Gary for Lincoln Lib Dems

A blog following my political ramblings, for Lincoln and beyond

  • Lib Dem candidate for Glebe Ward. Involved in Mental Health Activism, Computing, Environmentalism and Gaming

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My Own Personal Political Crisis

Posted by Gazbook on August 1, 2010

Firstly apologies for not updating for so long; a house move, a change in medication and not to mention the pretty depressing election results have left me too pre-occupied to be able to add to this blog in a while. And to be honest, right now I need your opinion and advice.

I am in a massive political crisis. Every minute, I wonder whether the grass really does look greener on the other side. I wonder whether I should make the jump to either Labour or the Green Party (where the grass really is greener. And organic.) However, it doesn’t take long to see that the Labour Party are simply acting opportunistic, and jumping on the bandwagon of public opinion.

But when my own grandad, in jest, pretends to spit over the phone at the mention of the Lib Dems (and in the same way when we talked about the Iron Lady), it does make me wonder whether I am really making the right choice to stay as a Lib Dem. So, could anyone out there who is also a member of the party give me hope that I’m not the only one that does not wish to be part of a centre-right government? Not that I mind coalition at all: I guess I just want to be reassured that we won’t see Clegg-and-co do what New Labour did to the Labour party.

Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned in a previous post, the social-liberal viewpoint is one very firmly ingrained in my heart. However, it is difficult to look people in the eye and say I’m a Lib Dem, willing to put my neck on the line for the party right now. Especially when those closest to me, and the lower classes, are going to be the hardest hit. While the bankers got a bail-out.

Does anyone else feel like this? What should I do? Can we network and utilise the party-democracy to put our case forward? Definitely in the favour of the Lib Dems is how democratic our party is. Although at the moment I fear those in the cabinet are taking liberties with our, errm, liberties.

Post hugely inspired by the very good “The Liberal Democrat Journey to a Lib-Con Coalition – and where next?”


5 Responses to “My Own Personal Political Crisis”

  1. JohnM said

    We do advocate pluralism in politics don’t we? That means coalitions and compromise for most of the time. Liberals have a duty to be eternally vigilant in the defence of freedom in all that it is including against poverty, ignorance and conformity. Thus now we have a duty in government to ensure that the policies of the government do not make the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable any worse, and ideally enable them to spread their wings and play a greater role in the social and economic process for the good of the us all.

    Too early to make judgements on the effects of the cuts (versus the effect of no cuts) and on how our cabinet team might react if we see danger to the freedoms of people. I think many of the proposals from the government look positively liberating. Wait and see, keep focused and stay forever vigilant.

  2. Alistair Rae said

    From my perspective the coalition was the politically responsible thing to do, uncomfortable as it might be. The Tories have their lunatic right wing, we have our own difficulties, so it’s going to be a challenge reconciling those. Coalition is also a means to an end, the opportunity to develop the electoral system is worth exploiting if we can.

    But neither of those are particularly conclusive, particularly if one wishes to play ”virtual history” as seems to be happening in some areas around what any other government solution might have looked like; fantasy ”progressive” majority (given that progressive is completely undefined) or a Tory minority with another election later in the year.

    With that in mind I’d consider your question. Why stay a Lib Dem when there are options around Labour and the Greens. Both are statist, economically socialist with a preference for state control and socially authoritarian, although Labour is also pretty socially conservative on top of that. Personally I see both a pretty long way from the core tenets of liberalism, whether one is to the left or right of our party.

  3. Greenfield said

    Hi Dude,

    First you have to decide what kind of country & world you would like to live in;
    next decide if you want to take an active part in bring the above about;
    thirdly decide whether a polital Party reflects your key principles;
    Lastly if you join a Political party have you the balls to stick things out when it gets tough & when just about everyone around says its you & your political party is wrong – have you got the strength to do this?

    If you answer – yes this is the kind of world/counrty I want to see, yes I what to take an active role & this Political Party reflects my own principles & I take the heat that comes with Government, then you may have your answer.

    If you cant the heat of Government & you are thinking of joining Labour!!! (just think of the Illegal War, financial mess, taking away freedoms for starters) – I cant see for any Liberal minded person they would offer a suitable/happy home. The Greens would again be uncomfortable for Liberals – but would offer the luxury of not ever having to take reponsiblity of Government (there are no Green Party run Councils of any discription as far as I’m aware in the Country).

    If you cant take the heat the Lib Dems are under at present – (& its going to get a lot hotter), then perhaps you are better off joining the Friends of the Earth & campaigning that way.


    4th generation Liberal – staying with the Lib Dems come hell or high water!

  4. Gary Watts said

    Hi all- thanks for your messages. Staying a Lib Dem is extremely important to me. We are no doubt going to be made scape-goats of the coalition, but that’s where things like my blog come in to defend the decisions taken.

  5. Anthony Fairclough said

    I would agree with all the people who’ve posted above. Neither Green Party nor Labour (I mean, come on, could you really join Labour – Labour’s not a progressive or democratic party!) are liberal parties – although undoubtably they have members who are liberal.

    We are a party that supports a democratic change to the voting system that would make coalitions more likely, and that means we have to be able to make coalitions work, even if we’re not wild about our coalition partners.

    The Government does have a right-wing flavour – but that’s because of the hundreds of Tory MPs that make up the greater part of it. Sadly, that’s what the largest number of people voted for. Still, there’s plenty to be proud of – removing the lowest paid from tax completely, increasing capital gains tax, removing the right of the middle classes to benefits – but increasing the child tax credit for the least well off, introducing a ‘pupil premium’ to support the children most in need. None of these are things a Tory Government would have done. None of this is to mention action to clean up our politics – the right to recall MPs, House of Lords reform and the possibility of a better voting system for MPs.

    You should also remember the hundreds of decisions taken every day by ministers – these don’t get the press but every one of our 20 ministers and junior ministers is exercising government power every day in a more liberal way.

    The bile coming out of Labour commentators is a convenient excuse for them to fail to learn why they lost the election. It shows their arrogance. And don’t forget that the vast majority of the press is not friendly to us either, and never had been – don’t expect us to ever get more than a neutral write up at best.

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