Opinion: Justifying the unthinkable

Like all Liberal Democrats, I would never support a Tory government. Most of us have spent many years asking countless people to vote Lib Dem to “keep the Tories out”, but I actually think that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Without the Liberal Democrats the Tories would have a majority now. So many Lib Dems seats are Tory/Lib Dem fights, and it’s because the Lib Dem vote held up in places like the South West that Mr. Cameron did not get the majority he needed to enable him to go ahead with the sort of traditional Tory policies that were in his manifesto.

Like most Liberal Democrats I would rather have done a deal with Labour, but a ‘rainbow coalition’ with them, the nationalist parties, and the Green MP, would have been no more stable than a rainbow coalition with Zippy, Bungle and George!

These are extremely difficult and dangerous times, and what the nation needs is stable, responsible and caring government. So, I would ask people to look very closely at the policy details that the coalition has agreed. These policies would never have been acceptable to the Tory party before the election, but the fact that David Cameron and his mates have been prepared to make so many concessions indicates that maybe… just maybe… they really are prepared to put the national interest first. Perhaps they really have changed? It is certainly unthinkable that Margaret Thatcher and the old ‘Nasty Party’ of the 80’s and 90’s would ever have compromised in this way.

Similarly, Nick Clegg and senior Lib Dems know full well how politically risky it is for them to go into government at a time when so many painful and unpopular decisions will have to be made – nevertheless, they have chosen (on the face of it at least) to put party interest to one side, in the wider national interest. If there is anything which might restore the public’s faith in politicians, surely it is the co-operation, goodwill, and political courage that we have witnessed in the last few days.

This Government is going to become very unpopular – the problems we face are so enormous that no government could confront them without having to sacrifice popularity pretty rapidly. It will make many mistakes, and I have no doubt that sooner or later it will all end in tears – in politics it always does. However, I honestly believe that whatever the long term implications for the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, the people of this country will have a far more compassionate, open, and fair government as a result of this deal than would have been the case otherwise. If Liberal Democrats wanted to walk away from this enormous challenge they had every excuse and opportunity to do so. They deserve respect and admiration for having chosen the difficult and risky, but also the responsible, option.

This coalition doesn’t provide any perfect solutions but it is the best way forward, and at the very least it deserves a chance. If it turns out that we really are dealing with the same old Tories then things will soon fall apart – and you can be sure that the Lib Dems will then fight again to keep them out of power. In the meantime, let’s not be sheepish about the historic deal concluded yesterday. Get out there and claim the credit for keeping real, unadulterated Tory government out!

Kelvin Macdonald Fraser is a party activist and lapsed member.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

24 Comments

  • An excellent post!

  • The Conservative Party nowadays are just as much the same as under Thatcher as “New Labour” are the same as the “Progressive Left” that the Lib Dems once dreamed to unite with – not at all.

    On their own their policies seemed harsh but blended with ours it all doesn’t seem so bad, and you are right, it is the grown up thing to do to demonstrate productive cooperation to restore the nation’s economy, liberty and more importantly faith in politics.

  • Rick Seymour – most of our crucial points were taken up including the £10K tax threshold, and aside from the fact that we are no longer a party that “won’t get in anyway so why vote for them”, we can now demonstrate our policies in practice and that is more important than getting short-lived support based on media coverage or anti-Labour/Tory hype.

  • historytellsusthings 14th May '10 - 1:30pm

    ‘However, I honestly believe that whatever the long term implications for the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, the people of this country will have a far more compassionate, open, and fair government as a result of this deal than would have been the case otherwise. ‘

    In terms of ‘compassion’ although I am firmly on the left and vote socialist or green I like many voted for a LD in my home town because he opposed NL’s welfare reforms and other draconian social policy, i am also aware VC signed EDM’s against James Purnells grotesque plans(now law). Now i find the party he belongs to will support the most brutal welfare policies seen in the UK since the Victorian age, and no this is not hyperbole. Ian Duncan Smith, the new DWP Secretary is the modern day Sir Keith ‘(Mad Monk Joseph)’ he really believes he can help the poor with basically abolishing the welfare system, he has spent years planning all this in his Centre for Social Justice, and the fact Cameron has made him DWP Secretary is frightening and shows they mean business. They plan to end long term council house tenure, abolish disability benefits like DLA, forcing people from day one onto welfare to work schemes, this is surely not what decent liberal minded people voted for.

