As an entertainer reaching young people in the South, I want to get more of them to get behind electoral-reform to boost our voter power. Lib Dems are the only party long-term committed to this, so before they come down South to Bournemouth in the Autumn, I popped my head into the 1st half of their Spring Conference in York while visiting my brother and new niece there.
Here’s 3 great elder statesmen whose hands I got to shake and 3 ways forward for the next generation.
3 father figures
1. Ed Davey the Centrist Dad
He showed the latter at Friday rally with the Dad jokes & media stunts, and former at final Sunday rally, which rightly gained a midspeech standing ovation, and is worth a watchback.
2. Ali Carmichael the Cool Dad
He hosted a cracking quiz which the SO team came the opposite end of the table to the local one. So brains aren’t lacking at this party.
What’s rarer is to find folk with Alistair’s sociability. Even on a whiskey tasting hangover, he can pass an Emergency humane Small Boats alternative policy.
3. Mark Pack the Canny Dad
Glad to have re-elected him as party President, cos homie pushing forward mad Liberal Software. Nice to hear about amazing code-sharing with euro liberal parties.
3 priorities for under-40s
Before we get into my positive suggestions, lemme oppose one strand that might feel modern, but really isn’t:
0. stop getting sexual
Whether it’s the Steward leering at me “ooh I do like to see a manspread”, the PPC saying “where’s the attractive young females” or Lib Dem Voice blindly publishing “it’s time for (people with the protected-belief that biological sex is real) to leave”, negative chat about sexual matters distracts from the task at hand: centrist politics. Y’know: radically improving economic & voting power for the majority of Brits. May not be sexy, but frankly if you wanna explore sexuality, Imma have to give the same advice I gave to Boris: “Become an MC”, not an MP.
Let the two extreme parties awkwardly take sides over the latest emotive identity politic, while Lib Dems watch the yearly polls rise by doing the following:
1. elect an MP our age
Great to see several women MPs in their 40s on stage, Daisy Cooper’s sneakers shining hard as she bounded down.
Thomas Gravatt a year my junior would have been a worthy candidate down South, and the party should place rare keenos like him in competitive seats, rather than in 3rd place seats like the Guy on my quiz team.
2. protect online freedom
My question not asked: “Online Safety Bill’s ‘spy clause’ would follow Iran in banning Encryption and by extension Signal, WhatsApp and Proton. Will you oppose?”
Asked: “what can we do to help Iran?”, to which he basically said ‘dunno, what do you think?’, to which the Iranian lass said “I was hoping you’d have some ideas”..
Uhh, maybe start by not supporting a government bill which copies their ban on encryption
(ps if you’re wondering with what icky topic parliament’s trying to justify breaking end-to-end encryption, see point 0 for a clue. Even a Lib Dem Lord I met supports this justification, as if ‘CSEA’ criminals won’t work the hardest to circumvent government spies anyway..)
If you’re looking for brand-distinction from Labour, focus on applying the first word in the party’s name to how the vast majority of citizens can use tech. We should all be allowed to multiply two prime numbers together.
3. focus on voter power
Why do young people love a social-media cancellation so much? It’s the power to kick out an incompetent. We need to give them the same feeling with general elections, and then maybe it’ll become worth turning out.
Cos atm they have the average power of one-fifth of a full PR vote (one twentieth in Eastleigh!). Unless you happen to back the 2nd party in your constituency, FPTP is like Elon realising his influence just dropped an order of magnitude.
Ed Davey should make PR a central campaign focus, so it can’t be bought out by Labour at the negotiating table (eg with care money). In the future when British voters can more easily show incompetents the door, they will remember that Lib Dems were the party who forced Labour to put the voters in power.
Song on this topic - only my 2nd political track since the Boris diss - coming in time for Bournemouth.