Welsh Lib Dems’ Leadership: Jane Dodd writes “I want to lead a party that is radical and reforming”

I have to start by saying that I am not that happy to be standing against Liz Evans, a colleague for whom I have enormous respect.  My only comfort is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will have a Welsh speaking woman from mid-Wales as their next leader.

I believe that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have the talent, the drive, the enthusiasm and the ambition to start winning again, but we need to rebuild the party.  We need more members, more councillors and to win seats in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2021 and in the next Parliamentary elections.  The Welsh party needs to work with the Federal Party to forge a relationship that helps us to transform ourselves.  And Wales needs the Welsh Liberal Democrats to offer real, meaningful, and Liberal solutions to the deep seated inequalities people face.

Progress has been too slow.  As a social worker, I have seen at first hand the inequalities in our society and the hardship suffered by people as they face a lack of good quality homes and a paucity of well-paid and full time employment. People in Wales have health services which are well below the standards in England, and we need improved access to mental health provision.  We need to sustain our support to our Education Cabinet Secretary in Kirsty Williams as she continues to deliver progressive policies to improve educational standards for Welsh children.

We need an economic plan that breathes life back in to Wales, and to put green policies and renewable energy developments at the forefront of our strategy. We need to be an outward looking Wales – welcoming refugees and helping those in need, as well as joining Vince and all other Liberal Democrats in challenging Brexit.  

I want to lead a party of social justice to address the five evils that Beveridge identified more than 75 years ago.  I want to lead a party that is radical and reforming.  I want to lead a party that is diverse and offers distinct policies.  We’re resilient, we’re determined, and we’ve got renewed energy.  I want to work with members to capture that renewed enthusiasm and to deliver change in our party and in our country.

A Leader in Wales is only as good as her team, and I believe the Welsh Liberal Democrats are a team that will go on to win.

Fydd y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol yn mynd ymlaen i ennill.

(last line says “The Welsh Liberal Democrats will go on and win)

* Jane Dodds was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Montgomeryshire and is standing to be Welsh Lib Dem Leader.

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11 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Oct '17 - 1:55pm

    Jane

    Your views here and ideas too are very much needed , as part of the improvement of our society , and revival of the party.

    I wonder if you could say a little about the rights to leadership in our devolved parties, it is a bit daft that the leadership of Wales or Sctotland Liberal Democrat leaders do not have to be mps , or members of devolved assemblies or parliamentatians, yet to as a national leaders have to be in the Commons.

    We , like Wales for your leader role, would widen our potential if , like the Greens and UKIP , we widened the availability of candidates.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Oct '17 - 1:57pm

    Apologies for typying errors, but you get the gist !

  • Lorenzo – the only reason the Welsh party leader doesn’t have to be an MP or AM is because we no longer have any. Its not out of choice.

    Good to see an article from Jane Dodds – Though, I personally think one of the big problems is and has been for several years that the party in Wales doesn’t actually have much in the way of ambition for either itself or for Wales.

    So a question for you if you are reading, how would you intend to change that, or make clear what our ambitions are if you do believe that we already have them.

  • Matt (Bristol) 17th Oct '17 - 2:49pm

    Er, you do have an AM, James… (But Kirsty WIilliams for life is clearly not sustainable as a strategy).

  • Ye, should have been clearer, obviously we do still have Kirsty Williams. However, as you said, a strategy of Kirsty as leader for life isn’t sustainable – plus, as she is currently a Government Minister, we don’t really have her as an AM at the moment anyway as she simply isn’t able to do much in the way of promoting the party.

  • Andrew Deuchar 18th Oct '17 - 9:20am

    Kirsty is assiduous and energetic in her work supporting Liberal Democrat policies and activities, especially in her own constituency (which is her primary responsibility). The constant sniping at her from some within the party is one of the reasons I have, after two years in the party, withdrawn from active involvement. She is making a difference rather than talking about it. I am glad to see Jane overtly offering her support.

  • Agree 100% with Andrew’s comments.

  • I’ve not noticed any ‘constant sniping’ at Kirsty. The fact is however that we are supposed to be a political party, not a cult.

  • “we don’t really have her as an AM at the moment anyway as she simply isn’t able to do much in the way of promoting the party.”

    She can do far more than any other Lib Dem currently (including Vince) in pointing to her record as a Lib Dem in government and demonstrating what the party can do.

    “We need an economic plan that breathes life back in to Wales, and to put green policies and renewable energy developments at the forefront of our strategy. We need to be an outward looking Wales – welcoming refugees and helping those in need, as well as joining Vince and all other Liberal Democrats in challenging Brexit. ”

    Bravo. I would only say that, with large parts of Wales supporting Brexit, we have to be even more careful to understand why the Brexit vote happened, reach out to individuals who voted that way and highlight the real positives of being in a reformed EU.

    Good luck with the campaign. Wales definitely needs a strong liberal voice.

  • Matthew Severn 19th Oct '17 - 10:19am

    Welsh lib dems need an honest conversation with themselves and Wales about why they went from 4 MPs and 6 AMs to zero & 1 respectively in 10 years.

  • On BBC Wales today:

    A lead story about Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and David Lammy criticising the lack of Welsh students being offered places at Oxbridge.

    Plaid Cymru have come out with ambitious plans to tackle youth unemployment and to improve public transport in Wales.

    Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has raised concerns about delays to the £200m road building scheme in the Heads of the Valleys.

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