Wednesday 14 March 2012

If - with Liberal apologies to Rudyard Kipling

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

If you want a free, fair and open society, one that gets a balance between the equality, liberty and community.

If you think that someone's poverty or ignorance should not keep them trapped. Nor that you don't need to conform to some hypothetical norm to get by?

If you believe that every individuals dignity, freedom and well-being is paramount. That they should have the right to develop the skills and talents that they have, with a freedom of conscience.

If you believe that power should be in the hands of the most local level it possibly can. To react to the needs of individuals to meet their needs as best as can be.

If you feel that diversity is something to be fostered, championed and celebrated, rather than something to fear and malign.

If you consider that creativity is something to be let fly, to grow, to flourish, rather than be trapped, tied down or discouraged.

If you believe that the state can manage to act as an enabler for all of the above, allowing people to contribute to the communities around them, not just to follow but to take part in decisions.

If you believe we have a we have a legacy of our planet and its resources, to be handed on to generations to come in as good a state, if not better able to cope than we inherited it?.

If you believe that we cannot be an island in all things, due to the interdependence of many issues that affect us. But instead that we can and should work with other nations to find solutions, and take an active role in doing so.

If you believe that the state should encourage those who can to create wealth, yet also know that there are those who the state needs to support.

Then you are a Lib Dem my friend. But if those that represent us forget any of these things you have to stand up, speak up and be heard to defend the beliefs at the core of what makes us who we are. Because that is Liberal too.

Footnote based on the Preamble to the Liberal Democrat Constitution

Sadly today we've lost Chris Ward because others have made it hard for him to follow the above. It comes following the resignation of James Graham, and on the same day as Daniel Furr. The next day Liz Williams also announced her resignation.


  1. It's a nice post Stephen but effectively you are saying the majority of the Parliamentary Party are no longer Lib Dems. I would agree with that but I'm sure that's not your intention.

  2. One of the most articulate expressions of why the Lib Dems are needed. Not self-justification and defensive arguments, just an appeal to principle and values. I applaud you, and have printed out this piece as a reminder to why I joined the Lib Dems and continue to be a Lib Dem even when there are moments when I question our purpose, vision or destiny. Excellent, Stephen.

  3. I can say yes to "If you believe that power should be in the hands of the most local level it possibly can." However, my conclusion from that is to support Scottish independence, which is why I left the Liberal Democrats last year and joined the SNP instead.

  4. Sadly Thomas the SNP have converted Holyrood into the Council Chamber for a lot of Scotland, therefore going against devolving power downwards, but grabbing a lot of it back towards the centre.