The disappointment of the election of 2015 will fade in time and the reality of a lone Conservative leadership will reveal its true blue. The previous benefits of mixing yellow with blue allowed great green achievements, like raising environmental concerns up the political agenda - where policies about sustainable living became part of ‘everyday conversations’. In contrast, without ever knowing the Conservative’s policies in detail, they have received the majority of seats to fill the House of Commons. Thus, they form our government for the next five years. On top of our very personal defeats, this political landscape presents us with an enormous challenge.
As a first time PPC, engaged in intense Hustings in Bethnal Green and Bow, against the incredible backdrop of an accounting firm running the local council, residents where unashamed in their criticism of democracy. Furthermore, the national ‘ConLibDems’ relationship damaged the party’s values and over time many LibDem supporters in London headed over to the Green party - chasing‘hope’. At a time of political anger and hopelessness, with extreme gentrification pushing local people out of the London, hope is a safe place to run to.
I shall be internally grateful to Constituents who shared precious moments at every Husting to explain why they could not vote for me, because, ‘yellow provided a platform for blue’. But what lifted me against these warm yet challenging moments is that this borough continues to place energy and belief in politics and hope!
Within hours of our defeat, and like the residents in Tower Hamlets, ‘hope’ returned - bundled in a package that I’ve named: ‘108’. We have 100 LibDem members in the House of Lords and 8 Members in the House of Parliament.
These members have developed close relationships over the last five years with the Conservatives and it is these remaining few that have the capacity to continue to deliver our values - driving them into the heart of the Conservative leadership.
As we continue our personal reflections and search for the building blocks of tomorrow, I ask that ‘Hope 108’ join us on this personal journey; because in this moment, this is where hope is. By ensuring we have ‘fact to face’ relationships to reinvigorate our shared trust and values - that we LibDems hold so dear, our 108 can support us. To a first time PPC participating in this bruising election of 2015, ‘Hope 108’ seem like a great place to start, for it is through them and by supporting them that we, the defeated, can still deliver Liberal values to our country.