PREPARE FOR 2015 WITH AN EXPERIENCED, AMBITIOUS AND PRAGMATIC POLICY OFFICER
I ran for Liberal Youth’s Policy Officer… and won! Thank you for your votes, it means a huge amount to me.
I’m leaving this site here, with my manifesto, in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
2015: Prepare our policies for the manifestoChampion Liberal Youth policies in the 2015 Liberal Democrat manifesto.
- The Liberal Democrats are currently laying the groundwork for our 2015 manifesto. I will work to get Liberal Youth policy included there, on Liberal Youth priorities.
- I will also work to help champion Liberal Democrat and Liberal Youth policies in schools, universities and other youth communities up and down the country. In the past, Liberal Youth has produced mini-manifestos for schools/universities/colleges which highlight core policies for use in debates. We should actively work to appeal to young people with our policies.
- It is the Policy Officer’s duty to amend the Policy Book with the latest motions; this is an utterly essential task, and will be carried out during my tenure.
- The current Policy Book is badly structured and not fit for purpose. I will make it an immediate priority to amend the structure of the book, likely by ordering motions by governmental department, as opposed to the largely arbitrary alphabetical system we use now.
- I firmly believe that all motions should have actionable points that are ready for us to campaign with, petition MPs or MEPs on, and get the ball rolling in actually carrying out our policy. There’s no point in passing countless motions if we can’t translate that into affecting the world around us.
- At present, it is unnecessarily difficult to actually get a copy of the Liberal Youth Policy Book. If elected, I will make it available to members, so all members can stay informed of our policy and moreover, get involved in making LY policy themselves.
- LY has policy independence from the main party; let’s use that.
- I want to see LY deciding its own stance, whether in alignment with the main party or in opposition, on a wider range of issues than our traditional scope of education, international and home affairs.
- A review of the current Policy Book will be the essential first step, seeing where we are weak, and where we need to cover before 2015.
- Liberal Youth has not had any motions nor amendments on the agenda at federal Liberal Democrat Conference at either Brighton Conference. I feel this is a weakness in LY; our policies, amendments and motions getting debated at Conference in a meaningful way increases our influence and regard the main party’s has for us. It is a recognition of our work and our successes.
- I will work to fix this and get LY motions and amendments back onto the Conference floor, by regularly submitting well-structured, well supported and clear work. We need to talk to key stakeholders; parliamentarians,other SAOs, think-tanks and more. We need to make the effort to polish our motions, to increase their chances of being accepted.
- We should also work to get more amendments to Conference – as soon as the motions for an upcoming Conference are published, I will work with Policy Committee to submit amendments. I also would want to open the discussion to the whole of Liberal Youth, and take ideas from our wider membership. This will ensure we are discussed on the Conference floor but more importantly, that we affect Liberal Democrat policy in line with LY priorities.
- We gain respect by deserving respect.
Policy for all: Accessible, transparent and inclusiveDevelop online policy-making, based on IRC’s Policy and Campaigns Network, which permitting ongoing and responsive policy making.
- I have long been an advocate of online policy-making. Back in May 2012, I wrote a post on my own Spineless Liberal blog discussing liquid democracy, a more radical voting form.
- Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru (Liberal Youth’s Welsh state party) have already implemented the PCN or Policy and Campaigns Network. I feel that this shows that online policy-making is possible, desirable and provides a basis for rolling the scheme out federally.
- Making policy online has many advantages. For too long, policy has been made by those who can afford both the finances and time to travel to Conference for three days. This is a party-wide issue but I feel it is especially problematic for LY members – many are under 18 and may not have permission from parents or guardians, many struggle financially and all of us have deadlines to meet.
- Shifting policy online would also enable us to react to situations better. Members, not solely elected representatives behind closed doors, could drive our responses to emerging issues, by submitting urgent motions.
- I believe online policy-making may already be being debated in the Exec – I will, in conjunction with the rest of the Exec, ensure that it is in place by the end of my term.
- At first, I believe that a Federal PCN should be advisory – at the first Conference following the implementation of the PCN, I would hope to bring forward motions approving retroactively all policy passed by the PCN and implementing a proper Constitutional framework for the PCN.
- I would not want to totally remove all policy discussions from Liberal Youth conference. I believe Policy Committee could be endowed with the power to select certain motions for Conference, and the remainder would be debated via the PCN.
- I would work IRC and discuss their system, and work with Policy Committee to adapt it to the needs of the Federal Liberal Youth.
- I am not convinced by the name PCN – but there are more creative people than myself with whom I would want to brain-storm such things.
- Last election, the Presidents and Chairs of LYS, IR Cymru, LYNI and the England Convener wrote an open letter to the candidates.
All Liberal Youth committees, like the executive and our mother party, must have a voting representative from devolved states that is elected by these respective states.
- I am fully in favour of such proposals. I believe that a representative from each state or each devolved body would vastly improve the responsiveness of Policy Committee to the needs of a modern, devolved Britain and also increase the capacity of Policy Committee through an increase of manpower.
- This is in line with the views of 65% of respondents in a recent poll of Liberal Youth members.
- During my term, I will work for a more inclusive policy-making process, bringing in members from around the UK.
- This would also be aided by moving the actual policy-making process online, which was also noted in the open letter.
- I will offer LYS, IRC and LYNI the opportunity to send one representative each to formally attend Policy Committee meetings. This would likely be a Policy Officer or a general Executive member.
- I will also like to offer Liberal Youth England the same opportunity.
- I will encourage the International Committee to send a representative to also sit on Policy Committee, responsible for liaising between the two on international, defence and developmental issues.
- Transparency and accountability are crucial in the functioning of any organisation.
- Doing things online will increase the visibility of Policy Committee’s functions, and the process of policy-making.
- I will also endeavor to make minutes as accessible as possible, in line with the views of 90% of respondents in the same poll, likely through the PCN.
- I will enable all Liberal Youth members to get involved in areas of policy which are of interest to them, and even invite them to Policy Committee meetings if it is felt that they would add to the discussion.
While I do approve of the current Policy Consultations as a responsive way to get the membership’s views on certain policy areas, I would hope that their role would be superseded by a PCN. Given that we have only had one policy consultation, I believe it is appropriate to re-orient them, in order to go further in engaging with members via allowing members to directly make policy online, as opposed to simply consulting with members. I would personally retain broader Consultations (as opposed to set motions) for feeding into Liberal Youth’s responses to Consultation Sessions at Federal Conferences.
- I am the Policy Officer for my local party, the City of Nottingham Liberal Democrats, charged with building our manifesto for 2015.
- I am Editor of LY’s Blog, The Libertine, which won Best New Blog of the Year 2012 from LibDemVoice.
- I was President of Nottingham Liberal Youth, winning Most Improved Branch in LY.
- I sit on LY International Committee with responsibility for policy. I wrote the motion on LGBT + Rights in Russia for Manchester LY Conference.
- I interned with the Policy Unit at LDHQ, and am familiar with Federal Policy Committee processes.
I am eager to bring this wealth of experience to bear for Liberal Youth. I am highly experienced with writing clear, concise and well-structured motions for local, regional and federal Conferences.