I’m a campaigner, a reformer, and I have huge ambitions for our party. I’m 32 and I’m prepared to spend the next 50 years of my life fighting for our beliefs. The next few months will be challenging but they also present an unrivalled opportunity for us to lay the foundations for a Liberal Revival. Clearly, we can only do this with a vibrant Lib Dem youth movement.
After May, we must launch an ambitious national scheme to recruit members in such numbers that we will within 20 years wipe out all ‘black holes’, be as diverse as the UK, and re-build our local government base and membership from community level up.
I know that it will be the members of Liberal Youth who deliver this vision, which is why I’m already championing young people in the party in a number of different ways. On the ALDC Management Committee and on the party’s Federal Executive (a bit like a governing board), I have already advocated Liberal Youth, Lib Dem Women, LibDem LGBT+ and Ethnic Minority Lib Dems (EMLD) as recruiting grounds for 2015 Council candidates, and non-target seat PPCs (the target seats having selected their candidates already).
If you’re interested in standing, please get in contact – I can direct you towards the right place. And if you’ve already decided to stand as a PPC for the first time next year, I’m running the first-ever training session at Autumn conference tailored specifically for ‘first time Parliamentary candidates’. I’m really chuffed to be the mentor for Grace Weaver who has been selected to fight South Suffolk next year – I hope she’ll be joining me to talk about the value of mentoring in the party.
I’m also really delighted that I have two really talented young people at the heart of my campaign team for the party Presidential election. Courtney Mower was 15 when she contacted me as her LibDem Parliamentary Candidate in Suffolk Coastal in 2010, and now at the age of 20 she’s at Leicester Uni and looking to get involved in East Midlands Liberal Youth. Murray Hawthorne who’s 18 joined the party this summer after the European debates between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, wanting to be part of the only party that stood up for internationalist ideals. There’s plenty to do so if you want to be involved – please drop me a line! I believe in giving young people meaningful opportunities, and I have done so throughout my career.
I’ve seen a number of excellent initiatives come out of Liberal Youth – from the ‘Bears for Belarus’ campaign raising awareness of human rights abuses in that country, to delivering an enviable campaign machine, which helped us win the Eastleigh Parliamentary by-election! Yet, I know that there have been frustrations that the party hasn’t been as supportive as it could have been in helping to keep the momentum going.
Most importantly, I want to know what change Liberal Youth members want to see in the party. So drop me a line with your ideas so we can build our Liberal Revival together.
Facebook: Daisy Cooper for Lib Dem President