Is the SLF still alive?
The Social Liberal Forum’s website has not been updated since November 10th which is a somewhat worrying development. This is a time when the Liberal Democrats social liberal wing should be alive and kicking with plenty to discuss and debate; not least the prospect of a hung-parliament and all the implications that has for the Liberal Democrats as a party.
Meanwhile, across the water Labour’s left is enjoying something of a revival; something that potentially could continue post the General Election; especially if the Blairites continue their kamikaze strategy of sniping and undermining Gordon Brown’s leadership.
In the Fabian Society and Next Left there is also a serious force within Labour looking to expand the horizons of possible post-election co-operation. Sunder Katwala shows some foresight and vision in recognising that this issue and how it is resolved could dramatically affect the fortunes of both parties.
Of course, the process of rapprochement would necessarily involve a long and painful process of intense discussion and debate. Within that the Liberal Democrats lack of an organised centre-left presence would only be harmful to its representation in the agreed concord. Rather than being hamstrung by the dream of supplanting Labour (which will not ever happen this side of electoral reform, barring a social upheaval on the scale of a small revolution) it is better to recognise the benefits mutual co-operation could bring.
I doubt many would share that view this side of an election (though watch them radically change after the dust settles) for reasons that are understandable. However, it can at least be agreed that the SLF’s seeming demise is not exactly a positive thing either for the wider Liberal Democrat Party as a whole or indeed itself.
So, if the SLF is still alive then maybe now would be the time for it to spring vigerously to life.
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