LDVideo: A fairer, more democratic, greener, liberal country


Video also available on YouTube here.

In this short film from Channel 4’s “Political Slot” Tim Farron, Floella Benjamin, Chris Huhne, Paddy Ashdown and Steve Webb talk about what Liberal Democrats are doing to make Britain a fairer, more democratic, greener, liberal country.

Tim says,

Normally, if you like Liberal Democrat ideas, ideas is all they remain. But for the first time in 65 years, the Liberal Democrats are in power, making a huge difference.

…and with the help of his colleagues, sets out the changes the party wants to make over the next four years.

  • Paddy acknowledges that “things are tough at the moment, and frankly they’re going to stay tough a little longer” and talks of “building a new economy from the rubble of the old.”
  • Steve Webb points out that we’ve restored the link between earnings and state pensions and looks forward to ending age discrimination for older workers.
  • Floella praises the Pupil Premium.
  • Tim rounds off:

    Last year we could have bottled it, we could have stayed in opposition. Instead we chose to make a difference. And that is what we’re doing.

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    9 Comments

    • the problem is that the difference that is being made is a bad one I see people on low incomes suffering, loossing thier jobs, I see council services being cut, I see kids from working families scared of going to university, I see people at the bottom felling the squeze, the state being rollod dismantelled and a throwback to gawd no when, I see workers rights being trampled on by Liberal Democratic Councils, I see nothing fair about this gov it stinks of thatcherisem, it cuts like thatcherisem, it produces more centralisation like thathcerisem and it will devide the nation like thatcherisem.
      Only plus side is it will destroy the party that has split the progressive vote.

    • Matthew Huntbach 22nd Feb '11 - 11:41am

      Tim Farron

      Normally, if you like Liberal Democrat ideas, ideas is all they remain. But for the first time in 65 years, the Liberal Democrats are in power, making a huge difference.

      No, no, no, this is such poor tactics.

      The second sentence is a classic mistake, which our party, or those at the top of it at least, has been making since the coalition was formed. Whoever was in government following the 2010 general election was going to have to make difficult decisions. But we have an extreme right-wing* party dominating the government, one whose ideology is very different from ours. Yes, I do mean “extreme right-wing”, we can see this by far-right policies such as the sale of the forests which even normally staunch conservative supporters opposed. Unless we REALLY think all these extreme right-wing policies are going to work (which we didn’t when we fought the election), it’s not going to do us any good to get too closely identified with them. For myself, I think this government is going to push this country into a bigger and deeper mess from which it will need bigger and deeper rescuing after it is thrown out in disgust at the next general election. The reason I believe this is that this government is carrying out all the policies, but just in a nastier and more extreme form, that have got this country into the mess it has been since politics swung that way in 1979.

      So, to state things like us having a “making a huge difference” on the government is to tie ourselves to a sinking ship. We would be MUCH better off making it clear we are only able too exert a small influence, we are just in a position to ameliorate a government that would be even worse without us there, that’s all. We should not be saying we are “in power”, because we don’t have much power in this government. We need to be putting ourselves in a position where we can jump off that sinking ship by the time of the next general election, and make sure the public see we are offering something completely different from Cameron’s extreme right-wing policies, not making it seem as if these policies are all fully endorsed by us because we have such a “huge” influence on the government, so the policies must only be in place because our influence allows them, or we are “in power” so it is our “power” that gives the country these policies.

      The first of Tim Farron’s sentences is just incredibly defeatist. This word “normally” suggests a mentality where we accept what we have now is the best we can ever get. What a lack of ambition this sentence shows! Our aim should be to present ourselves as gradually building up, with the tiny bit of influence we have now just showing we are willing to get involved in government if needs be (as it was in May 2010), but capable of MUCH more than that if we are put in a position of REAL power by us having the dominant voice in government rather than the tiny voice we have now.

      * A note on “left-right”. This basic meaning of this terminology is that “right” means in defence of those who have power in society believing what they are doing is for the best, that prospects would be damaged if power were shifted and shared more widely amongst the people. The opposite to this is “left”, meaning critical of the current balance of power, a belief that those who have power are damaging and do not have the interests of the people at heart, and that measures to shift power and spread it to the people are necessary. In the 18th and 19th century when these terms developed, those in power would have been the aristocracy and the established church. But now in the 21st century they are the international financiers, the top bankers, the City fat cats. That is why I say the current government is extreme right-wing. In its supine nature to them, it is far to the right of the more moderate right-wing governments of France and Germany, for example.

    • Dinti Batstone 22nd Feb '11 - 11:52am

      Is it just me who is dismayed that none of our senior women Liberal Democrat MPs are included in this video?

      What about our female ministers, Lynne Featherstone doing sterling work on equality, or Sarah Teather in her role as Education Minister, or indeed Jo Swinson, who is a fantastic role model for younger women in politics? It’s very nice to see Floella, but with all due respect she is an example of someone who has been elevated to the peerage for her activities outside politics, rather than an example of an elected Lib Dem woman parliamentarian making a difference in government after years of hard campaigning in a constituency and at Westminster.

    • @Dinti – no.

    • Just a few things to say…

      Yes we do remember, and 57 (that’s the excuse used).

      We are supposed to believe anything Liberal Democrats say, sorry guys not anymore

      Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

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