Which Lib Dem ministers should Nick Clegg sack?

The invisible ministers should up their game, or be sacked

For the start of both 2011 and 2012, I wrote about the challenges the party faced in government. For 2013 I didn’t pen a sequel because I couldn’t think of much to say other than “see 2011 and 2012”.

However, in one respect my view has got tougher another year and a half on.

The party can’t afford the luxury of the invisible junior ministers – those who do a perfectly nice, decent job somewhere in the bowels of government but are almost never heard of and do almost nothing to win the party votes or attract new members.

Yes, it’s tough being a minister and an MP, taking up for the conscientious the amount of time that in any other profession would have people demanding huge cuts in the hours worked.

But the good ones know that communicating and winning support isn’t an optional extra to be postponed until that mythical free day finally arrives. The good ones know that it is an inherent part of the job – because without coverage, members and votes there ends up being no ministers either.

As for the bad ones, despite being a minister they email fewer party members, secure less press coverage and do less to build up the party than I do, despite me having a full time non-political job.  (The same applies too of course to others in the party too. I just happen to notice my own activities more closely and so know the benchmark against which I’m judging others.)

There’s really no excuse for doing so badly as a minster.

Three years in, if a minister hasn’t worked out how to do better than that, should they still be a minister? I think not.

And if Nick Clegg is as serious about repeatedly winning power as he tells the rest of us to be, then he should be giving them all the simple choice: play your part in the party’s political success, or say goodbye to being a minister.

2 responses to “Which Lib Dem ministers should Nick Clegg sack?”

  1. Good article Mark. I think this would apply to all elected members including councillors and MSPs
    How can we get better at promoting the party at a local level if elected members turn their back on the party after polling day?

  2. The problem we have is that we persuade people to stand for us who have no background in politics or Liberal Democracy.  Even if they are genuine Liberal Democrats they often don’t understand that they got elected because of the party.  They think it’s all about them and think the party had nothing to do with getting them elected.  Thus they see no need to help the party. Also party and group leaders don’t push the point because they fear the MP/Minister/ Councillor/MSP/AM will kick up or worse still leave the party.
    We need to find better. committed candidates who eventually will be in the position that they can give something back. And yes, I do know how difficult it is, I’ve recruited lots of people to stand for us.

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