The party isn’t someone else, it’s you

A post for Liberal Democrat members as the headline clue suggests…

It’s natural after any major event to start thinking, talking and writing about what could or should have been done differently, and so what should change for the future.

The temptation also is to slip from that into lecturing others, especially those who are in some way remote from you – such as the folks at HQ, on what they should do differently.

You may have noticed me doing that too. But the political party isn’t only made up of others. It’s also made up of ourselves.

Some of the best improvements in the party after the 2015 election happened not because of people saying that someone else should do something different, but because people decided to do something different directly themselves. The hugely successful Lib Dem Pint meetings and the Lib Dem Newbies group on Facebook are probably the two highest profile examples of this.

So here’s a simple challenge (which of course also applies to myself) – when talking about what others should do differently, remember to add in something about what you’ve learnt and what you’d do differently. And if you really can’t think of anything at all that you have learnt from the election about what you did, just perhaps a little more reflection all round is wise before lecturing others too…

As for me, I think there’s much more to learn from and act on from the informal, diversified nature of the Liberal Democrat online audience. I hope I helped contribute to making more of that this time, but it feels like that was still only scratching at the surface of what’s possible and even, looking at our vote share, vital.


2 responses to “The party isn’t someone else, it’s you”

  1. Sorry Mark – in my experience the party is someone else. The Lib Dems are a membership led-organisation in theory only. The actual power lies well away from the informal on-line organisation you are talking about. Often with people who are happy to ignore any rules and process to ensure they keep that power which makes for a pretty unpleasant environment at times

  2. I agree with Hywel. The policy motion on religion in schools, passed only in March 2017, was completely ignored in the 95 page manifesto. Policy made by members totally ignored. HQ is very good at asking for my money, but not so good at replying to my letter asking why the policy was ignored.

    The Lib Dems can stew in their own juice. ‘Membership led in theory only’ is spot on.

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