Ed Davey: We’ve always been a party determined to shake up the system

Following his Christmas message, today sees the release of Ed Davey’s New Year message which, with its emphasis on local campaigning, has a welcome echo of last year’s one from Vince Cable:

I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution.

I want to show my community better than ever what liberalism means in action.

So I’ll be working harder than ever in my constituency advice surgeries, helping local people with their financial problems, with their housing issues and working with local people to strengthen our communities, that we’re privileged to serve.

If that sounds like old-fashioned, grassroots, community politics, you’re hearing me.

Last December’s election was, on several levels, deeply depressing.

But flip it over. There’s actually a huge opportunity here for us, the Liberal Democrats.

Of course, we’ve a job to do, continuing to oppose Brexit. To remain Britain’s leading pro-European, internationalist party.

Yet that’s never been our sole purpose, has it? Liberalism is so much more.

We’ve always been a party determined to shake up the system.

Socially. Economically. Politically. Environmentally.

We know Liberal Democrats care passionately about tackling social injustice, creating opportunity, beating climate change.

The question for 2020 is can we show all that to the rest of the UK – our full Liberal purpose?

And that’s where you come in. With your New Year’s Resolution.

Will you join me, in showing your community what liberalism means, in action?

Just pick an issue and go and campaign on it – just like a Liberal Democrat.

If we’ve got a deal on that, there’s at least one deal in 2020 I’ll be able to back.

In Kingston and Surbiton, I’ll be running campaigns for better council homes – and more council housing, supporting my wife Emily, who’s leading the charge.

What are your campaigns going to be?

And we’ll run national campaigns too.

I want 2020 to be the year when Liberal Democrats champion climate action campaigns and show to people that tackling the climate emergency means better-paid jobs, world-class public transport and lower heating bills.

In 2020 the Liberal Democrats will take every opportunity to hold this appalling, right-wing, nationalistic Johnson government to account.

The poorest need us. The climate needs us. The union of the United Kingdom needs us.

So my Liberal Democrat friends – have you made that New Year’s Resolution?

Happy New Year.

In his own New Year message, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also addressed the point about the continuing importance of the Liberal Democrats:

Around the globe, dark currents have buffeted liberal democracy. Boris Johnson’s Brexit threatens to cut us off from our European neighbours, while Donald Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades threaten to undo America’s status as a global leader. Meanwhile from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, protestors and activists face brutal clampdowns. These are the challenges we must face up to over the next twelve months.

Closer to home there are huge challenges too. From long waits for mental health treatment to the bungled rollout of the new childcare entitlement, Liberal Democrats will highlight, debate and scrutinise the government so that everyone can rely on great public services that help them to build a brighter future.

In 2020, I want to see teachers who can get on with teaching without drowning in bureaucracy. I want to see doctors and nurses who have the resources they need to deliver the best quality care. And I want to see police officers who know they can get support when they are dealing with debilitating mental health issues.

If you believe in building a brighter future for people all across the UK, why not join us?

I hope you have a very happy new year.

2019 turned out in the end all too much like my whimsical prediction, but as Ed Davey quite rightly points out – there is still much for Liberal Democrats to do, and many prospects for success as we recover.

Best of luck with your own endeavours.

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7 responses to “Ed Davey: We’ve always been a party determined to shake up the system”

  1. All the best for 2020 Mark. I really appreciate your mailings, indeed there are times when I actually don’t know what I would have done without them. (I’m sorry I can’t currently afford to help with the costs, but I will when I can.)

    2020 is going to be a challenge for any President, but you have a combination of profile, nimbleness, gravitas and openness to new ideas which should stand you in very good stead. Good luck go with you.

  2. Lib Dems seem to be assuming that we can’t do much about the housing crisis as long as this government is in power. But millions of people can’t afford us not to. How do we go about convening a working group within the party to look at what measures we might be able to persuade or force this government to take that might help? And to really share the learning from other Lib Dem councils. Can someone tell me the mechanism please? Thanks.

  3. I liked the tone of Ed Davey’s message. I might characterise it as “back to our roots” i.e. localism and radicalism. We need to rebrand ourselves after Brexit and these seem a good starting point

  4. Agree with Alan, localism is the key for us, and we should be an active part of every interest and campaigning group, across the board.. its a long game.. but I don’t want to see a coronation of Ed as our new leader, so, Mark, what about some coverage of other possible contenders..?

  5. why don’t I see Ed as our next leader? 1) his heavily Christian Christmas message, only speaking for a minority of our membership, and 2) his pro-nuclear position as being part of any ‘answer’ on climate change. We need a radical and visionary approach to our(the party’s and the country’s) problems.

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