What does the future hold for British politics? Never Mind The Bar Charts

Welcome to the first episode of Never Mind The Bar Charts‘s second season, featuring for the first special guest former Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone.

Show notes

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8 responses to “What does the future hold for British politics? Never Mind The Bar Charts”

  1. That’s the first of your podcasts that I’ve listened to but I will be a regular from now on. However Lynn at times struggled to put her points across because you were talking across her (see 12m and 15m for example) and she is also softly spoken. She was advocating a move away from ‘Remain’ but you didn’t explore with her what might be her alternatives.

    If you were using just one microphone it needed to be ‘nearer’ to Lynn but there was also a significant echo coming across which I found to be very distracting.

    Keep up the good work and I wish you well in your role as President. There’s a lot of work to do to counter the Boris bus and hold it to account. Collaboration in its various guises is the only way forward as I see it.

  2. It would be interesting to hear from some of the former Tory and Labour MPs who joined us as to what future they now see for the Liberal Democrats

  3. I understand Lynne’s pessimism in the face of such a defeat for the centrist, pragmatic politics as the recent general election presented. She is quite right, looking at it from an elected politician’s perspective that she was (she was my MP and absolutely brilliant, second to none).
    There is politics beyond the institutional framework. I came of age in a communist system and the only way to get politically involved in order to challenge the status quo was outside the institutions. So I see the current problems of the Lib Dems as failure to transcend the institutional frameworks.
    Before 2015, we were a small party (in terms of membership) heavily represented in both houses and most of the party energy was spent on the work there (formulating policies at conferences and tabling motions in the Parliament).
    (i) We need to start doing what Lynne did when she fought her campaign in 2005 (with a very small local party base and no help from the media): campaign on grass roots level to get things done that would improve lives of residents – potholes, zebra crossings, bus routes, amenities, rubbish collection… And not just campaign, but get things done, like Lynne did – by hook or by crook. If fallen leaves are left lying on the pavements, we can turn up with brooms and sweep them, then post a leaflet through every door in the street with a break-down of the cost to the Council of sweeping the street (always modest). Let our rivals complain then about Lib Dem wasting paper?
    (ii) I wish we would move from the current centrist/responsible/pragmatic/tactical thinking and embrace in our policy-making what makes Lib Dems movement such fun to be a part of: liberal and tolerant to the power of nine, socially conscious to the extreme, non-judgmental in all and eccentric in some situations, but always radical and bold in our vision for better future.
    (iii) I also wish we would copy what other parties do well. Labour bed in extremely well in all community groups; Tories are civic minded. We Lib Dems often become invisible past the campaigns. It is arrogance to separate politics from ordinary, mundane needs.
    Lynne was known as a local campaigner before the residents of Hornsey and Wood Green got leaflets from her asking for their vote. That is how she won two terms and it took a rout of Lib Dems for her to lose her seat in 2015. I don’t agree with her on EU, but I am a remoaner. To me it is about values and if I am in the minority, so be it. But that is certainly a debate we should have within the party; it is a Lib Dem way. And, Lynne, true to her form, is trying to get it going.

  4. Indijana – Absolutely Spot On !!!

    Every word there is absolutely how I feel !!

    We have become too political, too serious …

    Tories I know across the country are very civic minded, although I can’t stand their party and many of their members and councillors – they are Involved locally in many many organisations from the Round Table type of set-ups to charitable voluntary work. Labour people are also very often involved with local schools or churches etc – we need to be seen out and about not just politically !!

    Cllr Nick Cotter

  5. When, prior to the election, I joined a couple of Lib Dem Information Tables in my area, it was to find the members standing or sitting behind a pile of leaflets. very few people stopped.

    At 89 years of age I felt bold enough to step out and politely speak to passers-by,asking them their views on Brexit. There were a few insults, but a handful of people engaged in conversations and picked up our leaflets before I was stopped by the Lib Dems in charge.

    I was never agressive – but surely one should take the initiative. I know that when I see such a table, I shy away from it. A smile and a polite question would always prompt me to some kind of response – and I know I had more success than the more ‘Senior’ Lib Dems ‘manning’ those tables…

    Also – I often suggest bold headlines, but it seems we bend over backwards to be genteely polite – unlike ALL the opposition.

    I attended a few recent Council hustings, and I have to say that in every case, the speaker who turned up for The Green Party was always far and away the best. Most of the Lib Dem candidates stayed seated and looked down when reading their notes – A Labour MP STOOD UP and addressed the audience properly. In our area at least, some lessons on Public Speaking are badly needed. Heck – I left school at 15, but was taught to stand up and read loudly and clearly ABOVE my book or paper… (that was in 1941!)

    Sorry for all the criticism – but it is meant to be positive.

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