A great week for the Liberal Democrats

September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

This has been a good week for our party, both the leadership and members and activists.

In terms of our leadership, we’ve seen a number of excellent platform speeches by Lib Dem Ministers, including a fantastic address by our Leader and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

They have spelt out, giving the lie to many of the words spewed forth by the London-centric national media, the good work Lib Dems have done and will continue to do in Government; * restoring civil liberties * taking thousands, if not millions of people, out of taxation all together * creating a pupil premium * helping the poorest people around the world * trashing the ludicrous idea of ID Cards, and on and on.

In particular, the speeches by Nick and Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) were excellent and made me proud to be a Liberal Democrat.

I’ve also felt proud by the fact that, at our conferences, we have genuine political debates.

Our conferences are not just smart PR rallies, such as those held every four years in the United States.

We openly and without fear or favour debate the issues before us and sometimes the leadership win and sometimes they lose, such as, at this conference, on the issues of free schools where Lib Dem delegates-rightly in my view-rejected the policy of taking schools out of local authority control.

Of course, a defeat at conference doesn’t mean a change is automatic in Government policy, but it does stand as a point of principle for our membership-that it doesn’t support so-called ‘free schools.’

It shows that although we have great respect for our leadership, we are not bound by it; Lib Dem members are fiercely independent.

This week has seen more focus on our annual Autumn conference than ever before (thanks us to now being a party of Government) and our leadership and our activists/members have done themselves proud.

We are a party with clear values and beliefs, many of which are being taken forward in Government.

I agree with Nick, to repeat a now well-worn phrase, that after our five years in Coalition Government-when we reach the next election in 2015-that Britain will be back on a firmer economic footing and ensuring that we are fairer/greener/more liberal.

I believe, with all my heart, mind and soul that this vision will, indeed, become a shimmering reality.

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