What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? (Stephen Tall)

by Stephen Tall on September 24, 2012

That was the question House Magazine asked me for its Lib Dem Conference Special Edition, and here’s what I told them:

Forget Nick Clegg’s leadership. There is one issue and one issue alone that the Lib Dems need to focus on in the year ahead: the economy.

There are many reasons for the party’s dip in the polls since the heady heights of ‘Cleggmania’ – allying with the Tories, U-turning over tuition fees – but the single biggest reason for the Coalition Government’s fading fortunes is the continuing recession, coupled with the poor decisions George Osborne made in his March budget.

That is why the Lib Dems must now demonstrate to the British public that their concerns are our concerns. For that reason, Nick Clegg was right to recognise that reforming the House of Lords would appear to many to be a distraction given the Conservative and Labour parties’ decision to block its progress.

The economy also happens to be the issue on which Lib Dems and Tories are in greatest agreement. Now is the time for the Coalition to unite behind a radical and popular agenda of liberal reforms – in the banking sector and beyond – to create a more competitive and much, much fairer economy: a capitalist system that serves everyone, not just a privileged minority.

The prize for the Lib Dems is clear. Not just a political and economic recovery in time for the next election, but also the proof that Coalition Government – parties coming together in the national interest – can actually work.

* You can read Mark Pack’s take on What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? here.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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5 comments

New from me > What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? (Stephen Tall) http://t.co/IIjpLNXP

by Stephen Tall on September 24, 2012 at 7:57 am. Reply #

New from me > What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? (Stephen Tall) http://t.co/jN6mMUw0

by Stephen Tall on September 24, 2012 at 10:58 am. Reply #

What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? (Stephen Tall) http://t.co/ObNhugOt

by BexhillBattleLibDems on September 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm. Reply #

New from me > What should the Liberal Democrats focus on in the next year? (Stephen Tall) http://t.co/WhFI41NU

by Stephen Tall on September 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm. Reply #

I completely agree, Stephen. Sometimes it seems like we've concentrated on everything BUT the economy.

We need a Growth First agenda for the next two and a half years. Frankly, it's what most people want to see. LDs in government have spent too long pursuing their own aims and not enough pursuing the aims of the public.

by Tom Papworth on September 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm. Reply #

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