Author Archives: Martin Petts

Opinion: Should Liberal Democrats accept defeat and join the two main parties?

Yesterday in The Times (£), Daniel Finkelstein, former SDP member turned Tory, writes that it’s all over for the Liberal Democrats. The best thing, he says, for those who wish to advance liberal ideas is to join whichever of the Tories and Labour they feel most comfortable with.

I would be lying if similar thoughts hadn’t crossed my mind, particularly after the 2015 general election. It’s heart breaking to see the party you support make steady progress throughout your adult life, culminating in entry into government in 2010, only to be seemingly pushed back to square one. Do we need to wait another 20 years to get back into government? Is that even a realistic objective anymore?

With the UK’s punishing electoral system working to maintain the two party status quo, does it make sense to be on the inside of that system, working for change, rather than pushed to the margins?

I think Finkelstein’s argument only really holds for those inside the Westminster elite. Yes, I can understand that if you’re an ambitious Liberal Democrat MP who has lost their job, you might now be wishing you’d jumped to one of the big two parties, where you might still be in government and looking to implement your ideas. But the argument isn’t really valid for anyone else.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 63 Comments

A letter from……Catalonia

As the UK plans a referendum on Scottish independence, those of us watching from Spain can only look on in envy at the orderly and civilised process led by the Secretary of State for Scotland. Here in Catalonia, Northern Spain, similar demand exists for an independent state, but the two sides have chosen indignation and confrontation instead of a serious debate.

The last two years have been tough for all EU governing parties and Spain has unique problems, with its sky-high unemployment levels, corruption and a rickety banking system. But this month Catalans will go to the polls in a general

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 3rd Sep - 1:48pm
    Jane Ann Liston 30th Aug '15 - 10:52pm "I was bitten by a silent dog lurking behind a letterbox through which I was delivering a...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 3rd Sep - 1:45pm
    @John Tilley That's slightly dodging the point. Are you saying that I am correct when I say that “….John Tilley (and some others like him)...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 3rd Sep - 1:39pm
    Good point Bob. All we can do is try hard in our own local parties.
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 3rd Sep - 1:37pm
    @David Raw "Sorry, Simon. as a former Convenor of Social Work on Scottish Borders Council it was not my business to be misinformed." You referred...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 3rd Sep - 1:37pm
    Well we didn't need a compelling vision to recruit so many over the past 4 months. But anyway this is all subjective and also depends...
  • User AvatarRoland 3rd Sep - 1:37pm
    @Dav Do you deny that the EU thus constrains British sovereignty in all kinds of areas, leaving just enough freedom for British politicians to fiddle...