Here’s the latest piece I’ve written for the party website as part of my pitch to be the next Liberal Democrat Party President:
During the recent online hustings, the chair Lorely Burt produced a horribly complicated diagram from a few years back showing how the Liberal Democrats are structured. It’s a good point – our organisation can be complicated, confusing and even hazardous to navigate.
Looking at the diagram, I did a quick mental tally of how many of the bodies shown on it I’ve served on at some point in my many years as a party staffer, including running the party’s digital operation for Charles Kennedy, and as a volunteer, as a local party officer, regional officer, English party committee member and federal committee member.
There’s a serious, very relevant point here.
There’s an urgency in the battle against Brexit. An urgency to protect our climate from cataclysmic change. An urgency to reduce inequality and heal the divisions in our society.
Which means there’s an urgency in us stepping up, winning bigger and better than ever before.
That’s what I can do if you choose to elect me your President.
I’ve got the experience, the knowledge, the friendships, even a few scars, from working out what needs doing – and then making it happen:
You may well have met me travelling the country, doing fundraisers, giving talks, running training sessions and campaigning on the streets.
Or online, committed to keeping members informed, such as with the monthly Liberal Democrat Newswire newsletter, or the many campaign resources I’ve put together and made available, including my new guides to canvassing and leafleting.
With your support, right from day one as your President, I can be working with you to make sure our strategy and organisation are right.
That’s not just a promise about changes in the future. You can look at my track record too, from which here are just a few examples:
- Strategy: Creating and winning the party over with David Howarth to the core votes strategy after our 2015 debacle – the strategy that has underpinned our recovery since.
- Improving our diversity: Having a central role in getting gender-balance rules for our selections when the London Assembly was created and mentoring female and BAME candidates.
- Local government: Working with our councillor organisation, ALDC, to raise the money to give Liberal Democrats from seven areas without Lib Dem councillors an intensive package of training and support through to the May local elections.
- Involving new members: Persuading then colleagues on our policy committee (FPC) that we should advertise policy working group chairs to the whole membership – opening up these key roles to all members, not just those already known by a select few in Westminster.
Nearly every week there are council by-elections. We know there will be a big round of elections in May, including our best ever chance to win the Mayor of London. And who knows how many general elections or referendums there will be by Christmas 2020?
That’s why there’s an urgency about us getting things right. That’s why I’m running with a clear, specific plan based on listening and experience about what we need to do.
And that’s why, with your support, we’ll get the strategy and organisation right so even more of us win, again and again.
Your support can help make that happen – so please do sign up to back my campaign.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.