Creating a new strategy for the Liberal Democrats: kicking off the process

The new Liberal Democrat Federal Board comes with a new responsibility for drawing up and then managing the party’s strategy. The Board has kicked off its work on this by creating a working group to draft proposals which will come to the Federal Board and then in turn to the party’s federal conference – aiming for this autumn.

I of course have a view or two on the party’s strategy. So I am really pleased to have my name in the list of the group’s members, and to have a great team of colleagues to work with:

Sal Brinton (Chair)
Jane Dodds (Welsh Rep)
Neil Fawcett
Jeremy Hargreaves (Federal Policy Committee Representative)
Caron Lindsay (Scottish Rep)
Gordon Lishman
Chris Maines (Federal Conference Committee Representative)
Mark Pack

This is what I said in my mini-statement which we all produced as part of the process of putting the group together:

We are a political party which seeks to win elections. We are also a political movement which seeks to change society. We both need to win elections and to mobilise a grassroots popular movement in support of our vision for society. That is all the more important now, with liberalism battered by hostile populist forces.

The best way to do this is to build up our core vote – creating a stronger and larger foundations for success in the way I set out in the pamphlet written with David Howarth.

To be effective, rather than simply a collection of everyone’s good tactical ideas, our strategy should be organised around a small number of clear themes, covering both politics and organisation. It also needs to be a strategy for the whole party – not just one for the Chief Executive to implement with HQ staff. That means we must draft it working closely with a wide range of perspectives from across the party. Working on communication and organisational strategies for complicated organisations with multiple different stakeholders is a regular part of my day job at a communications consultancy.

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