Friday, May 08, 2015

David Boyle on the radical heart of Liberalism

Where do I begin? How and where do we being to fight back?

David Boyle has at least begun to map the problems we face by describing what has happened to the Liberal Democrats in recent years:
I remember how thrilled I was to sweep through a neighbourhood delivering Focus leaflets with 20 or so other young people, at a jog. We believed in the inevitability of the cause – to take power in order to give it away. We felt like the political wing of the counterculture that grew up at the same time. 
Since then, I’ve watched those I ran with age at the same rate as me (possibly even faster) and take their seats in parliament. I saw them wrestle with government. 
What happened? There was a clue in the email I received yesterday morning from one of the party’s radical stars of the 1990s, taking exception to the slogan “stability, unity, decency”. 
“I joined the Liberal party because I hungered for change,” he wrote, “radical change to make the world a better place, not to keep things as they are.” 
The problem is that the trauma of coalition moulded the party into a deeply pragmatic force, provided them with the dullest manifesto in political history, with all the hallmarks of having been written in Whitehall.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

'This what they want!'

I have re-joined this morning - after a lapse of 5 years due to too many in the party being just like the Tories & labour - their limit of Community campaigning was a newsletter 4 times a year ( no campaigns & not talking to the people between elections). Lets reclaim the Party!
open up to voting on policy to ALL members (dangerous I know - but come on ...if we cant convince Liberals of the argument what hope is their in the voters).
Let members vote for ALL Lords positions - this shouldn't be the Leaders 'gift'..... that's just a start!
Come on liberals a Liberal party needs you!

Phil Beesley said...

I've rejoined today too.

I was shocked when the result of Castle Point was announced; in an electorate of 56,000, only 80 voted Liberal Democrat. I keep checking the result to see if it is an error. It's less bad in Leicestershire but that's not saying much.

It's time to get involved an make a difference.

Tristan said...

Looking in I've seen the same thing, a moderately radical party starting to look rather conservative.

The senior MPs got completely captured by the Westminster bubble and became to believe the group think.

wolfi said...

Seems to me that being in power was detrimental to the Lib Dems - similar to what happened to our German Free Democrats.
At least we have the Greens in Germany that adopted some/many of the Liberal ideas - though of course not re the economy.

And in Hungary (where we live part time) the Liberal world view has been completely demolished - I still don't get it.
So being a junior partner (whether to the conservatives or to the socialist) seems to be not the greatest idea!

Phil Beesley said...

wolfi delivers boring nonsense:
"Seems to me that being in power was detrimental to the Lib Dems - similar to what happened to our German Free Democrats.
At least we have the Greens in Germany that adopted some/many of the Liberal ideas - though of course not re the economy."

What is the point of your arguments?

Jonathan Calder said...

Those arguments make perfect sense to me.

Phil Beesley said...

We need to create an environment in which people talk, win an argument and lose to another without finger pointing.

But we can't do it today. In British politics (Minister question time) there has to be a winner and a loser.

Anonymous said...

Clerihew

Nick Clegg
Was a bit of a curate's egg
He occupied an eminent post
But ended up scrambled on toast.

wolfi said...

@Phil:
Why so angry?
If you don't see it that way could you help me please and explain why the LibDems lost so much?
I don't understand it ...

wolfi said...

OK, just read this - that's enough info for me and food for thought too ...
http://cicerossongs.blogspot.de/2015/05/from-party-of-protest-to-party-of-power.html

Frank H Little said...

In rebuilding parliamentary representation, we have one advantage that the previous taxi-cab sized Liberal Party did not: a base in the Welsh and Scottish parliaments which is unlikely to diminish, thanks to proportional representation.

wolfi said...

An interesting (at least in my eyes) comment on the elections from enfant terrible Krugman:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/opinion/paul-krugman-triumph-of-the-unthinking.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article