New year Message from Leon Duveen, Chair of Bassetlaw & Sherwood Liberal Democrats

by Leon Duveen on 4 January, 2017

phoenixIn the last 12 months, nearly 18000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats[1], continuing a resurgence in our party since the 2015 General Election, our own local party has tripled in size

Across Britain, we have had people join us who have never been in another political party before but want to fight Brexit, we have had people tearing up their Labour, Conservative and Green membership cards as they join the Lib Dems, we have even had people join the Lib Dems who are pro-Brexit but are attracted to us because of our belief in an Open, Tolerant, United country.

We are attracting students and OAPs, we are attracting professionals and manual workers, we are attracting people who feel that the country is facing an uncertain future and no other party is prepared to stand up for them, is prepared to stand with them.

So why am I writing this?  Well of course I want to share this good news with people across Bassetlaw & Sherwood.

More importantly though, I want to talk to Tories who are fed up with the drift of their party towards UKIP and extremism, who see their party changing from being the voice of small businesses to being the lap dog of multi-nationals, who see Theresa May taking their party towards nationalism and protectionism rather than being open to working with others.

I want to talk to Labour members who are disgusted to see their party being riven by internal strife.  On one side, a leadership that seems to be more interested in ideological purity than getting into power to actually help those being hit by the never-ending round of cuts driven by dogma rather than economics.  And on the other side there are those who want to chase UKIP votes with every more anti-immigrant, anti-tolerant policies dragging Labour away from its international outlook.

Most of all. I want to talk to anyone who wants “to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity”[2].

If you can agree with these words, the open phrase of the Liberal Democrat Constitution, then you are a Liberal and your place is with us in the Liberal Democrats.

Over the last year our new members are not just sat on the fringes but are taking a central role in running the party (here in Bassetlaw & Sherwood, over half our Exec joined the party since May 2015, including our Vice-chair & Treasurer).  They putting themselves forward as candidates in elections, helping make policy and running campaigns.  Their voices are being heard across the party and at all levels.

Many of our by-election gains in local government (28 since May, more than all other parties put together[3]) are being made by our new members, driven to serve their community. Sarah Olney, our newest MP who won in Richmond just last month only joined in July 2015.

So now, as we start a New Year, whether you have been involved in politics before or not, if you care about the future of our country and want to do more than just shout at the TV or radio, then now is the time to join the Lib Dems and help our Bird of Freedom rise like a phoenix back into the centre of British politics.




[2] From the Preamble to the Liberal Democrats Constitution:

[3] Best ever year for Lib Dems in local authority by-elections: content-

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