Friday, 16 September 2016

Growing stronger by the day

"A consistent, positive party"

Siobhan Benita, former Independent Mayoral Candidate, now a Liberal Democrat.Siobhan Benita, independent candidate in the 2012 mayoral election

I’d always felt an affinity with the Liberal Democrats, and when I ran for mayor in 2012, I suggested to Brian Paddick that we join forces, as our manifestos were so similar.

Having worked in the civil service for so long, I had become slightly cynical about political parties, and therefore nervous about joining one, but Brexit was the final ‘stop thinking and actually do it’ moment. I joined the Lib Dems on the day the result was announced.

I had become slightly cynical about political parties, and therefore nervous about joining one, but Brexit was the final ‘stop thinking and actually do it’ moment.

From a party point of view, the Lib Dems were the only ones with a consistent and positive message about EU membership.

And the party’s line now – that we will fight to stay in the EU, or re-enter – is a really important one that no one else is saying.

There were big issues that were underplayed in the run-up to the referendum, such as the fact that the EU had been such a positive force for peace in Europe. I think it was only Tim Farron and Nick Clegg who were trying to say those things, and maybe it wasn’t heard through the awful noise that was the campaign.

The Lib Dems have a fight on their hands but they have won some council seats lately, and – depending on the Labour leadership result – I think there are going to be a lot of centre/centre-left people looking for a longer-term sustainable party.

People are also beginning to realise you need a consistent, robust opposition – a party that is challenging and holding the party to account. Labour isn’t doing that at the moment, so hopefully there’s another way in which the Lib Dems can come through.

So, yes, it might be difficult for a while, but the Lib Dems have already shown they can play a really significant role in this country.

Now is the time to seize the moment.


Follow this link for more info: http://ift.tt/2cOT7kZ