Sunday, March 15, 2009

150 Lib Dem MPs......OK Guys - What's the Strategy?

I read Karin Robinson's article on LDV with interest, coming to it late having been away this weekend. We all know, however uncomfortable, it is always essential to listen to how outsiders see us. Cosy consensus is an inevitable default position when we only ever talk to ourselves. I found it particularly pertinent as I have driven back from the South West today mulling over the challenge we face if we are truly to make the breakthrough we all yearn for in British politics.

Nick Clegg took over the leadership with a vision for 150 Lib Dem MP's - Karin accuses us of a paucity of ambition - 150? No way..........if we really want to see transformation in this country I agree, we have to aim higher, we have to talk and think big. We will never achieve any of our goals if we languish in 3rd place. Our policies are the only ones that can truly transform this country, if I didn't believe that, if you didn't believe that, what on earth would we be doing in the Lib Dems?! We would be accepting the dodgy advice of the n'erdowells languishing in the comments pages of Political Betting who think we would be better off defecting to the Tories and Labour!

If all those who said they would vote for us thought we really had a chance and did so, there is no doubt we would be in power within two general elections. People are crying out for change, frankly, with the moral high ground Vince has taken for us on the economy, we should all be out there with our crampons and ropes to take the rest.

At the moment we have a target but from where I sit, no strategy. It is the strategy we need pretty damn quick. The fact is we do have people in the party who have that strategy, I spent yesterday speaking to one of them. The problem is, if as a party we are to embrace that strategy we have to loose our grip on outdated, stale and tired campaigning. We have to dump the mantra "but we've always done it this way and its always worked and anyway the Tories are copying us so it must be right", we have to be ready to obey Nick's injunction - risky and radical........not only in terms of policy, but perhaps more importantly - strategy.

The results of Labour's mismanagement is leading to total despair and ruin for so many. In particular the life chances of our young people are being blighted - 40% of the unemployed are 16-24. People are losing their livelihoods, their homes, are in mental distress and in some cases are taking their lives. Change is not an option it is an imperative. And crocodile tears apologist Cameron has absolutely NO answers. We do, we can, we will!

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