We have the lists of who has been nominated for the Federal Elections 2012, and to start with congratulations to Mr Tim Farron for being returned to the Party Presidency unopposed.
There are SIXTY confirmed (and maybe three more) people standing for the Federal Policy Committee, including a number of people I admire and think would be good. And one of them is me, Richard Flowers.
So am I vain or insane to want to do this? I hope neither.
What I want to do, the main contributions I hope I could make, are to start with a little base-level competence about the economy and liberal philosophy. There are limits to what governments can do economically, and the ongoing recession and fall out from the crash further constrain us, but that should be a reason to be more imaginative in our solutions not less.
This is a rich country but our prosperity is poorly distributed, with too many people, especially young people, out of work; while too many people in work work too long hours; and far too few people derive the lion’s share of the national growth.
So that leads to the second thing that I believe FPC needs: new, bold, big ideas. We are going to have to stand up and say that there is a third alternative model to rival those of Labour’s borrow and spend and the Conservatives’ cut and cut. A Liberal economy that looks to the future, to the individual, to Internet and creativity and increases every person’s ability to profit from their own ideas and hard work, without dependence on capital investors. The big ideas of the Twentieth Century – free trade, the Welfare State, the NHS – were Liberal ideas. We need the big ideas of the Twenty-First Century to be Liberal ideas too.
And finally, I’m a very ordinary member in a very ordinary constituency and I want to see a reconnection between the membership and the leadership, to burst that Whitehall bubble. At Conference in Brighton I was worried that there are developing two worlds, what I call the Danny Alexander world, where we are in government and getting Liberal policies into action, and the Linda Jack world, where everything is terrible and everyone hates us for supporting Tory cuts. Neither of these worlds are completely true, but neither of them are totally false either. We need to bring these two worlds back together.
How can YOU help?
Well, if you are a voting representative, then I would be very grateful if you would give me your first preference. And if you know any voting reps, and could put in a good word. In a field as wide as this, the first preferences are going to be especially important, to make sure that I can stay in the contest to later rounds of transfers.
Secondly, any rebroadcasting of Millennium’s diary or the Facebook page “Richard Flowers for Federal Policy Committee”, on Facebook or Twitter or link-blogging, will be very useful in spreading the ideas that I’m talking about.
And thirdly, if there’s anything you think I should be talking about or any questions you want to ask then please do write to me, either in comments here or by e-mailing millennium[at]waitrose.com or by phone on 07889 145 104.
And very best of luck to everyone who has put themselves forwards.