Below is my elevator pitch. I do not claim it to be the definitive answer. It would be great to have other liberals, whether classical, libertarian or even social, to suggest what they see as essential in explaining what liberalism is all about.
For anyone who decides to post a pitch under this post, please keep it to around 100 words.
My elevator pitch: Liberals believe that people should be in control of their lives. A liberal government’s job is to remove obstacles that prevent that. In the set up that we have in the UK, a liberal government should also ensure that each person has as much control as possible over the public services they receive. We don’t have a prescription for the future or for all the problems people face. Rather we trust people to solve problems themselves and believe voluntary co-operation is far better than a central planner deciding everything.