Lib Dems needed now more than ever

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

Re What’s the point of the Lib Dems? (Jour­nal, 7 Novem­ber), I am tempted to re­ply: “Be­cause we have never been in greater need of a Lib­eral party in the tra­di­tion of the New Lib­er­als of a cen­tury ago – John May­nard Keynes, Wil­liam Bev­eridge and Jo Gri­mond – to pro­vide the core of the left-of-the-right lib­eral move­ment that can pro­vide the rad­i­cal and pro­gres­sive al­ter­na­tive to back­wards-look­ing Cor­bynism and the con­ser­va­tive (and worse) forces to the right.”

But this kind of an­swer will bore those peo­ple who are look­ing for “some­thing bet­ter, some­thing new”, where clever but empty slo­gans and celebrity lead­er­ship of­fer new ex­cite­ment and hope, how­ever su­per­fi­cial and ephemeral. Yes, our present lead­er­ship (widely de­fined) seems in­ca­pable of pro­vid­ing the cam­paign­ing vim and in­spi­ra­tion we so des­per­ately need, first to stop the dan­ger­ous non­sense of Brexit and then to build such a move­ment. And the present cen­tral party or­gan­i­sa­tion, largely un­ac­count­able to its mem­bers, sucks in re­sources yet seems to pro­vide lit­tle in re­turn of use for cam­paign­ing.

But rather than de­spair­ing, peo­ple should come and join those of us who are de­ter­mined to cre­ate the change we so ur­gently need – within the party and by cam­paign­ing through­out the coun­try. It’s not too late.

Tony Greaves

Lib­eral Demo­crat, House of Lords

The Lib­eral Democrats showed their true colours when they propped up the Con­ser­va­tives by join­ing the coali­tion, and sat on their hands while sav­age aus­ter­ity was im­posed. The Brexit vote is re­garded as an an­guished cry by the poor against the govern­ment; there­fore the Lib Dems are largely re­spon­si­ble for the re­sult. They are a ma­lign force in Bri­tish pol­i­tics, and the sooner they dis­ap­pear the bet­ter.

Cather­ine Hand

Tideswell, Der­byshire

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