Tackling the housing crisis

There is a housing crisis in our country. The total level of new house building needed in the UK to meet demand is 380,000 per year, but we’re currently only building just over half of this! Furthermore, up to 17% of UK households are living in overcrowded conditions, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic families are less likely to live in a decent home than White households. In a rich country like ours, this is Read more…

The terrifying erosion of our civil liberties

I used to work at a University Law Clinic. One day two of us were deployed to assist with the defence of a group of Extinction Rebellion activists who had been arrested by the Police. During evidence, there was a fascinating video played, where the police warned protesters that they had 2 minutes to move before being arrested, but in many incidences the police waited for fewer than 30 seconds before proceeding with the arrest. Read more…

Liberal Democrats should be the natural party of business

It is important for Liberal Democrats to remember that Austerity is not just made up of public spending cuts, but also tax rises. That’s why Liberal Reform are disappointed to hear that the Liberal Democrats will be supporting Rishi Sunak’s move to raise corporation tax. It is deeply concerning to see how quickly the Conservatives have moved to raise taxes. Even if it does not appear in the upcoming budget this week, it does seem Read more…

Co-Chair Update: March 2021

Dear members and supporters, I officially became co-chair of LR in January and since then I’ve been pretty busy, so I thought it was about time to update you on a few of the things I’ve been getting up to! Firstly some housekeeping. The new board structure that was discussed in my first update piece has now been finalised, and this is as follows: 1. Co-chairs – Me and Alan 2. Comms team – Stuart Read more…

The Begum Case: A self- evident case for nationality reform

This is not a defence of Begum’s actions, joining a terrorist organisation has ramifications. But those ramifications should lie with her country, which must take partial responsibility for state failure in allowing the radicalisation of a 15-year-old child. It is however, an explainer of the state failures, abuse of power and proposal for legislative reform, with a view to stopping legislative state abuse of deprivation of citizenship. Our current legal settlement with nationality law and Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: The Future of Social Democracy

Book: The Future of Social Democracy: Essays to Mark the 40th Anniversary of the Limehouse Declaration. Edited by Colin McDougall, George Kendall and Wendy Chamberlain. Available here. To mark the fortieth anniversary of the Limehouse Declaration a series of essays have been published by the Social Democrat Group in order “to grapple with the serious challenges the country faces in the coming decades” (p. xi) and “promote new social democratic thinking” (p. xvii). Dedicated to Read more…

An Update From Your Incoming Co-Chair

Welcome to the first of what will soon be regular updates directly from your co-chair team! Once our term properly starts in January I will try and get one of these out quarterly as a minimum, to ensure that our members are kept up to date with everything we’re doing here at Liberal Reform. As most will know by now, I was chosen by my fellow board members to serve as co-chair for 2021/22. I’d Read more…

Should the Lib Dems back ‘CANZUK’?

As we approach the final few days and weeks of 2020, our time in the Brexit transition period is coming to an end. Being a fully signed-up EU member has gone, and we now need to look to what our future is outside the European family. There is now a growing swell of support for CANZUK (a free trade deal encompassing Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK). The question is should the Lib Dems Read more…

The Lib Dems Have A Consistency Problem

There has been much discussion about Matthew Parris’ Spectator article about the state of the Party. A lot of it rings very true. The broad thrust of the argument is that the Lib Dems have abandoned the tough issues of the day, instead preferring to portray an attitude that could facetiously be described as being in favour of the “good” things, and against the bad, with little more depth than that. In truth, it can Read more…

In its Covid response, where the Government has ignored the power of competition, it has failed.

For the supposed home of market economics, the Conservative party has shown very little knowledge of it during its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every aspect of the Government’s efforts to “control the virus” that have ignored competitive market forces (i.e. most of them) have failed. On both track and trace and procuring enough suitable PPE, the left have been quick to seize on these as failures of privitisation, when in reality they were Read more…

Our New Board Members

Following the close of nominations, we are now in a position to announce the Liberal Reform board for the 2021-22 term. New to the board this time are Daniel Duggan, Emily Tester, Oliver Jones-Lyons and Julia Wright. Julia is a long time supporter of LR and will be known to many of our members, but to introduce you to the rest: Daniel has been a member of the Liberal Democrats since 2010. He studied at Read more…

Leadership Q&A Success

Last night Liberal Reform hosted a Question and Answer session with Ed Davey and Layla Moran, the two Lib Dem MPs battling it out to become the next leader of the Party. You can watch the Q&A back in its entirety at the bottom of this page. The evening was no doubt a positive one for Liberal Reform’s members, with the two candidates answering a whole host of questions on topics close to our members’ Read more…

The Opportunity Agenda: Liberal Reform’s Leadership Priorities

Liberal Democrat leaders do not have much say in setting Party policy, but they have far more in setting the Party’s vision, strategy and priorities. With this in mind, and with the Liberal Democrat leadership election fast approaching,  Liberal Reform have set out the themes we believe any successful Liberal Democrat leader should prioritise. At the heart of all of them is equality of opportunity and internationalism. The preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution is Read more…

Destination Unknown

Michael Kitching  @mwkitching I thought it would be helpful to update Liberal Reform Members and Supporters on a little personal quest. Since rejoining the party after the 2019 General Election, having left to try and help set up something new (not Change UK before you ask!) it has become a bit of an obsession of mine in trying to get the party to think properly about Strategy and Grand Strategy. Working on politics outside the party Read more…

Let’s Review the Green Belt and Build More Houses

Ruby Chow* (@doublereds) Yesterday I had the pleasure to summate a motion Liberal Reform put forward to the London Liberal Democrats conference on the urgent need for more house building and in support of an independent review of the Green Belt. Although the motion was heavily amended to the point where it lost almost all force, Liberal Reform will continue to campaign strongly for this. What follows is the slightly edited text of my summation Read more…

Callum Robertson: Proroguing, the PM and the Royal Prerogative

By Callum Robertson, @CRobertson_LD Many will have seen the proroguing of parliament by the Queen on the advice of Boris Johnson, but what does this mean in the micro-environment of these circumstances and what is the wider socio-legal consequence? Our constitution Our constitution is almost unique in its haphazard make-up. It is a system that has evolved over a millennium and never had a defining revolutionary moment in the same way that most other western Read more…

Challenges to achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions

By Robert Johnston @robertj55 In a recent piece for Liberal Democrat Voice I argued for the adoption of a Carbon Tax or other robust carbon pricing measure to tackle climate change. While referencing the strong case made by economists for this, the article stressed the challenges that would remain in the technical, engineering and political domains. This article delves further into these challenges and stresses the systemic interactions that make strong and informed political leadership Read more…

Coalition Review: Electoral Reform

By Robert Johnston @robertj55 If one position unites the spectrum of opinion of the Liberal Democrats it is the need for a proportional representation election system with a special focus on the House of Commons. There are wider considerations for electoral reform; ranging across the House of Lords, devolved government to the tiers of local government but this article will concentrate on electoral reform of the House of Commons and the attempt to achieve it Read more…

Thinking Forwards With Europe: What Our Priorities Should Be For The EU Elections

By Callum Robertson, @Callum4Clacton It seems evident that we will want to focus on keeping Britain within the EU and fighting for an “Exit from Brexit” in the EU elections that seem almost certain to take place. However, this cannot be the sole reason we fight these elections. The elections are an opportunity to sell our vision of what we want the UK’s future relationship with the EU to be. For example, there are numerous Read more…