Tuesday, September 19, 2006

 

Thank you Brighton!

Superb result on the new tax plans today - we've single-handedly outflanked Labour on social justice, outflanked the Tories on tax cuts, and out-greened the Greens. I couldn't be more proud.

I think that this result speaks volumes about how well this party's democratic policy-making process works.

The media have been going on and on about how David Cameron needs to be seen to take on his party and win - to have a "Clause IV moment" - but the simple fact is that he doesn't need to do that at all to make policy. We do - and it's a good thing.

Both the Labour and Conservative leaderships are quite capable of ruling their parties from on high with centrally-issued diktats, and find it quite within their power to treat with disdain their membership and conferences alike. We Liberal Democrats, however, are quite concerned that when we adopt new policy we take the party with us.

The media seem astonished that the party is in such rude health following the last year's upheaval. That's because the process works. Debate invigorates this party - and the democratic nature of this party means that we can outlast any so-called "scandal" you care to throw at us. Stop acting so surprised.

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