Monday, February 13, 2012
"Reform! Reform! Aren't things bad enough already ?"
These are the words of Lord Eldon, Lord Chancellor in the 1820s. Of course it is hard to tell what he would have thought of the new Liberal Democrat faction, "Liberal Reform" launched today (see Lib Dem Voice). It is very hard to tell what anyone will think of it since its mission statement begins:
"Liberal Reform exists to promote four-cornered freedom in the Liberal Democrats – personal, political, social and economic liberalism. We are an organisation founded and run by members and activists, to both propose policy in keeping with the party’s liberal heritage and to continue arguments for free people and free trade in the future political direction of the Liberal Democrats. We seek, through active debate, policy initiatives, and broad campaigning, to foster an understanding of the party’s heritage and philosophy."
Plenty of room for interpretation there.
The word "reform" is usually judged to be positive by the public, which is why the BBC was banned from using it during the AV referendum campaign. A further perspective on this group's likely tendency may be gained from the websites of its founders,Mike Bird, Zadok Day, Nick Thornsby, Nicole Sykes,
Simon McGrath and Charlotte Henry (Sorry, no links - you'll have to search).
Another clue might be found in the strange inflation of the bird of liberty in their logo. I've heard of fat cats but fat birds ? (except when mentioned in another context by Nobby Shuttleworth).