Friday, June 15, 2007

The Lib Dem Narrative, what does it have to do with Ming?

I have had a pretty manic week, augmented by a very interesting FPC meeting on Tuesday evening (I know, easily pleased me - don't get out much!). There was much debate about what our narrative should be, following the production of an excellent paper from one of our FPCers (not sure if I'm allowed to say who and you know I never say anything I shouldn't). One of the points s/he drew attention to was the importance of the leader in any narrative. Thatcher, Blair, now Cameron all have stories which coalesce around them as individuals. And so it has to be for us, whatever our story it cannot be disconnected from the leader. Love him or hate him he has to be our starting point, any story that appears at odds with who he is will lack integrity.

So, this concept has been playing on my mind all week. We have to find a way to express why and how what we stand for is different to the other parties, but it has to hook into our leader. Hmmmmmm.

For me, I think we should express ourselves in terms of three virtual worlds (actually one of them is sadly real!) what the Labour world looks like, what the Tory world looks like and what our world looks like. What would be different if we were in power? What would be happening that isn't happening now, what wouldn't be happening that is happening now? We all believe our world would be the fairest, the most just, the most green and the most free - but these are all values the other parties claim to espouse. So how can we tell our story in a way that expresses the differences clearly and succinctly? And how is that story expressed in the man we have elected as our leader?.............................

.................................and how long have we got to come up with an answer?!

(answers on a postcard please)


Laurence Boyce said...

I agree that our party should be the most green and the most free. How might this theme hook up with the leader? Suppose we send him on extended gardening leave?

Paul Walter said...

Our leader has tremendously liberal instincts and his whole life has been marked by working for liberalism. So it is not difficult to connect him to our narrative. He actually believes in it and the party believes in it. Compare that to both Labour and the Tories whose leadership has been worlds away from their membership.

Laurence Boyce said...

Ming also does fairness and justice very well. Perhaps he could be Speaker of the House?