The Guardian cottons on to rise and rise of the Social Liberal Forum

The Social Liberal Forum got a profile in The Guardian this week, rightly highlighting its growing influence in the party (something I particularly noted over the Sheffield health debate):

In a tribute to the forum’s growing influence, cabinet ministers Vince Cable and Chris Huhne will attend the SLF conference on Saturday, with party deputy leader Simon Hughes.

The group claims about 1,500 members, and has no full time staff. It has only just appointed a director – Mark Blackburn, a former Lib Dem candidate for Westminster.

The group was set up after the party leadership won a vote at the 2008 party conference that any savings from identifying waste should be used to fund tax cuts, as opposed to more efficient public spending. SLF members saw this as an ideological shift that had to be resisted.

The profile doesn’t really catch the key decision made by the SLF (reflected in some of the changes in the key people involved in it) to be a “we agree with coalition but we want to make it better” group rather than a “we don’t like coalition” group. Even so, the full piece is well worth a read.

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