I have in the past written quite a bit about the Liberal Democrats and it’s leadership as a former member – here are related posts – so will not rehash points made previously but focus on where we go from here. Why? Well if you read this article; Nick Clegg urges voters to join Labour or Tories to keep UK in EU you will obviously see the dire straits the Liberals in general in this country seem to find themselves after decades of poor performance at the ballot box and promises of stronger party/vision that never seemed to materialise. That said I do NOT disagree with Nick’s view that we need to be more pragmatic about where the party stands particularly when we’re fighting the battle of our future in BREXIT. However the approach of calling people to join Labour or the Conservatives is ludicrous and more importantly utterly impractical in terms of where we are in BREXIT process where urgency of action is paramount. What is needed in my view are few things;
- Articulate a vision about our future relationship with the EU as continued members while addressing issues that have caused anxiety like immigration which had a 49% impact on voting in the referendum followed by the ability of UK to make it’s own laws with 30%. This vision has to involve direct consultation with the EU to reach compromise. It must also include a clear/simple unbiased fact check of benefits & challenges of continued membership as opposed to fictions people have been led to believe.
- We MUST STOP alienating others by calling for this EXIT BREXIT rubbish. Rather we need an inclusive/pragmatic vision/arguments that unites the country rather than focus on purely ideological biases. We MUST also demonstrate how the alt-right has/is using the opportunity to divide the country on purely racial grounds and the threat this poses to our future.
- We need to push the current government to release BREXIT impact research if indeed has been documented as reports suggest, and if not they should come clean about NOT having assessed consequences of BREXIT.
- We need to call for a 2nd Referendum NOW not wait for terms of agreement to be finalised in the negotiations with the EU and I mention why in this post.
- We need to form a strong informal coalition (or block) in Parliament with members in all parties to back this new vision and call for a 2nd referendum or call for a motion of no confidence in the current government that would trigger early elections. There are many MP’s I believe in all parties who support continued EU membership but without a clear vision to back they find themselves in a hopeless situation. So when Nick Clegg points to “National Emergency” what he should be talking about is unity across party lines so that we can save the country from an uncertain future – party colours/banners seize to be the order of business as the Country takes precedence over Party.
The main take away is that we need action NOW and NOT talk about joining parties or creating new ones. This is a waste of time and TIME is a luxury we can’t afford.
Hope this helps.