Reinventing the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat vote share per candidate at the last general election was the lowest since all women got the vote.

Two and a half years after coming out of coalition, the Liberal Democrat local council base has recovered by a mere net two councillors. (Not 2,000; not 200; not 20; but 2).

It’s now seven years since the Liberal Democrats last regularly polled in double figures in the opinion polls.

And just about every day brings more news that reinforces the need for a strong Liberal Democrat voice in British politics.

That’s why there needs to be a real urgency about rebuilding the Liberal Democrats and involving the huge wave of new party members in doing so. Two-thirds of the party has joined since 2015. Involving them and getting the best from them isn’t just about holding on to our membership growth. It’s about meeting the urgency of the task in front of us.

How do we do this? That’s what a new pamphlet written by Jim Williams and myself sets out to answer. You can read it in full below, including Vince Cable’s foreword.

For me at least the pamphlet is in part a sequel to my two earlier ones: the one that helped kick off much of the party’s strategy debate in the last two years, The 20% Strategy: Building a core vote for the Liberal Democrats (written with David Howarth) and then last year’s Targeting Plus which was much more about party organisation. You’ll see the impact of Jim’s ideas and the success of Your Liberal Britain in how much better this new pamphlet is from that second one.

Reinventing the Liberal Democrats

11 responses to “Reinventing the Liberal Democrats”

  1. Loberated. Listened to it on Soundcloud. When are the next 9 articles to be broadcast? Have they got plans to expand to interview people who have specialist knowledge on subjects, eg housing ,education etc.

  2. Is there a seed change in public attitude to Brexit developing? I hear all sorts of comments on Boris’s newspaper articles. Is it possible that he knows his career is now on the line and his comments are not a power grab or supporting Ms May in her Italian speech? The 350 million for the NHS is not spelled out in black and white in his article ,that is the interpretation that others put on the comment. A clever comment by Boris.

  3. This is truly brilliant! I was a bit worried that Your Liberal Britain had disappeared even though I know it takes a long time to work out ideas and change things. This was compounded by the list of unrelated policies coming to Spring Conference. Is it possible for Mark just to let us know things are progressing every 3 months as part of his usual communication?
    Also in the future can each policy paper and each conference motion show how it relates to the overall strategy?

  4. I would like to join the discussions on re inventing the Liberal Democrats. To start, is there enough space in this Comment for about three A4 pages?

  5. Although previously a Remainer, the arguments for leaving the EU. are becoming more persuasive, Daniel Finkelstein’s ‘Comment’ in Wednesday’s The Times discusses the voters disillusionment with the establishment of the E.U.

    Should we temper our enthusiasm for Europe?

  6. Re-Inventing the Liberal Democrats

    .With the two main parties running out of new ideas, the opportunity exists for the Liberal Democrats to re-invent themselves as Sir Mark Dyson reinvented the vacuum cleaner.
    A quotation from the Office of National Statistics 2016
    “ Para 6. Cash Benefits have the largest effect on reducing income inequality.

    To achieve this the suggestions are :-
    Cash Benefits –
    1. Introduce a Citizens Income aka Universal Basic Income and do away with most of the benefit system.
    2. Revise Personal Allowances so that they equal the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) set by the Rowntree Foundation.

    Tax Raising Potential – Simplification of the tax system is long overdue and the introduction of Land Value Tax would spread the tax burden.

    The proposal is to have two taxes – Income Tax and Land Value Tax, approximately 50% each, and scrap nearly all of the other taxes, namely Value Added Tax (once we have left the E.U.)

    National Insurance, Council Tax, plus Business Rates, Corporation Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax,

    Stamp Duty on Shares, Capital Gains Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, and other minor taxes.
    And all this would reduce the government’s administration costs by a considerable amount, (many hundreds of billions of pounds).
    This outline proposal will require considerable discussions with the necessary restrictions to prevent abuse. But it is hoped that with a free thinking charismatic leader these ideas will help to incentivize the individual and business. With the proper use of all advertising now available (including social media) a centrist party should be able to attract a considerable number of new members.

  7. Our proposals MUST be deliverable.
    So much of the constitution is a wish list of political aspiration.
    For every ten undeliverable items on the wish list let us have just one that has a good chance of being carried out in the real world.
    We suffered a massive negartive backlash on tuition fees because when we got into shared power we just said sorry but it won’t happen.
    The Tories quite rightly said the government can’t afford it.
    In the future we must stick to those things that either have no cost to the tax payer or will be gladly paid for by an increase in tax.

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