The Litmus test of British politics

This conference season, Left Foot Forward is teaming up with Lib Dem Voice and ConservativeHome to create LITMUS. A free newspaper and online debate covering key issues.

This party conference season, Left Foot Forward is teaming up with Lib Dem Voice and ConservativeHome to create LITMUS, an initiative designed to inspire informed debate that transcends party politics and spans old and new media.

LITMUS begins life as a limited edition newspaper in which leading thinkers from across the political spectrum address six key questions facing Britain today. We have assembled a panel of contributors including Climate Secretary Chris Huhne MP, Treasury Select Committee Member Chuka Umunna MP, Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP, top tweeting MP Tom Watson, and Immigration Minister Damian Green MP as well as a number of bloggers. A fresh print run of the paper will be distributed at each of the three main conferences, the content evolving as events unfold. Readers can download a free copy by paying with a tweet.

But the newspaper is just the beginning. Online discussion, encouraged across the three blogs and through Twitter and Facebook, will be tied back into coverage of the conferences. Reader comments will be featured in each new print run of newspapers and opinions shared with key party members.

The editorial team have developed an infographic as a ‘litmus test’ of the British political landscape today. It plots the ideological divergences and convergences that exist within and across the three main parties against two axes: economic policy (Keynesian interventionists vs deficit hawks) and role of government (open hand or closed fist).

The first iteration of the paper is already available to download at litmustest.org, and in delegate packs for those attending the Lib Dem Conference. Live online events are being arranged over the next month to further engage debate across the three editor blogs – LeftFootForward, Lib Dem Voice and ConservativeHome with Twitter discussion organised around the #litmus hashtag.

Litmus is a special publication from leftfootforward.org, conservativehome.com and libdemvoice.org in which leading thinkers from across the political spectrum address six key questions facing Britain today. Download the Litmus PDF for free from litmustest.org.

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