Fifteen and hopeful: is social liberalism winning here?

By Tommy Velvick

Being a liberal has never been easy: whether here in the UK or with our colleagues in Europe. At fifteen, I know that my future depends on creating a liberal society so that my generation can thrive.

My vision was critically endangered following the near annihilation of the Liberal Democrats in 2015. The party has been on a slow rebuild since sensational local and European election results in 2019.

Many liberal parties of late struggle to gain representation in parliament. Whether that is the Liberal Democrats only comprising 2% of the House of Commons, or the slump of social liberalism across Eastern Europe. Yet we cannot lose momentum now - we are on the brink of success. UK by-election campaigns and the popularity of the liberal German Free Democratic Party proved there is appetite for our values. It is clear that bellies are rumbling, and even the German counterpart to the Liberal Democrats was similarly obliterated a decade ago - we always fight back.

Although current polls look bleak, we can learn from our European neighbours. Following their decline in support on the right, a prominent group within the liberal and market-friendly Ciudadanos (Citizens) Party in Spain recently established a "Liberal Refoundation." The project hopes to reinstate liberal values and recapture the spacious centre of Spanish politics.

Similar measures are becoming increasingly popular, providing much-needed comfort to my worried state. We are winning here.

The best way to continue the growth of liberal values is to support young people. We care about the world we will one day inherit. The reality is that with a lack of young people in politics, it is difficult for them to identify with politicians, as they feel their views are not accurately represented by those they do not relate to. 

Supporting and electing young candidates is crucial to achieving this vision. Seeing people like us in positions of power will restore our hope, make us care about our local communities, and engage our ambition instead of our frustration.

There is a bright future out there, one in which liberals are in government making change. This is achievable with a strong group of young, progressive liberals - we have to be the change. We must look at the past and the present to make the best decisions for our future.


Tommy Velvick is a Londoner, a member of the Liberal Democrats, and also a member of the Young Liberals.

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