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Vision: another new member initiative

October 12, 2017 11:46 AM
By Chris Hudson in Liberal Democrat Newswire

VisionMel Gordon, Julia Ogiehor, Gareth Bell, Nick Da Costa, Emily Hirst and Chris Hudson are the founding members of Vision, another initiative that has come out of the enthusiasm from newer members for the party to do better. Chris Hudson explains what it's about.

Vision will be the radical, energetic and exciting new group to drive forward liberal pro-European ideas, campaigning and mobilisation to support the Liberal Democrats. Vision plans to take member engagement in a different direction by introducing radical and progressive ideas to communities that have thus far evaded Liberal Democrat messages, and to engage members beyond the day-to-day operations of local parties.

Vision was born earlier this year after months of collective soul-searching. A group of young and passionate members were feeling all too aware of the glass ceiling the Liberal Democrats cannot break through. We have come close and not for lack of trying or lack of progressive, meaningful policies.

There was once a point when the Liberal Parliamentary Party could all fit inside a black cab. We do not think it wrong to draw comparisons with our current time. What helped the Liberal Party recover then was a group like Vision - of young, radical liberals who set the national political agenda and got the party back in the news, reversing its fortunes. We wish to replicate the spirit which drove this change over 50 years ago.

Recently both major parties have moved toward the extremes, leaving a gap for aggressive expansion. Vince Cable has identified his strategy, but he and the party cannot do this fightback themselves. We must have more complementary ways to engage members of the party and the public to drive forward the Liberal Democrats.

There are limits to what the official political party can do, which limits its appeal and reach simply by the nature of being a political party. By existing outside of this straightjacket, this new group will be freed to enter environments and appeal to people and communities which the Liberal Democrat Party has found difficult to reach, and therefore be able to have a political conversation with them in a unique way.

Education, standing for difference, and pitching the benefits of liberalism to people will be the backbone of Vision's membership work. Giving people a space to increase their activism, develop their politics, and engage with our identified core voters who currently do not vote for the Lib Dems.

Vision are looking to grow exponentially over the next few months, so watch this space to hear about our developments.