Why I’m backing Jo Swinson to be Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Jo Swinson Campaigning at the Peoples vote march earlier this year.

Nominations for the Liberal Democrat Leadership election will close shortly,
what looks like the only two candidates: Jo Swinson and Ed Davey have declared
and are well underway with their respective campaigns.

This Leadership election comes on the back of some outstanding Local and
European election results. The Liberal Democrats are back and are now a force
to be reckoned with from every side of the political debate. We must seize this moment
and continues the upward trajectory set by the local and European campaigns.

The next leader of the party is likely to remain the leader for many years to
come and will play a huge role in shaping the future of British Politics as well
as Liberal policy as we move to be Britain’s biggest and loudest party.

Being the Leader of the Lib Dems is no easy task, having worked closely with
a former leader as a well as in the Leaders office  I can safely attest to the daily challenges the
job brings. The skills required by the leader are wide-ranging and intense. The
The leader must be able to perform consistently on every media platform to take
advantage of rare media coverage, they must be able to connect with the large
coalition of voters the Lib Dems need to make a difference nationally and they
must also listen and pay attention to members and  supporters as without the activists and members
being fired up leaflets don’t get delivered and campaigning doesn’t happen, the
the net result being: elections aren’t won.

I believe that Jo Swinson has all these skills in abundance.

Ed Davey has also shown that he is a consistently good performer when doing
media as well as a brilliant campaigner inside and out of the house of commons,
he is a key asset to the party and would make an excellent Deputy leader or
Party President, but this time I am backing Jo.

Jo has shown that she is able to deftly convey the party’s message in every
situation as well as reach out to voters across the political spectrum in her campaigning
efforts. Jo has also ensured that the party remains open for anyone who agrees
with our message, including extending an invite to Change UK, but Jo has made it
absolutely clear that any new members must share our unashamedly radically
liberal message, this is a view I greatly support. Jo’s openness to build cross-party support is refreshing in a time when British Politics is as divided as
ever.

A party led by Jo Swinson will be a scary prospect for any opposition and I
believe she can win in Conservative and Labour facing areas across the country,
Under her leadership, we will have many more fantastic nights such as the election
results for the locals and Europeans this year. We all want to replicate that
feeling of immense pride of being a member of this party; I believe under Jo we
will be getting used to that feeling.

The one aspect that for me and many members is most important to get out of
this leadership election is for it to remain clean and respectful throughout. We
are very lucky to have two excellent candidates who have the parties best
intentions with them at all times.

We are an example to every party on how to conduct internal affairs. Let’s
hope the current tone of the campaign is kept throughout.

The next few months and years as a Lib Dem are shaping up to be a very exciting
time for activists, let’s take advantage of this huge opportunity by electing a
strong, fierce and exciting new leader in Jo Swinson.

 

The formation of a new party would not help British Progressive politics, it would hinder it

18th February 2019

The newly formed “Independent group” – Looking like the newest apprentice team

As I write this 7 Labour MP’s have just left their party to join a new group: “The Independent group”, while not being an official party it certainly looks as if the newly free Labour defectors will be seeking to form a new party, a party that is centrist, Pro-European and looking to stand out against the two major parties. Now, I won’t be the first person to accuse people of forgetting about the Lib Dems, but not only do the Lib Dems match the aims of a proposed new party the Lib Dems boasts years of infrastructure behind it.

To form a new party is not to just throw millions at a new swanky website, nice looking media output and a hotdesking office in SW1. but entails years and years of building. You need volunteers, these volunteers need candidates, these candidates need to be selected, the selectors need to follow a constitution, and so on… the point is that the British Political tradition and electoral landscape does not support the introduction of multiple new and unestablished parties.

This will not be the only rebel group that will appear in the months ahead in the current turbulent British Political Climate; Conservative MP’s such as Anna Soubury and Sarah Woolaston are making similar noises. The creation of new groups will not, in my opinion, aide the progressive cause, it will instead blur the lines of the liberal progressive front, it will move focus away from the already passive Liberal Democrats to different groups that are not only shiny and new but have a certain edge and uniqueness to them. After all, since the 2017 General election, there has not been an event of a real change in British Politics such as the party splits we are now seeing.

Despite my belief that the formation of a new party will only muddy the progressive water, it has to be said that the ‘Group of seven’ did something very brave and powerful today, as a devoted member of a party myself I cannot imagine the difficulty in the decision to leave a party; that you have not only been a committed member of but to have also served in parliament under its banner must be incredibly hard.

Unity is the name of the game in these troubled times, progressives and liberals are faced with a right wing tory party determined to do anything including a no-deal Brexit to stay in power and a dysfunctional and dangerous Labour party – instead of creating more factions and more groups that will ultimately enter into inevitable entrenched arguments why not come together under one party? in this case one orange diamond.

The creation of several groups all looking to promote the same ideology risks sending the centre of British politics into a ‘people’s front of Judea’ and a Judean people’s front’ situation. It will be too easy for the right and left wing media to point out that while looking to promote the ideas of togetherness and co-operation that the centre cant even creates a single force.

The only foreseeable way to breakthrough in British politics with real progressive and Liberal policies is to unite under one roof, at the moment the party with the best infrastructure and ability to fight elections and win is the Liberal Democrats. After all, we progressives can make as much noise and policies as we want but without winning and without power, existence can be futile. I hope that the newly formed group and any future groups on the horizon are willing to work closely together in a defiant show of bipartisanship.