    We will see the the appalling situation which is already prevalent in the U.S: the models for all this reform , more homelessness, people losing work then being put on WTW, in effect you can have say a gardener who works for the council, made redundant, then put on WTW in the same area for no wages, the only people who will benefit from all this are the private training companies, such as A4E and SERCO welfare to work, the private prison company.

    if this is compassion, then the english language or your policies are in trouble

  • John Emerson 14th May '10 - 1:32pm

    I agree that a rainbow coalition was not a realistic possibility but why full blown coalition rather than a confidence and supply deal?

    ‘These are extemely difficult and dangerous time’,

    No doubt the next five years will be painful in terms of spending cuts and (most likely) tax rises, but you could have used that excuse at almost anytime to justify almost anything you like, (as history has shown).

    ‘but the fact that David Cameron and his mates have been prepared to make so many concessions’

    Have they?, Let’s take the increase threshold to 10000, part of our key pledge for fairer taxes, but only part. By conceding the mansion and changes to the pension tax, where is the money for this tax cut coming from? Spending cuts? VAT increase? combined this is a pretty regressive tax change. This fits neatly in with Tories policy, but absolutely not with ours, so who is conceding what?

    ‘Perhaps they really have changed?’

    Perhaps pigs can fly?, I would like a little evidence of this change before getting married to them especially as Cameron was one of the architects of the 2005 tory manifesto.

    ‘They deserve respect and admiration for having chosen the difficult and risky, but also the responsible, option.’

    Really, they have risked our party’s future on the (blind?) hope that the tory party really has changed, that we as junior partners, whose minister oversee about 1% of government spending, can some how turn around their senior partners policies ideas which we have just spend the last 6 month arguing would lead to a disaster for our country, how is this responible?

    ‘Get out there and claim the credit for keeping real, unadulterated Tory government out!’

    We had this before the coalition deal. We could have voted down any extreme policy (such as immigration/europe)and the Tories would have been forced to comprimise anyway, now we cannot.

    In my opinion this coalition deal is a highly risky, with little upside and the real possibility of a complete collapse of our party at the next general.

  • “We had this before the coalition deal. We could have voted down any extreme policy (such as immigration/europe)and the Tories would have been forced to comprimise anyway, now we cannot.

    In my opinion this coalition deal is a highly risky, with little upside and the real possibility of a complete collapse of our party at the next general.”

    If we voted anything down, the Tories would ahve been able to call a GE which neither we or Labour have the money to fight. They could have claimed the moral argument – “we’re on the rise, the losers are blocking us, give us a majority this time.”

    Then many good LD MPs would have been culled and they’d have a majority, and nothing would have changed.

    Now we have the opportunity to make changes and campaign on our delivery record, rather than as “Not Labour/Conservative”.

    Risky yes – but fundamentally more exciting and more honest.

  • “Like most Liberal Democrats I would rather have done a deal with Labour”

    This is an oft-used assertion, but how true is it? Are you talking members, supporters, voters? AHs anyone done any emprical research on it?

    In any case, I think this is based on some romantic notion of Labour as “basically on our side but a bit misguided”. Sorry – go away and examine their record for the last 13 years.

  • Stephen R Cooper 14th May '10 - 3:17pm

    Like most supporters and members of the Liberal Democrats I’d have preferred a deal with Labour, as it would be almost certainly have been easier to get more of the Liberal Democrats progressive agenda onto the statute book. So if the sum of seats held by ourselves and Labour had been 20+ higher, I’d have been against a coalition or deal with the conservatives.

    However we have to deal with the cards we were dealt, and we only had two viable options a coalition or a confidence and support deal. The latter I believe would have been bad for two reasons

    1) Bad for the country – with the economic situation the uncertainty inherent with a confidence & supply deal would have been bad and I don’t think we’d have got the cuts to the deficit that the budget needs as the minority conservative government would have been continually looking over its shoulder, and would not risk making any really unpopular choices.

    2) If the deal had lasted it would have been much easier for the conservatives to lay claim to any progressive legislation that they did bring in as a part of the deal.

