Author Archives: Alex Wasyliw

Coalition? Who cares?

coalSo the Lib Dem leader election is over and predictably Labour have gone full on coalition grievance mongering in response. They’d have done this whoever won, no doubt somewhere in Labour HQ there is an unused “This is what Ed doesn’t want you to know” video.

It seems to have fallen a bit flat, which is a good sign that people are reacting less viscerally but that doesn’t mean all is fine, it just means people are prepared to think about it.

People are listening to us again. 

The coalition and austerity will come up and we need to be able to address it. To be fair, we owe it to the public and ourselves to address it.

It’s unarguable that austerity happened whilst we were in coalition. Cuts were made and these cuts made people’s lives harder. It’s legitimate to care about that, irrespective of the reasons behind our decisions.

Every time I’ve heard Lib Dems address this I feel we still haven’t found a way of talking about it that recognises this legitimacy and can start rebuilding bridges.

When someone raises austerity we react as if they are asking us why we supported the policies of austerity. We talk about the economic climate, we talk about the lack of options, we talk about the fact we were in coalition and had to compromise, or maybe about how every party intended to make cuts.

Sometimes we make these points well, sometimes not so well but the real problem is we are addressing it from the wrong perspective. 

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