Liberals - A party of the left ! Lib Dems a party of ?
Yes it's true ! Darell Goodliffe (http://momentsofc.blogspot.com/) and myself should be pleased ! Sadly, it is the continuing Liberal Party (www.liberal.org.uk) that has decided to indentify itself as a 'party of the left' following it's Annual Assembley two weeks ago in Wolverhampton. Whilst the Liberals are 'officially' a party of the 'left', the Lib Dems are now a party of ...?
Whilst there are many positions where I agree with the Liberal Party, their influence and reach amongst the electorate is limited to Exeter / parts of Devon, Liverpool and Worcestershire and not many places elsewhere. It is intriguing in todays me-too centrist / centre-right consensus politics to see a party explicitly declare themselves as 'radical' and of the 'left'. But as a public voice of liberalism and liberal ideas - forget it !
In the time I've been away from Lib Dem blogging we've had the spinning to the Torygraph by Clegg about our tax cutting agenda, prior to policy approval by Conference. That it needed the wheeling out of 'big guns' to win the vote for Clegg (and on a narrower majority than the press declared) tells me all isn't lost for the Lib Dems yet. Last December I wasn't convinced by Clegg and I'm still not. Prior to the taxation vote, that Clegg's biggest publicity was for not believing in God and for the laughable GQ interview says it all. That he thought the state pension was around £30 a week just shows out of touch he is. I remain semi-attached to the Lib Dems. Being the best of a bad bunch is hardly a call to arms is it ?
Whatever else the tax positioning does / doesn't do, to me it smacks of opportunism and an attemp to outflank the Tories in the south of England. And, no, I do not put tax cuts above the continuing need for further improving public services as a party priority.