Saturday, May 25, 2019

We should not be afraid If policy differences emerge between Jo Swinson and Ed Davey

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With characteristic benevolence, Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice looks forward to a "friendly" Lib Dem leadership contest.

Being of a meaner disposition, I though about a post I wrote last year:
It looks to me as though we Lib Dems are too scared of rocking the boat to have really informative leadership elections. 
Some like to talk of the "Lib Dem family," but in my experience happy families are those that can have lively discussions, even rows, and make their peace afterwards. 
We Lib Dems, by contrast, resemble an unhappy family where everyone is sat around the dining table on their best behaviour and terrified of saying the wrong thing.
Reading the post today, I can see that I should also have mentioned Norman Lamb's sceptical view of the European Union when discussing our 2015 leadership election.

I've never been sure quite what Norman believes here or whether his attempts to distance himself from the rest of the party arise simply from the prevailing view of the matter among his electors in Norfolk. But some of the names that worked on his campaign do make you raise your eyes. 

Had he been elected in 2015, I suspect his view of the EU would have been at least as big a problem for the party as Tim Farron's worries about gay sex turned out to be.

I don't know if there are policy difference between Jo Swinson and Ed Davey. I hope some do emerge and that they will be robustly debated.

If we can be robust and friendly, so much the better.

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