This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Liberals - A party of the left ! Lib Dems a party of ?

Yes it's true ! Darell Goodliffe ( and myself should be pleased ! Sadly, it is the continuing Liberal Party ( 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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sympathise with what you are saying but the only alternative to Clegg was Huhne who came over at hustings, and at meetings since, as wanting an even bigger lurch to the right. Things would have been no better had he won. If ever a ballot paper needed RON as an option, that was the one!

8:56 pm BST

Blogger Darrell G said...

Welcome back Barrie :), glad to see you have returned to the fray...sadly my only experience of the Liberal Party is sending a letter to a Liberal councillor on Ryedale District Council on behalf of my partner complaining that they voted against free swimming for under-16s whereupon she received a snotty letter in reply...

On a wider note I have been guarded in my feelings about tax cuts...on Clegg the same especially now we are taking a hammering in the polls...

10:15 pm BST

Blogger Tristan said...

Here we go with 'left wing means trampling the individual'

The left was classically opposed to much that it stands for today. It opposed the Tory methods of government and oppression. It stood for freedom from arbitrary authority, not submission to it.

So called public services don't serve individuals, they serve the parasitic classes who live off the sweat of others.

They are designed to remove the possibility of voluntary community and individual action. They are designed to make the poor and middle classes dependent upon the state so the state can continue.

The education system breeds generations of dull witted, status quo parroting sheep, just as JS Mill warned it would.
The NHS prevents people (especially the poor) from benefitting from the best medical care.
The myriad of regulation and licensing restricts access to services and destroys innovation.

The left needs to get a grip and wake up. Some are starting to, they just need to realise that instead of replacing the current right wing crony capitalism with more 'left wing' crony capitalism they need to advocate true freedom.

Progressivism is misnamed - it is regressive. It was designed by the powerful to preserve their power from competition and innovation. Why do you think the greatest trumpeters of New Dealism and progressivism have been the powerful and rich? Because it is they who stand to benefit the most.

Like you, I abhor the suffering in the world, but I seek to eradicate it as far as possible, not just put a sticking plaster on the wound and hoping it holds for a bit longer.

1:19 pm BST

Anonymous oranjepan said...

The LibDems are the party of the people!

Just give up with all this left, right, centre nonsense - we are decentralisers and we believe in decentralisation because people live their own lives and we won't be dictated to by anyone wherever they stand in the hall (well maybe just a little bit, we do take advice, but not too much as we still like to make up our own minds)!

12:07 pm GMT


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