What would a truly liberal Britain look like?

Your Liberal BritainWell, let’s begin with this, it won’t be heaven on earth, but it certainly wouldn’t be hell on earth either.  Liberalism is not in my view, utopian, it is pragmatic and ethical, stemming from a set of principles for governance that tend towards the capacity for any society to thrive.

Britain is class ridden, and economically and socially divided, naturally these groups collude and come into conflict, a Liberal Britain would prevent these special interest groups from overpowering the rights and responsibilities of each and every citizen in law and opportunity. Harnessing to the greater good, the productive capacity of competition through regulation, rather than allowing conflicts to simmer into a demoralising morass through indifference or monopolies.

The different endowments in society suffer if political representation is skewed away from something which reflects the situation on the ground, and that in turn chokes our capacity to thrive, it turns people towards authoritarian solutions. So, a Liberal Britain would have an accessible political system that proportionally represents the will of the people, lives with the compromises that it produces and engenders something more tolerant than we now see. It rests on good will, rather than the desperate and often immoral striving for self assertion. 

The country has a simply outstanding legacy, in every regard, it’s cultural, natural and human resources seem simply boundless considering its scale. A Liberal Britain trusts in the ability of the people, in possession of this place and heritage to contribute to its furtherance, to enhance its standing, to share its gift widely and generously. To learn from others, welcome those who would learn from us, and partner properly with others to advance prosperity in its widest sense.

All that said, Liberalism cannot afford to be naive, it has real enemies, and will need defending by an infrastructure that is not simply exceptional in its capabilities, but is also an active arm of our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. Respected and welcomed as a stabilising and productive influence, under the direction of society that is not simply looking after its own interests abroad. It also needs defending at home from criminality and the kind of anti-social conduct that wears away at the efforts of the majority to achieve its goals. Speedy, enlightened, and effective justice lowers the tensions within society and continually demonstrates the standards expected in practical ways.

This piece is part of the Your Liberal Britain series of posts here on Lib Dem Voice. Everyone can take part – why not send in your own vision for Liberal Britain? 
Your Liberal Britain is a grassroots initiative launched and run by new members of the party, inviting every Lib Dem to help explain what the party stands for. We all know we want to build a fair, free and open society – but what would it actually look like? And why should anyone care?
To take part, simply write 500 words in response to the question ‘What would a truly Liberal Britain look like, and what improvements would it bring to people’s lives?“, and send it to [email protected], mentioning ‘Liberal Britain’ in the subject line.
To get inspiration for your post, read others in the series, and take a look at all these ideas that other members have submitted to Your Liberal Britain. You can also get involved by hosting a simple discussion evening with your local party – everything you need to run one is right here.


* live in West Wiltshire, I joined the party just before the last election.

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  • As a non-Lib Dem, it seems to me that though Liberalism may be pragmatic in theory, the Lib Dems themselves are the least pragmatic of all the mainstream parties, and as a pragmatist myself I find this one of the things that most puts me off voting Lib Dem.

    For a perfect example of what I mean you only have to compare the Lib Dems’ total inability to solve its diversity problems with the big improvements made by other parties (even the Tories) over the last 10-20 years.

  • Peter Reynolds 12th Mar '16 - 8:26am

    A truly liberal Britain would vote to leave the EU. It is impossible to aspire to either liberalism or democracy within a superstate that crushes both of these philosophies.

  • Peter Reynolds 12th Mar '16 - 9:39am

    @John Marriott

    We’re thinking along the same lines!

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