. And I must say that I do like Mark’s style – his contributions are always delightfully sensible and measured.

  • Nonconformistradical 28th Nov '22 - 11:15am

    Thirded

  • Massimo Ricciuti 28th Nov '22 - 12:44pm

    Go on, Mark! It’s such a great work and Liberal Democrat Voice is a very good place to read and think. So thank you and thank you all of the team!!!

  • Fourthed! Thank you Mark and team. I may no longer be a member of the party, having moved north of the border, but part of my heart is still with the Lib Dem party and the LDV is a great asset.

  • David Garlick 29th Nov '22 - 2:06pm

    There is no one more important than those who ‘do stuff’ on our behalf.

    Always happy to be moderated even though I do sometimes have to moderate myself prior to pressing the send button…
    Thanks to all editors for your fine efforts.

  • Suzanne Fletcher 29th Nov '22 - 4:14pm

    Oh dear, sorry you get so much flack. It must be hard work to keep on top of it all.
    I f I had more time I would put more in (hoping that would aid not add to criticisms!). problem with contributing to other posts is I get (my choice) the link daily (I’d never get anything else done if every time there was something to look at) and people have moved onto the next issue by then and I am the last comment. I don’t assume that means everyone will have agreed with me!
    re your comment about getting out onto the streets, I do wonder how much time is spent on a keyboard rather than actually campaigning against the real enemies of Liberalism, not the internal one’s of different aspects of being doing and thinking as a Liberal. there are times I wonder how bad things have to be to be more outwood focussed.

  • Peter Hirst 29th Nov '22 - 4:26pm

    Doing almost anything in the public sphere will invite criticism. If it did not then perhaps we should look at our freedom of expression laws. Likewise contributing to this series of blogs should not confine anyone to what is said unless it is stated as policy. What is true on one day might not be on the next. The best that can be expected is that the person believes what they write to be true to them at the time they write it in that particular context.

  • I’ve just finished a novel where one character has a theory: that people who FIGHT for a cause are just angry and miserable (against people who WORK for a cause). Zero tolerance for nuances, let alone opposite views. Often angry on behalf of a group to which they champion but don’t personally belong. (That put me off Labour in my student days!)

    Long may our party continue to embrace: Friends of Palestine & Friends of Israel; Christians & Muslims & atheists; even Leave voters as well as Remainers 😉 …

    And yes, the editors’ efforts are appreciated, in both senses of the word (even if we don’t always get our own way!)

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