Sunday, July 02, 2006

Posing the 100 Year Question: A Liberal Democrat Narrative

So the question is: Will the "human" race be around in 100 years?.

We'd like the answer to be yes, and to be more precise "yes for the world with a quality of life as good as we have in Britain now". (Although some would disagree)

But I think this question, and the paths it leads us down, links in with the discussions earlier in the year about a political narrative for our party - best explained here by Neil Stockley. Harold Wilson had great success back in the 60s with the phrase "The white heat of technological revolution" . My provisional title for this visionary political narrative is "Towards a Golden Age" (And yes, I know this is a crib from Dr Who)

"This century is going to give us huge scientific and political challenges- to find safe and secure sources of energy, to deal with climate change, to provide food and water for a growing population. Ordinary political issues will come and go, but these problems will be best solved by long-term planning and commitment. The Liberal Democrats will be the party that looks decades ahead, to try to make the latter parts of this century a Golden Age for our country - and for the world as a whole, because ultimately what is good for the planet is good for Britain.

Our party is fortunate in having some young gifted parliamentarians. We will appoint a couple of them as as environmental spokespersons , with the intention that they'd have that portfolio (perhaps with an occasional break) for perhaps the next thirty or forty years. Unprecedented? Maybe. But come 2030 or 2040, they might be among the most well-known, respected and influential politicians in Europe. And they will have achieved some valuable results.

As a party we understand the importance of the scientific approach. It will be needed to deal with many important issues, and a strong science base is part of the heritage of our country - we are the country of Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Crick, Fleming , Herschel and so many more great scientists. So we will not allow university science education to decline and we will not allow religious dogma to be taught as biology whatever happens in other parts of the world

Religious groups have an important role to play in our society, not only on spiritual issues, but in helping to deal with some of the social problems we will have and in philosophical arguments over the stewardship of the planet. However we won't consider that "Faith" schools have any kind of authority to teach science differently to how it is taught in "Reason" schools.

We are democrats as well as liberals, and our liberties as citizens must be protected. Global warming, energy shortages and environmental refugees will give governments around the world plenty of excuses to bring in authoritarian measures. As a principle, we will resist the temptation to introduce such measures when we are in government, and oppose them when we are not.

There will indeed be times when we are not in government - but we are looking at the long term , and will encourage all other parties to do the same. We will have a 'building-block' approach to the improvement of this country. These 'building blocks' might be major new construction projects, or new institutions. In the last century the NHS, BBC , RAF, Open University , the motorway system and the Channel Tunnel were all building blocks - the Millenium Dome and the Premiership were not. We will aim to see a new 'building block' completed every 5 years to improve or maintain the condition of our country.

Our long-term purpose as a party is to deal with these serious global problems that our country faces. A 100 years from now some of our youngest citizens will still be around as pensioners. We want them still to be living in a fair and democratic society , in a prosperous and forward-looking Britain."

No comments:

Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.