Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Of leadership and Liberals

Joe Ammoun, President

The Liberal Democrat Party has the most open and democratic of internal election procedures of the three main political parties. Whereas Labour and the Tory’s preach the value of ‘empowerment’ and ‘involvement’ for the citizen, the Lib Dem’s actively practice this faith in the prime importance of every individual, giving every member of the party an equal vote in the selection of our Leader, regardless of whether they are an activist or an MP – the Liberal Democrat party doesn’t just listen to the opinion of the grass roots members, the Liberal Democrat party is the grass roots, and its leader is the grass roots choice.

Nick Clegg was an excellent candidate, putting forward a clear vision for the future of the Party, making clear our commitment to bringing about a radical shift in British Politics, eloquently expounding on the need for a genuinely Liberal system of Government, in which the individual, the family and the community are not just 'consulted', but become the heart, the driving force, behind the development of the society that they want. A free, safe and green national community in which success and opportunity aren't decided at birth, or restricted because of money or family education or situation, but determined by the individual with the liberty to choose the path in life they aspire to. While both contenders for our Party's leadership were people of great quality - of real world experience, gravitas, vision and a sense of duty – the Party came to the conclusion that Nick Clegg was the choice most likely to best present our comprehensive and consistent 'plan of action' to the people of Britain, and I wholeheartedly support him in this, and look forward to an exciting and bright future for both the Party and the Country.

The Liberal democrat Party is in tune with today's Britain, and the desires and aspirations of its Citizens - it is all too aware of the appalling inflexibility of our society and the lack of social mobility. It is all too aware of the dangers of a rotting two party dominated political system that turns people away from politics, and contributes to deep cracks in our communities, and between government and people. It is all too aware of the increasingly autocratic state and the draconian restrictions on the freedoms of privacy, speech and activity that are becoming the reality of daily life in the UK . I hope that Nick will be able to show the public that we are aware of the things that they find worrying about the present, and I believe that he will articulate the very real alternative for the future – a Liberal Britain.

Ever since the Party's conception, political false prophets have been predicting the fall of the Lib Dem's. Every time they have been proven wrong – we have grown, consolidated and grown again, building up a strong base of positive support. We do not have the financial or 'traditional' advantages of the other parties, and the electoral system is ever successful in ensuring that those who voted for us are under represented in Parliament, but these things will change. Millions turn out to vote for the Lib Dem's at every election, millions more will do so when they know we can win. We do have mass support, and more importantly people agree with our hopes and plans for the future – as we steadily grow better placed to get our message across, and as we become more determined in doing so, the advantages we have as a distinctive, radical and ideas-fuelled party will become all the more apparent.

Joe Ammoun
President, OULD

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