Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan who was sacked by the British government for his outspoken commitment to human rights, has re-joined the Lib Dems.
Craig was a party member until 2005, when he chose to stand as an independent against Jack Straw. He stood again as an independent in last year’s Norwich North by-election. Writing of his decision on his blog, Craig says:
Politics is about the governance of society, and that entails people working together and collaborating their views. It is by definition a social pursuit, so to attempt to pursue it entirely alone to avoid compromising any of your opinions is not politics but futility. Why should I ever expect anybody to agree with me on absolutely every point? Probably nobody genuinely agrees with absolutely every word of the programme of any political party.
Though by no means uncritical of Nick Clegg and the party’s programme – Craig believe in Scottish independence and withdrawal from Afghanistan – he concludes:
I am very attracted by the Lib Dem proposal of a £10,000 tax allowance, to be paid for by a tax on houses worth over £2 million and by raising the rate of Capital Gains Tax to equal the rate of income tax paid by the individual benefiting.
That is a far more radical and egalitarian proposal than anything New Labour have on offer, and would enormously benefit the less well off, make work more attractive against benefits and stimulate the domestic economy through consumer demand.
So I shall not be standing in the general election, but will be actively campaigning for the Lib Dems.
Welcome (back) to the Lib Dems, Craig.