Lib Dems will rattle the cage of British politics

In his leader’s speech Menzies Campbell has attacked the cosy consensus between Labour and the Conservatives and committed the Liberal Democrats to rattling the cage of British politics:

“On so many of the major political issues there is a two-party consensus – comfortable, cosy and complacent. On the environment, taxes, pensions, nuclear power, tuition fees, Iraq.”

He launched a sustained attack on Gordon Brown’s record, arguing that despite all the talk of change very little has actually changed:

“Brown hasn’t taken the tough decisions to tackle climate change, he hasn’t scrapped ID cards, he hasn’t brought the troops home from Iraq.

“As Chancellor over the last ten years with unparalleled influence over government, he has to take responsibility for the Government’s policy mistakes on issues such as: Iraq, civil liberties, the environment, nuclear power, council tax, and student fees.”

Sir Menzies set out a personal credo influenced by his experience over the last year visiting some of the most disadvantaged people in Britain.

He set out how, under his leadership, the Liberal Democrats will confront the difficult issues and take the tough decisions that are necessary to create a country that is free, fair and green.

He also proposed a new initiative for constitutional environment rights drawing on examples such as Spain where the citizen’s environmental rights are guaranteed in the constitution.

Read the speech in full on the Liberal Democrat website.

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6 Responses to Lib Dems will rattle the cage of British politics

  1. sanbikinoraion says:

    Pity there was no mention of the Iraqi employees there, amongst all the talk about Iraq.

  2. Lawrence Hanney says:

    WELL SAID Ming! NOW we should aim to use the skills and knowledge of ALL libdems who want to contribute up to their ability, to make these things happen!

  3. Alex Nearney says:

    An excellent speech. At last we see a leader with gravitas and a sincere, statesman-like approach. I am now seriously considering joining the Liberal Democrats – I want a leader (and PM) who is honest and unafraid to voice opinions which may not be in the mainstream e.g. on the Iraq war, but which he feels are for the good of the country as a whole. The age issue is ridiculous and illustrates exactly what is wrong with British politics at this time – style over substance (excuse the cliche but it’s apt). I have been impressed for the past few years by Sir M when he has appeared on programmes such as Question Time and I think he is an excellent choice for leader and hopefully Prime Minister one day.

  4. Francis Beswick says:

    Ming’s speech reminded me of why I joined the old Liberal party many years ago and why I am still a Liberal Democrat. I listened to Liberal speaking and realized that they were the ones who valued both liberty and equality and that they tackled the issues in a reasoned, tolerant and humane way. Ming is true to the great traditions of our party. He spoke with power, wit and conviction. Carry on Ming, you are treading the right path. Brtitian needs politicians who can rise above the soundbite to speak with gravitas about the great issues of the day.

  5. J.W.Porteous says:

    We have suffered years of “spin” so I am not easily convinced by political drama.
    This speech was different – a calm, earnest but passionate consideration of those aspects of modern life that trouble so many of us from all parts of the nation.
    Congratulations Ming – and thank you. May I add one more comment? You are supported by several very able, like minded, colleagues. I admire them. So long as the Lib. Dem. team continues to work in this fashion you – and we – will win.

  6. Richard Lung says:

    I gave up listening long ago to party leader conference speeches. However, this one was substantial and forceful with a leavening of wit.
    I disagreed only about the EU, which of course is very important to the Lib Dems. One basic trouble there is that the EEC saw the maritime nations coming and cobbled together a common fisheries policy, both a conservation and a national disaster, to a country which cannot feed itself in a hungry world. This may yet see the UK leaving and perhaps should.
    The other problem with the EU is a part of the general malaise with politicians. British party leaders may admit the lack of connection with the voters. But none of them will make much difference because they wont change the rules to serve the public interest where it conflicts with vested interests (like nuclear power which controls New Labour).

    I merely re-state here without explanation two essential reforms: 1) Britain has half a dozen undemocratic voting methods where one democratic method would do, namely STV. 2) A second chamber, whether in Westminster or perhaps northern England, should proportionly represent all occupations for *Equality of Lobbying*, a modern democratic version of the historicly recognised role of the Lords.

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