Big Ideas. Bigger Glasses.
Sean is a Philosopher in-training and Liberal Democrat in practise.
Breaking News: Liberal Democrats to “call it a day”
“Liberal Democrats to call it a day”
Following groundbreaking analysis from the Independent on Sunday, which shows fewer Liberal Democrat candidates standing in this year’s local elections, and a dwindling activist base, Britain’s third largest party have collectively decided to ‘call it a day’.
Rather than facing up to the challenge of a downward trend of political participation – with steadily declining year-on-year membership for all political parties – the Liberal Democrats are the first major party to concede to the wisdom of comment-authors in such papers as the Guardian, who have claimed they will be “consined to thee history books”
Membership officers in local branches across the country have breathed a collective sigh of relief, and many hope this will signal the end of media interest in the party sparked when Liberal Democrats took office for the first time in nearly a century in 2010. One South-West officer, who wished to remain anonymous, commented “the end of the road has finally arrived for many of us who have dedicated much of our lives fighting for the little things: civil liberties, a green economy and greater powers for local people… most of our members are getting on now, and this is our chance to just enjoy a quiet retirement”
Concerns have been raised about who will be left to govern Britain with many - from environmentalists to human rights lawyers - fearing that the Liberal Democrats leaving the national stage will leave the Tories in power unchecked.
But senior figures in the party have sought to dismiss these concerns. Thomas Hamm, editor of GreenLawns.org.uk, which unofficially represents the party at a grassroots level, said “there is a lot of misplaced anger towards the Tories… we might be fundamentally opposed to their view of society, and disagree over a few issues such as secret courts, email monitoring, electoral reform, party funding, the environment, equal opportunities – oh and gay marriage – but being in government is like being in a greenhouse… when things heat up its better to be on the outside p***ing in,”
Most appear to be happy with the decision, which is expected to be approved by a special “dissolution conference” to be called immediately – benefactors of this decision include UKIP who are picking up many of the votes of those who believe two-party politics is no longer the answer, and the Greens who are expected to take in a rag-tag of protest votes, and kind, sensible folk who like putting up posters during election times.
A small, radical group of activists including a handful of current MPs, councillors and young people who describe themselves as “fundamentally Liberal” have sparked a telling-off from bloggers and commenters across the internet for vowing to fight on seat-by-seat, vote-by-vote to defend a Liberal vision for the country. But with wildly ambitious targets such as recruiting at least 10 members each, it is safe to bid them rest in pieces…
Reasons to be Cheerful
Originally published on Lib Dem Voice
Waking up to the encouraging string of headlines as I did on Monday, I’m suddenly wondering if this is the point where we as a party have started getting it right?
If there are three uncontroversial elements to Lib Dem identity then equal marriage rights, campaigning against Trident and defending the individual (Nick Clegg launching the #thisisabuse campaign) are surely good starting points?
Conference is this weekend, so you could be forgiven for thinking these brilliant policies appear pre-emptively in our packs – but no, it’s almost as if we are a party of government: the Deputy Prime Minister appearing on the BBC; CentreForum’s report featured in the Guardian and our calls for Equal Marriage igniting support across Twitter, and appearing as the Times (£) leader.
I’m very cautiously contrasting this to recent years of the party bemoaning the media bias against us; the constant struggle to show people that the policies they so agree with can be implemented if only they gave us power.
I think this might just be the start of our comeback.We had a Liberal Youth meal last week, and someone pointed out that this was probably the last parliament before all parties start turning their attention towards the fight of 2015. We’re nearly 2 years into a coalition government, and the Liberal Democrats are in power, playing a vital role in shaping the government’s identity and initiative.
Let’s make the most of it – playing a positive and influential role, celebrating our successes and being the engine of reform and progress in government. We’ve finally broken through the establishment to show the press, and the public that we can hold power and be effective, now we have to capitalize on it in local elections in May, and continuing to shape the government’s agenda for the rest of our time in power.