Sunday 11 November 2012

On being booted

Well, my small but significant electorate have spoken (dammit!) and I am no longer on the federal policy committee for the Lib Dems.

Since I am almost silent now, while I'm carrying out an independent review for the government, and I am a pretty loyal supporter of the party leader, I'm not terribly surprised.  But I've been on the FPC now for fourteen years, so it will be a bit of a wrench coming to terms with not being there any more.

But good luck to my heirs and successors, may they make brilliant, innovative policy (and may they ask my advice occasionally!)

But finding myself on the losing list yesterday has made me think back over the past decade or so and wonder whether I ever really made the best use of my position.  Perhaps more recently I helped with a couple of decisions which I am pleased about - the wording on banks in the party's last election manifesto, which made its way into the coalition agreement.  Also some of the latest policy on sustainable jobs, which I believe is important and new.

But apart from that?  I have been wondering about this.  Part of the problem is undoubtedly realising how to behave effectively when all you see as a party policy maker is a succession of policy documents flying past.  Part of the problem is that they do just fly past, and you know how difficult it is to make any of them memorable or effective.

That is the major problem for politicians now, and in all parties.  Media scrutiny demands that they should be measured and tentative; the circumstances of the times demand that they should be bold.

So if I have attempt to stand for this election again, I will have to be a great deal more focussed.  When it comes to the overwhelmingly important task - providing the Lib Dems with an absolutely distinctive and effective economic policy, then it's No More Mr Nice Guy!