Liberal Reform is a new membership group within the Liberal Democrats, committed to fostering debate and variety in the Lib Dems, promoting an all-round Liberal ideology in Lib Dem policy, including the economic liberalism that the founding members feel is lacking a voice in the grassroots of party.
35% of Lib Dem members and activists describe themselves as ‘economic liberals’, now a bigger presence in the party than those who would describe themselves as Social Democrats. Less than half of Lib Dems describe themselves as ‘centre-left’.
Voters intending to back the Liberal Democrats are now increasingly centrists, rather than the disgrunted left-wingers who we courted during Labour’s time in office. Leader Nick Clegg rightly says that “The Lib Dems never were and aren’t a receptacle for left-wing dissatisfaction with the Labour Party. There is no future for that; there never was.”
We believe in Nick Clegg’s statement at our Autumn Conference in 2011 that “we are not on the left, and we are not on the right. We have our own label: Liberal”.
Only a message of four-cornered liberalism, advocating personal, political, social and economic liberalism will distinguish us from other political parties.
We hope many members of the Lib Dems will join the organisation, and will come to our launch event at Spring Conference in Gateshead.