By Ollie Bradfield |
Ollie Bradfield is the Chair of the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union Liberal Democrats society.
Launching a candidate, especially in a target seat, is always fun. Alas, it does not involve breaking open a bottle of champagne over them, although I wouldn’t be opposed to this becoming a new tradition.
Launching Ruth’s campaign last month (it was under the assumption that a General Election would be called imminently) in Truro, amongst a crowd of enthusiastic Liberal Democrat supporters and members was a truly special moment.
Former MP for the seat Mathew Taylor gave a rousing speech in which he reassured us of the noble goal of liberalism against the populism of Corbyn and Johnson.
“…there was a real sense of purpose that evening…”
Ruth then gave her keynote speech, in which she told us about her life growing up in Cornwall, her values and ambitions for the future.
The atmosphere was unusually excited – most Lib Dem events I’ve gone to have been in dreary church halls or the living room of a kind member, usually with a sense that whatever election coming up is an existential one.
But there was a real sense of purpose that evening, a sense that we really have the chance to do something to get Ruth into Parliament and help stop Brexit.
“…the Liberal Democrats are standing firm on a commitment to Stop Brexit…”
To no-one’s surprise, Brexit was the prevailing theme – with both speakers emphasising the catastrophic consequences that Cornwall and the rest of the UK would face should Britain leave the EU.
This election is going to be the Brexit election that 2017 for some reason wasn’t – and the event made it clear the Liberal Democrats are standing firm on a commitment to Stop Brexit by revoking Article 50 if they get a majority.
But the campaign isn’t all about Brexit. The Liberal Democrats also have a plan to tackle the climate emergency – there’s an 85 page policy document explaining how the party might reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030, with a target for net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 – five years earlier than the Conservative’s current 2050 target.