As leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg needs to start listening to the concerns of party members, and stop making decisions that attack the principles upon which the party is founded. The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. It is these values that inspired us to join a party that was prepared to stand up and fight for them.
Yet over key issues such as proposals to introduce secret courts, the snoopers charter, and welfare reform Nick Clegg is letting down members who hold these values dear. The party conference voted overwhelmingly against secret court proposals, yet Nick has not shown any intention to consider this vote. Worse still he is showing his lack of leadership acumen by refusing to even meet with representatives of the party to discuss their concerns over this bill. When a leader is willing to ignore their party and unwilling to engage with their concerns the day when their party regards their leadership as no longer fit for purpose is not far off.
Many of these controversial decisions that Clegg is taking formed no part of the coalition agreement, and the party should be taking a stronger stance of standing up to the Conservatives over them. Liberal Democrats exist to create a fairer society, and a stronger economy. This is only possible if Clegg starts listening to members of the party, and adhering to the values our party holds.
Cllr James Baker, Calderdale Council
Cllr Pauline Nash, Calderdale Council
Cllr David Hardy, Calderdale Council
Cllr Tony Hodgins, Hebden Royd Town Council
Hywel Morgan, Treasurer, Cadlerdale Liberal Democrats
Jennie Rigg, Branch Secretary, Brighouse Liberal Democrats