Young Liberals

I wanted to write this article because I wanted to follow on and add a different view point into the mix about the Young Liberals. I have been encouraged to see many articles by folk who want the very best for the Young Liberals and the party. I feel though that there are a few things that I want to add.

I am going to let you all into a little secret – the Young Liberals are far from perfect. But I will say that everyone who holds a position in YL is trying their best even though we don’t get it right all of the time. Let’s review the last year of Young Liberals activity:

  • Multiple Young Liberals used YL’s Young & Winning fund to help win their seats during the 2019 locals.
  • Viral videos during the European elections with over 20K views on one video alone.
  • Most well attended Young Liberals Conference with new attendees counting for 1/2 of the total attendance.
  • New style guide so good the London Mayoral campaign adopted it.
  • Hosted LYMEC (European Liberal Youth) Conference.
  • Had to deal with the abysmal General election campaign.
  • Elected young members onto Federal Policy Committee, Federal Conference Committee, English Council Executive as well as a host of other YL sympathetic candidates.
  • Increased our grant from the English Party by £4,000.
  • All our delegates present at the English Council.
  • Rolled out a new accreditation scheme.
  • Recently we have held weekly webinars giving our members direct access to our MPs.
  • We were also gearing up to distribute Young and Winning grants to a diverse range of young candidates including women, BAME and LGBT candidates.

I think it is easy to poke holes in what the Young Liberals do but hard working people who volunteer their time whilst in full time work or study and still manage to deal with everything that has gone on this year is an achievement in itself. There are plenty of things that do need improving. Everyone joins the executive wanting to change the structural problems within. I know because I oversaw the transition from Chatbox to Forum. A structural change that was controversial at the time but has improved the online atmosphere in the Young Liberals and our image to the wider party.

There are some things that the Young Liberals Executive has authority over and can change and then there are things which we really do not have control over and can’t change and I think it is important to note that. For Young Liberals who do have ideas or questions, please, post on Young Liberals Forum, email us, drop us a Direct Message.

I have never been shy to voice what I disagree with officers in YL on. For example: I believed at the time that the Accreditation Scheme should have been implemented after 2019 freshers or no price disparity on freshers packs for accredited societies vs non-accredited ones in the first year. Minor improvements were made and it passed. Now we have a good scheme which have come in handy. Before Coronavirus hit we were putting it to the test with a large scale campaign on Erasmus. I also proposed a Risk Assessment last year. The exec shot it down but we had the discussion and considered it.

My main point of this article is this: The Young Liberals are not a perfect organisation. We can improve on some things, we don’t have the hours in the day to improve on others and some things are really outside of our control. Please go to youngliberals.uk and if you have specific ideas and queries please email the relevant office holders.

 

* Jack Worrall is the Chair of the English Young Liberals, who deal with the regional Young Liberals. In his spare time he likes to play darts.

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3 Comments

  • David Garlick 19th Jun '20 - 10:20am

    I was heartened by this article as it held, for me, the honesty that no organisation young or old is perfect, and an openness and willingness to learn and improve. Keep up the good stuff YLD’s.

  • Do all young new members automatically join The Young Liberals similar to members joining a constituency or is it optional? Is there the possibility of them mixing at a higher level than constituency though lower than regionally? In larger geographical constituencies those who live closer might live in different constituencies or regions.

  • Jack – good article and great to see how much vigour there is in the YL’s. This may be a subject for another article, but I’d be interested to know what YL’s think the Party needs to do in order to make our Party the default one for idealistic young people rather than the Greens and Labour which seems to be the case at present.

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