Writing by Simon Titley

Simon Titley was a member of the Liberator Collective from 1985 until his death, aged 57, on 31 August 2014.

He became well known for both the quality and quantity of his contributions to the magazine and for the wit, insight and erudition he displayed.

A selection of 40 of his best articles, at least from among those of which we have electronic copies, is now available free on the Liberator website at the ‘writing by Simon Titley’ drop down.

Simon’s articles range over everything from Liberal Democrat strategy to the decline of the middle-class dinner party, from liberals’ difficulty with the concept of class to modern hostility towards people with hobbies, to his frequent theme of the Liberal Democrats inability to build a core vote, or even accept that one is needed.

Sadly, we will never know Simon’s view on the 2015 general election and the end of the Coalition but it would surely have been, like his other writing, lively, well-informed, sometimes infuriating and always thought provoking.

We hope these articles will remind longstanding readers of Simon’s writing and introduce him to those who have not read it before.

Please read the introduction and index document first, then choose the PDFs of those you wish to read.

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9 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '15 - 2:38pm

    Much missed.

  • Ruth Bright 28th Jul '15 - 9:14pm

    Who could ever forget Simon’s PR speak version of the first verses of Genesis:

    1. At the outset, God’s agenda was basically to focus on his core deliverables, namely two leading edge products a. Heaven b. Earth

    2. However, the earth lacked an overall concept, and had a low profile in terms of its key audiences. Obviously the Spirit of God had to step back and benchmark the existing waters before his game plan could get the green light…

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '15 - 10:47pm

    What would he have said about the Northern Powerhouse?
    On the World at One today 28/7/2015 a businessman commented that it was
    a slogan for the general election,
    business initially welcomed it, but only for five weeks because nothing will happen for two years,
    George Osborne should not go around in a hard hat and a high viz jacket because he is not a builder, …

    The First Minister does seem to have taken advice and dresses in a suit.
    There was no comment on his diet or haircut from this practical businessman, and no forecast about his chances of moving next door in 2020.

  • John Tilley 29th Jul '15 - 9:47am

    As someone who knew Simon Titley from the 1970s it seems to me that quite a few of us could have a pretty good guess as to Simon’s view on the 2015 general election and the end of the Coalition.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Jul '15 - 4:44pm

    Would we write with wit?

  • I am of course massively out of touch and was not aware that Simon had died, very sad. I remember him well from the Young Liberal National Eecutive in the 70s. Indeed I am sure I have many of the Liberators from that time.

    A very belated Sorry to here of his death.

  • I never met Simon, but much admired his work. I’ve never really got into reading long articles or books on the internet, but I’ll make an exception for these. I’d be first in line to buy a couple of copies if anyone ever turned this into a printed book, which I think it deserves to be. We could start a campaign to recycle copies of Race Plan and turn them into a Titley collection!

    Thanks to the Liberator team for making these available.

  • John Tilley 31st Jul '15 - 2:15pm

    ChrisB 31st Jul ’15 – 1:14pm
    “….recycle copies of Race Plan and turn them into a Titley collection!”

    What an excellent idea.
    Although I doubt if there were ever enough copies of the Brown Book printed to be able to recycle the paper.
    How many were there beyond the ones which were handed out free to journalists and reviewers?
    It would be fascinating to know how many were printed, the smaller number of how many were actually sold, and the even smaller number – sold at the cover price.

  • John Tilley 31st Jul '15 - 4:59pm

    Well I have just checked and there are 9 copies of the Brown Book available from Amazon of 1penny.

    Nobody is racing to buy Race Plan, that’s for sure.

    A friend in Taunton e-mailed me to say that sales within the local bookshop almost reached double figures.

    I know Simon would have approved of the spectacular failure.

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