Pressing reset

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Last night I formally resigned as a member of the Liberal Democrats, effective immediately. To answer some likely questions:

1) No, I’m not joining another party. As if.
2) No, I’m not making a protest or resigning because of a specific issue.
3) No, I’m not planning to write a self-aggrandising article about my personal reasons for resigning, at least not this week (and when I do I’ll try my best to keep the self-aggrandising to a minimum).
4) Yes, I’m planning to continue this blog.
5) Yes, I might well come back. Then again, I might not.

I’d just like to add my thanks and appreciation to my friends who have been so understanding, and in particular to the Social Liberal Forum council and exec team who I am, frankly, leaving in the lurch.

Onwards and upwards.

29 thoughts on “Pressing reset

  1. Unlike.

    James, you and I have spent the last 16 and a bit years as members, often working together. So when you do write that, would you mind just expanding on why you think now’s a good time to leave others to do the fighting for what you (and I, 98% of the time) believe in, which you have proven yourself extremely adept at doing?

  2. Gareth, I don’t think I can because I don’t think now is a particularly good time. But then I don’t think there is ever a good time. I will certainly explain my reasons in time.

  3. James, I appreciate this won’t have been an easy decision, and I don’t like it but I’d like to understand it.

    I have been questioning my own membership of the Liberal Democrats and haven’t decided whether I’m going or staying yet. I would be very interested in comparing reasons!

  4. Extremely sorry to hear this, though it’s understandable. Hope the party will win you back sooner rather than later. That said, I know you’ll continue to fight for liberalism and democracy, and that’s more important than which party you’ll do it from.

  5. As I said to another party member in similar circumstances:
    “I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
    A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
    An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!
    This day we fight”

    I’m incredibly sorry to read this as like most of the people above I’ve worked with you on various (mainly LDYS) things over the years. Don’t always agree with everything you’ve said or done in that time but then who does 🙂 I never had any doubt that your thinking wasn’t based on a genuine commitment to liberalism and some intelligent thought about the situation.

    I think we should respect your decision not to write about your reasons why but I hope you’ll expand on them at some point.

    In the meantime if and when you want to come back to the party then certainly my door will always be open.

  6. We’ve not met, but I’ve long admired your thinking and writing on all things liberal and democratic. This is sad news. I too hope you’ll continue campaigning for small-l/small-d liberal democracy from outside the constraints of the party. And maybe one day from back within it.

  7. Lots of us have wondered about our continuing membership of the Lib Dems – not a bad thing in itself, surely? And I suppose it’s inevitable that some of us will fall off the roundabout … but since the reason most of us are here is Liberalism, we probably won’t be joining other parties. As James says, it is possible to fight the liberal cause outside the party. See you soon!

  8. We only met briefly, but it will be sad to see you go. I remember when I first started blogging I used to ask myself: would this pass the James Graham test? Certainly helped to concentrate minds!

    Best of luck.

  9. We’ve never met James, and I’m sure you have very good reasons for leaving. I hope that you will come back some day. We need you and people like you.

  10. The Lib Dems are still basically a coalition of free-thinking independents, who happen to want to build and maintain a free, fair and open society. I don’t agree with everything our leaders do, but I agree even less with the leaders of other parties, so I’ll carry on paying my £12.

  11. James, you live or used to live in my borough of Barnet and I’ve always enjoyed running into you at Conference, etc. I often enjoy reading your work and even when I disagree with your words, I always like your style and your lack of that vituperative tone which certain other bloggers occasionally adopt. May I be so presumptious as to guess why you might have gone? Party politics can be all-consuming and one sometimes wants to do something else for a time – it can be a matter of personal development. In the 90s, after graduating, I allowed my membership to lapse. I had been a member of the Liberal/SDP Alliance, and that had died, and I felt then that the Lib Dems were going round in ever-decreasing circles. I never joined another party and I went on helping Lib Dems on election days, but I was no longer a member of the party. Then my life moved on and the election of a new leader in 1999 galvanised me to act on a long-held feeling that I might want to come back, so here I am. I would recommend such a sabbatical to anyone. There is more to life than having an all-consuming interest in a political party! But that may have nothing to do with James’ departure.

  12. My best wishes. I would really rather have returned to the Lib Dem FE by another method than your resignation (that is the result). I hope that life the universe and everything will allow you to come back min the fullness of time (shorter). In the meantime enjoy yourself.

  13. Oh James. Like you I am no longer a member, but I suspect for both of us the Lib Dems will always be our tribe. Best of luck for the future.

  14. James – have only just picked up on your resignation; sorry to see you go. It is becoming difficult to be a dissenter towards the current regime and direction of travel, we will be missing a big figure in this..

  15. Very sorry to read this. But remember leaders, coalitions, leading members, policies, come and go – but Liberalism will go on – and you are I am sure, and will remain a Liberal, whether or not you have a piece of plastic.

  16. A very sad day … I am sorry to see you leave, James. I know you will have some excellent reasons for leaving, but you will be missed. We were stronger and better with you in.

  17. The same sentiments that I expressed when I left the Party in November 2010, and every bit as consistent now.

    When there’s a Party with policies worth campaigning for, I’ll be back and I hope you will too. Until then, I can see where you are coming from, and I speak from experience. Clegg and his gang of Tory enablers are not the Party of which I was once proud to be a member.

  18. Don’t you think its a bit drama-queeny to flounce out without giving your reasons for leaving, simply and soberly?

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