1/13/2008

Are we set to become the "Liberal Party" ?

Dizzy tries to claim Nick Clegg is "spinning", and Iain Dale reads it as the Lib Dems no longer being "Dems". Are we set for a name change ?

I don't really care, although there is not some brand loyalty from people who refer to us as Lib Dems, but it would cause Gordon Brown major problems as he refers to the party already as the Liberal Party (deliberately I am sure to be annoying), and if we changed our name he'd have to call us Lib Dems.

Still, what's in a name. It's what you stand for that really matters.

8 comments:

Paul Walter said...

It's impossible. There is already a Liberal Party registered with the Electoral Commission.

UK Daily Pundit said...

It was a good speech by Clegg yesterday. He's got the Tory leadership rattled.

Anonymous said...

In long run, "Liberal Democrats" is just a short period in the history of the Whig/Liberal party, just like "Conservative and Unionist party" was just a short period in the history of the Tory/Conservative party.

I don't see that "Democrat" would be a necessary qualifier in the name, because liberals are already assumed to be democrats, when it comes to issues which should be decided together. But there are some rare cases, where democracy and liberalism are in contradiction, this is when a democratic decision, which concerns everybody, prevents individuals to make their own decisions. For instance a society, where a majority would decide who will marry whom, would certainly be very democratic, but not very liberal.

In this kind of cases I would prefer the party to rather be liberal than democrat.

But if the name will be changed, why not just "Liberals", instead of "Liberal Party". Besides, it might be difficult to change the name to "Liberal Party", because that name is already occupied by the continuity party founded by Michael Meadowcroft in 1989, and despite he rejoined the Liberal Democrats last year, that party remains hostile towards Liberal Democrats and is unlikely to merge with or otherwise hand over its name to Lib Dems.

tally said...

I thought there already was a Liberal Party?.What's in a name?
The Liberal Party are in favour of an English Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Nobody knows what you stand for though.

The Secret Person said...

What everyone seems to forget is that a Liberal Party already exists, although they are tiny.

Man in a Shed said...

Then why didn't you go for the catchy name SDP? You also ditched the SLD name ( was that right ).

Of course the issue isn't the name but the politics. The SDP and Liberal factions come from opposite ends of the political spectrum on some major issues. If you move from being a party of protest then you have to actually make up your mind what you stand for.

Personally I find this very interesting. Like a lot of Conservative voters I think Nick Clegg is a potentially very interesting person - its his party I have trouble with.

As I've said on my blog - what Nick Clegg needs is 4 party, not 3 party politics. Once party at each end of the economic political and social political scales.

My prediction is that you are shortly about to have an internal fight which will make our grammar school rebellion look like a bit of light hearted fun.

Its likely the plotting has already begun.

mhuntbach said...

A point I made in a paper I wrote at the time of the Liberal / SDP merger is that the very idea of there being something which is "The Liberal Party" is illiberal. Liberals by their nature don't have a rigid attachment to organisations, and therefore will come together under whatever organisations works for them. We just don't (or shouldn't) have this idea of there being one true Party to which we must all belong - that's an aspect of a certain sort of socialism whose idea of how political parties should be organised has, unfortunately, been very influential. One of the biggest barriers to recruitment to active politics is that in most people's imaginations all the major political parties run on Leninist lines. People are scared to join because of what they assume it involves.

As a history lesson for those not around then, at the time of the Liberal / SDP merger, it was commonly held that "Liberal" was some kind of dirty word. The powers that be - quite wrongly of course - made out that it was the SDP that had made all the running in the alliance, and the Liberals were just a sort of embarrassment which ought to be swept under the carpet. Hence all the shenanigans about the name of the party. There was a real - and massively mistaken - idea that the 1981 SDP trick could be repeated: just make out that the new party was something entirely new that had sprung from nowhere and people would come flocking to it.

The idea that "Liberal" ought to be predominantly focussed on economic liberty wasn't so common then. So those who back-project the assumption that the Liberal merger refuseniks were all mad keen free-marketeers against SDP statists couldn't be more wrong. If anything, it was the other way round. Quite a big reason for unhappiness about merger with the SDP amongst some Liberal Party members was unhappiness about David Owen's shift at the time towards fascination with market economy ideas.

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