2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the Limehouse Declaration and the launch of the Social Democratic Party in the UK, which was later to merge and form the Liberal Democrats. To mark this important milestone, this book brings together prominent politicians from across the spectrum of social democracy to reflect on its history and the challenges it faces in the coming decades.
With an introduction by Sir Vince Cable describing the current state of social democracy across the world, leading figures including Sarah Olney, Roger Liddle and Chris Huhne explore a wide range of contentious policy areas such as the economy, housing and globalisation. Together, they set out a vision for the country and for the Liberal Democrats that has social justice at its core.
"This book addresses vital questions which go to the heart of how we build a fairer, greener and more caring society." Sir Ed Davey MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats
"The current crisis is also forcing social democrats to come up with new or reworked policy ideas to tackle new problems or old problems in a new guise." Sir Vince Cable
"Now the time for Social Democrats to bridge the divide and work together." Julie Smith, University of Cambridge
"Social Democrats ... need to demonstrate to voters that they understand the future that is emerging, that they are thinking deeply about how to handle it, and that they have answers." Ian Kearns, Social Liberal Forum
Colin McDougall is Secretary of the Social Democrat Group. He is also Campaigns Officer for South Central Region of the Liberal Democrats. He has a professional background in project management. He joined the Liberal Democrats from Labour in 2017.
George Kendall is Chair of the Social Democrat Group. He joined the Liberal Democrats from the SDP. He has since served as a councillor and a Liberal Democrat Campaigns Officer. He has a professional background in software development.
Wendy Chamberlain is MP for North East Fife, the Liberal Democrat’s Chief Whip in the House of Common and spokesperson for Work and Pensions, and Scotland and Wales. She has served 12 years as a police officer and joined the Liberal Democrats in 2015
Foreword ~ Colin McDougall and George Kendall;
Introduction: what are the priorities for social democrats? ~ Vince Cable;
After the failed alternative vote referendum, how can electoral reform have a future? ~ Wendy Chamberlain;
How could a government actually deliver more housing? ~ Chris Hulne;
How will technology change the future of work? ~ Ian Kearns;
Can better public ownership promote efficiency and social justice? ~ Roger Liddle;
How do we grow the economy without damaging the global environment? ~ Dick Newby;
How can global free trade work for everyone? ~ Sarah Olney;
Towards a social democratic foreign policy? ~ Julie Smith;
How do we deliver social justice through education? ~ Stephen Williams;
What is the Social Democrat Group? ~ Colin McDougall and George Kendall