In my opinion, the Liberal Democrats have always been at their best outside the Establishment, standing up for the marginalised and ignored in our society. It is with this in mind that I proposed our theme for Michaelmas Term: ‘Outsiders’.
In October, we were visited by Pauline Pearce, the renowned ‘Hackney Heroine’, who reminded us of the need for liberals to reach out to the increasingly diverse communities who we purport to represent. In November, moreover, we will be hosting two very different kinds of outsiders: firstly, Lembit Opik, who was highly critical of Nick Clegg’s leadership of the party before it was fashionable, will be talking about his ‘Wilderness Years’ in a party that leans more and more towards the centre and centre-right. Secondly, Jim Wallace, a former Deputy First Minister of Scotland and current Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, will draw on his vast experience in Scottish government to explore whether there is any future for unionism in a country which feels more marginalised than ever. Finally, despite historic steps in recent years, the LGBT+ community remains disadvantaged in Britain. The Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront of progressive change on this issue, but recognise that there is much more work to be done. At our inaugural LGBT+ Forum on 11th November, we, together with experts in the field, will be discussing how to combat inequality and disadvantage over the coming years.
Cambridge Student Lib Dems are not just a debating society, however; we are first and foremost a campaigning organisation. On Sundays throughout the term we will be canvassing and leafleting both students and townsfolk, so that as many of them turn out as possible at the General Election next year to re-elect Britain’s best MP: Julian Huppert. Please do join us- it’s fun, therapeutic and certainly no experience required!
It only remains for me to welcome you to our dynamic and exciting society, which since 1886 has been the foremost centre for liberal thought in this university. I hope you enjoy your time here.
Chair, CSLD (firstname.lastname@example.org)