Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Can the LibDems Fill the Widening Gap?

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 15th August, 2015

Tim Farron 2The divide between Britain’s two major parties appears to be getting wider by the day, as David Cameron’s Conservatives drop all pretence at being One Nation Tories and instead adopt their default position of being the party of business and the rich. Labour, meanwhile, is in love with Jeremy Corbyn, or at least the bulk of its membership and newly signed-up supporters say they are, and the trade unions are therefore salivating at the prospect of acquiring more influence on politics than has been the case for decades. The net result is a yawning centre ground, and the challenge for the Liberal Democrats will be to show that we can fill it, by promoting policies that are radical but realistic, firmly rooted in liberal values which are shared by a sizeable proportion if the UK electorate, championing fairness and equality of opportunity, civil liberties, environmentalism and internationalism. I am not suggesting that is a complete list of priorities but they should be important foundations. With a much reduced contingent in the House of Commons, and the consequent inevitable fall in media interest, the LibDems will have a hard task ahead. Tim Farron, fresh from his well-deserved holiday will have to hit the ground running, as he did by showing a moral lead vis-a-vis the refugees and migrants in Calais. Next month’s Bournemouth conference must be a springboard that will grab the headlines. And local parties really must endeavour to fight every election that comes along, big or small. A golden opportunity has arisen because of Labour’s disarray but it must be seized before it slips away.

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One Response to “Can the LibDems Fill the Widening Gap?”

  1. Paul Kennedy said

    Hi Jonathan, the Conservatives have not dropped ALL PRETENCE of one-nation Toryism. Indeed almost every statement from the Tories uses the phrase. But I agree it does not reflect reality and that their use of the phrase is increasingly Orwellian – either they don’t really believe it, or if they do it is only by redefining that one nation to include only their own supporters and those who adhere to their ‘values’. How best to expose them – or do we let them expose their own hypocrisy?

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