In which I attempt to become radical furniture

February 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

Hello friends! This is a blogpost officially announcing that I’m going to be running to be the first elected chair of the Radical Association.

So, the RA. What is it and why is it? It’s a ginger group – an internal pressure group, that is to say – with the Liberal Democrat party. Its aims are to support specifically radical and blue-skies policy creation, with a view not only to working on a policy research level but determining how we can get new ideas through into party policy and out to the public at large.

Why’s this needed? The big answer is because for generations in the UK, people have had their lives changed, for the better, by big liberal ideas and reforms – implementing pensions, writing the blueprint for healthcare free at the point of use, leading the way on seeking more cooperation with our continental neighbours, pushing for equality under the law in marriage and a host of other areas. As the 21st century continues we’re seeing a wide range of new or continuing problems facing our society – low political engagement in some parts of the community, automation permanently changing the way we interact with work, a changing population structure meaning radically different pressures on public services, the need for clean energy self-sufficiency in the face of climate change, and more. The RA’s specific focus on campaigning to get bolder ideas onto the table is, I believe, a necessary part of building a Liberal Democrat party that’s capable of standing up to the challenges of the coming years and winning people back behind a more open, more egalitarian, kinder political agenda than the one being pushed by our present government.

So, what am I doing? The Chair of the RA is essentially what it says on the tin – it’s a role distinct from that of the director, who runs day to day operations, and is responsible for overall final decision calls, direction, and public engagement. The organisation is new and small so this “election campaign” is likely to be mostly about ensuring that we can get all positions contested and encouraging people to vote, but I’ll be doing my best in the coming fortnight to set out some aspects of my vision for the association and where it should go next.

If you want to help and are a Liberal Democrat member, please join the Radical Association and vote in the elections (voting starts roughly March 5) or even consider running for a post – we have some non-portfolio positions that still could do with people expressing interest. If you want to help and are not a Lib Dem member, I’ll probably have some horrendous Facebook page for campaigning knocked together soon which you can like and things like that.

As always, I’m very happy to try and field any questions on any of this – ask in the comments, or on my Facebook event, or tweet at me – and congrats if you’ve had the patience to read this far!

I’ll be adding one or two more blogposts in the coming days hopefully to further set out my ideas for the Association and where we can take it going forwards šŸ™‚

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