The Orange Books’ authors made it what it is. Had it not been for David Laws MP and Paul Marshall, it might have been nothing more than an obscure collection of policy articles by the rising stars ofBritain’s third party. But by including an article that called for the replacement of the National Health Service with a National Health Insurance Scheme (Laws) and proposing a title and a cover that literally painted over the Yellow of collectivist social democracy with the Orange of liberalism (Marshall), The Orange Book’s authors ensured that the Liberal Democrats would at last begin to debate the elephant that had been standing, un-discussed, in the Conference chamber and at local party meetings for far too long: the Lib Dem’s classical liberal heritage.
The June edition of Economic Affairs, which I guest edited, takes a look at the legacy of The Orange Book, eight years on, and asks “Have the Liberal Democrats ‘reclaimed liberalism’, as Laws and Marshall hoped? And what has been the impact on the party and its role in government?
To find out, you can read the rest of this article at the Institute of Economic Affairs website.
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