If members are asked why they are Liberal Democrat, it is a fair bet that most will come up with three main reasons; a belief that the people should have more power over decisions that affect their lives, that taxes should be fair and should be spent on public services to help those in greatest need and that the environment must be protected for future generations.
The party's policy paper Trust in people; Make Britain free, fair and green, will be debated by the Federal Conference in Brighton next Tuesday afternoon .It gives a clear statement of those same priorities on which the party can build its campaigning platform for the years to come.
The conferences of the other two parties will be entirely different. The Labour party is caught in the light of the ongoing leadership explosion and its members dwindling by the day, have lost any reason or will to campaign. The Tories have been given by their new lead a public relations style shopping list of big ideas that have no philosophical roots. Like New Labour supporters before them, the Conservatives will find themslevesl selling their wares off a political barrow. Voters may believe they;ll get a bargain, but it is likely that the goods will fall apart as soon as they get them home.
Our party has the ability and the determination to put together a radical and clear agenda for this country. Debates down for next weeks party Conference will not not eschew the tough subjects like tax reform, climate change and international law.
Representativs at Brighton will have the opportunity to show that liberal Deomocrats are not just people with ideas. This party can demonstrate that it is based on a set of clear political principles which in practical terms will enable ordninary pepole to be in control of their lives and to be part of a fairer and greener Britain