…. and the Liberal Democrats.
I have a confession to make. I’m actually quite impressed with the
catch all party Liberal Democrats. I still don’t like them, but they’ve got themselves in Government for the first time since the 2nd World War. A good job, you’d think. They’ve moved away from being the opposition party that is purely opportunistic and has no values, to being a party of Government that still doesn’t have any apparent values, beyond being in favour of them winning and everybody else losing. Cllr Matthew Hulbert, a Lib Dem Councillor, has written a blog on the Lib Dems working with Labour
I guess the question that I’m really looking to answer, is, if the electoral outcome is such, should Labour work with the Lib Dems post 2015.
First of all, let me start with a joke, which is borrowed from Tom Harris MP’s excellent book “Why I’m right and everybody else is wrong”. If you haven’t bought it yet, buy it. But anyway, the joke is this:
A Labour activist is walking along a cliff top. He comes across a Tory and a Lib Dem hanging on to the cliff edge by their finger nails. Who does he push off first?
The Tory, of course. Business before pleasure.
Would you want to work with the Lib Dems? They went into the last election with a very good manifesto, with lot’s of things that I support: Making Britain fairer and greener. Lovely. But what have they done now? Well, first of all, they are propping up a Tory Government. They say that they are getting concessions from the Tories on areas like the NHS, on tuition fees, and assorted other issues. This is true. They are. They also wouldn’t have to be getting those concessions if they weren’t in Government with the Tories. The Tories would not be in such a strong position, and in Government, if it was not for the Lib Dems.
Then again, they needed to actually do something to persuade people to vote for them. They need to show that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is not a wasted one. How well have they done? Not very. They are on about 9% in opinion polls, and they will almost certainly be decimated at the next general election.
Should we work with them? I am inclined to say no. I have no interest in supporting a minority party, with minority interests and putting them in Government in the process. It should be Labour that appeals to enough people, and can form a broad enough coalition by itself, which we are more than capable of doing.
I would never say that we should never work with the Lib Dems. I wouldn’t want to, and in 2015, we shouldn’t need to.
To any Lib Dems who are uncomfortable with the position of their Government, I would suggest that you visit this link.