Twelve days ago I emailed all of the then declared contenders to be the next Liberal Democrat President with questions (below) about their personal political philosophy and our shared Lib Dem values, to be published here. I received Daisy Cooper
’s answers this morning, and here they are now.
Pithy -Liz Lynne’s answers can be found here
We believe and trust in the power and potential of every individual to be whoever or whatever they want to be. We want to tear down the barriers in your way and we want to give you the tools and knowledge you need. It’s about freedom and we believe that to be truly free every person must be free from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and conformity.
What the LibDems stand for and how it relates to what we’ve done in government:
We believe and trust in the power and potential of every individual to be whoever and whatever they want to be. We want to tear down the barriers in your way and we want to give you the tools and knowledge you need. It’s about freedom and we believe that to be truly free every person must be free from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and conformity.
Individuals and communities must also be free from the crushing concentration of power in any institution wherever it exists – in the state, the media, in corporations or elsewhere; individuals should have the power to take the decisions that affect their lives.
Our vision of society is built on a ‘holy trinity’ of individual freedom, social justice and repatriating powers back to people and communities.
Labour believe in the power of the state, the Tories believe in the power of the markets, we believe and trust in the power of every individual to know what’s best – every individual like you.
In government, Liberal Democrats have given individuals the freedom to decide how to spend more of their money by increasing the point at which low and middle earners start paying tax.
By giving schools a pupil premium to help kids from the lowest income families, we’ve pulled down some of the barriers to children getting a good education.
And in all our efforts in government to break up the banks, reform the House of Lords and curtail the monopoly of the big energy companies, we seek to wrestle power out of the hands of the few for the benefit and use of all.
Liberal Democrats are committed to breaking up the fortresses of the rich, the powerful and the privileged and to fighting for a society in which individuals can take that power back and use it.
NB On Monday, the three contenders on the ballot paper were announced as Liz Lynne, Daisy Cooper and Sal Brinton. Linda Jack was unable to find enough people within the Liberal Democrats to support her nomination.
My Questions As Sent
I have two related questions for you. Both are more concerned with politics than process. One is after a short two-pronged answer from the heart – had I been able to come to Conference, I would have preferred to put you on the spot with it in person to hear what you instinctively believe. The other question is asking you to come up with a longer, more thoughtful answer on our values that you’d be happy having the whole party say (as if anyone could ever persuade us to stick to one hymn-sheet).Question One: What You Believe
People say all politicians are the same. It’s hardest for us in Coalition, but there’s some truth in it when every party promises to give money to the low-paid and the NHS, or when every local candidate for every party talks about experience, hard work and listening to local people. So what really motivates you? What for you makes the Lib Dems different from any other party?If someone asked you on the doorstep, the hustings or on TV to sum up in one or two sentences what the Lib Dems, uniquely, stand for – and then why anyone should vote for us – what are your answers?
Past answerers include Presidential contenders
and London Mayoral candidates
.Question Two: What the Lib Dems Stand For
Looking for something that’s more than a slogan or a soundbite but short enough to get in one go, imagine this answer as about one minute of a speech, or a box on a leaflet (perhaps 150-200 words, but that’s up to you). As you will be the voice of the Party if elected, can come up with something you think every party member could be happy saying or printing to explain What the Lib Dems Stand For? Something to enthuse and inspire Lib Dem believers and at the same time to attract and persuade potential supporters?How would you link what makes us different, our philosophy, to what we’ve achieved in government, and what we want to do next? However you want to put that together, as specific or as thematic as you like.
I start this as a meme that many other Lib Dems have answered over the past couple of years (if I ever get a wide enough selection in, I might publish a book of them!). If you want to see more about what that’s involved, here’s my own latest version
, including links to where I’ve printed other Lib Dems’ ideas.
Best of luck to each of you.
I had also spent some time trying to think of a ‘nasty’ question individually tailored to each of you – which I did for the last set of Presidential candidates and, going back further, for Nick and Chris in 2007. You may be relieved to read that I’ve decided not to ask those this time as I was unable to construct nasty questions of equal balance: the best I could think of for one of you was much too gentle, and for another of you, too bare-knuckle brutal. So that’s your lot from me!