Another endorsement for the Lib Dems – this time from Liberal Conspiracy

Sunny Hundal, founding editor of the most influential left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy, has just blogged his endorsement of the Lib Dems for the coming election:

After last night’s debate one thing really struck me. We on the left and many Labourites who are also on the left, fight against discrimination and marginalised people. This is why we attack the Tories for their homophobia and their flashes of racism.

But the way that both Labour and the Tories (the latter expected anyway) not only dismissed the idea of an amnesty, but actually dog-whistled throughout about how the Libdem plan would wreak havoc sickened me. …

the people who do claim to be in politics for the poor and the marginalised cannot claim that we should not have sympathy for these people. And it made me sick when all Brown could do was attack Clegg for even suggesting a very meek policy, rather than offering ideas of his own. This is a man with no ideas. He is not fit to lead the country (neither is Cameron of course, but I was always going to say that).

I am proud to see myself on the Left and I am proud of what the Left stands for. I just don’t believe this Labour government stands for the same values.

Sunny’s endorsement of the Lib Dems follows hot on the heels of The Guardian, and an impressive group of progressive writers.

We’re just waiting now for the Fabian’s Sunder Katawala and Left Foot Forward’s Will Straw: it can only be a matter of time, surely?

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16 Comments

  • Anthony Aloysius St 1st May '10 - 9:02am

    “But the way that both Labour and the Tories (the latter expected anyway) not only dismissed the idea of an amnesty, but actually dog-whistled throughout about how the Libdem plan would wreak havoc sickened me. …”

    The trouble is that it’s not only Labour and the Tories who dismiss the idea of an amnesty. When the issue was raised, Nick Clegg’s immediate reaction was this:
    “I don’t want you to be misled by David Cameron. I’m not advocating an amnesty.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8652884.stm

    I think that was the second most depressing moment of the debate for me.

  • This is good news. I respect Sunny a good deal, despite his occasional mistakes (like over how progressive or not the tax switch is). He is right about the “amnesty” as well.

  • Sunder Katwala 1st May '10 - 10:23am

    Given the site and Sunny have always been liberal-left mainly from a left of Labour ngo position, particularly on social liberalism, perhaps it might help to call time on the excessively touchy sense that so often claims it is a Labour front. I think I am one of very few Labour members who are regular writers for the site.

    And thanks for the invitation. Personally, I will hold fire. My personal politiics are Labour pluralist, and have been developed under the influence of Marquandism since at least 1991, so I do have a lot of time for the LibDems, though I think that can be combined with policy challenges (from your left, not your right!).

    My personal, preferred outcome from this election has long been a Lab-Lib coalition committed to electoral reform and a full constituitional settlement. that was the case well before the campaign began – hence my advocating that in the New Statesman in January 2009. I think the policy platform set out in that article would be close to the basis on which a coalition would be possible. Labour has now shifted to the Commons AV and Lords PR position I advocated 18 months ago, though a good case can certainly be made for the Commons being AV+ in such a reform package.

    Unfortunately, a Tory minority government seems to me right now a considerably more likely outcome than that, and quite possibly one where they will deal rather more with the Ulster parties than the Liberal Democrats. Only if the Tories are pegged back well short of 35-36%, eg below 33%, and Labour comes through rather better than the polls currently predict both nationally and in Tory-Labour marginals does any non-Tory government or government committed to political reform seem to me to have much chance of emerging.

    That will again raise the question of the future of progressive politics. On the long view, my argument is that almost all of the major advances in recent British political history arose from various forms of Lab-Lib cooperation; very little was produced by liberal-conservative alliances other than the destruction of the Liberal party, while the Conservatives have always prevailed and dominated alone in open three-way competition.

    That is why, despite Nick Clegg’s success in this campaign, I see all arguments (within Labour or the LibDems) such as his Demos realignment argument which suggest hat one of the parties can be eliminated as a serious political force as a strategic dead-end.

  • This is why I fear it will all go pear-shaped for the Lib-Dems if they back the Tories in an HP.

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