    To be honest I’m with Simon Hughes, who by no account can be considered to be on the economically liberal wing of the party, that this is our best opportunity to replace Labour as the progressive party of the left. In addition the introduction of AV although not proportional would probably have doubled our representation in parliament and so long as we hold tight so that the next election does not come too soon and we get a Labour majority because of the immediate unpopularity that any cuts will bring we will be in a stronger position to bring in STV for the following election.

    The time has ended to discuss whether we were right or wrong to join in coalition with the Conservatives, it was the best / only game in town and the activists should now be concentrating on winning the AV referendum.

  • Look trying to convince yourselves it is/was the right decision is now too late, like it or lump it you are in a coalition government with the Conservatives… you literally have no choice, it has been decided by those above, on better pay grades so to speak.

    Reading some of the posts it comes across as if you are trying to convince or accept what has happened… it is over you don’t really have any choice now, but to make the best you can of it.

    Patting each other on the back and snivelling we will be ok, it will get light soon, is not really going to help, it is just feeding the already black waters…

    But if it makes you feel and better…

    THERE…THERE… it will be ok, here is a hanky, now wipe your nose… that’s better…

  • Les – I’m pretty chipper. “Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” and all that!

  • Andrea Gill 14th May '10 - 4:33pm

    @Stephen R Cooper: “Like most supporters and members of the Liberal Democrats I’d have preferred a deal with Labour, as it would be almost certainly have been easier to get more of the Liberal Democrats progressive agenda onto the statute book.”

    Not sure if you’ve been following the news, but… well… no matter how much you want it to be true that Labour would be more progressive and would have allowed more progressive policies – they didn’t, and the Conservatives very much were rather flexible with the policies we got in.

    You could have kissed any hopes of civil liberties returning and Labour abolishing the authoritative state goodbye, for starters…

  • John Emerson 14th May '10 - 4:51pm

    “If we voted anything down, the Tories would have been able to call a GE which neither we or Labour have the money to fight. They could have claimed the moral argument – “we’re on the rise, the losers are blocking us, give us a majority this time.”

    Firstly, that assumes the queen will accept, she could refuse if Cameron was to call for a new election soon after the last election over one blocked vote. Secondly, if Cameron wants to call an election on an issue such as immigration/ Europe during a period of economic turmoil, leaving the economy and the market with a month of limbo, he can be my guest. I would, and I am sure you would too, relish such a campaign against a government which took the economy so lightly not to mention how it will show to the electorate how little the Tory party has changed. Hence he will not.

    “Risky yes – but fundamentally more exciting and more honest.”

    So the rational argument about joining a coalition is it’s, ‘more exciting’ rather than the ‘uninspiring’ confidence and supply deal? As to honesty I do not ever remember been told or suggested to, when I have campaigned/given money to/and voted for the lib-dems that they/we would ever join a coalition with the Tories (at least not for the foreseeable future and after PR was implemented)

    “In any case, I think this is based on some romantic notion of Labour as “basically on our side but a bit misguided”. Sorry – go away and examine their record for the last 13 years.”

    Over the last 13 years the Labour party have made numerous mistakes, and have in various areas been frankly incompetent. Despite that, they have introduced (with lib-dem support) such things as the minimium wage, devolution, anti-discrimination laws and actually funded some of main frontline service properly (albeit wastefully and somewhat belatedly). The Tories opposed all of this. In many of the areas where I strongly disagreed with labour party such as iraq war, banking regulations, replacement of trident the tory party were/are even more gung-ho than Labour. The last time the Tories were in they gave us the poll tax, decimated mining communties, sold off our public assets at grossy undervalued amounts. Now I am, was proudly, a Liberal Democrat member not a Labour member but if it comes to whose side I am closer to, there really is no choice, but I find it hard to believe you would think differently on this issue.

  • “What profiteth a man to gain the whole world if he lose his soul…”
    If the Lib Dems think that they can distance themselves from the policies of the “Nasty Party” they have now married they are deluding themselves. Instead of the honourable course of sitting in opposition and weighing the pros and cons of the legislation of a Tory minority government on a case by case basis, they have , without any mandate from the electorate, decided to become the slaves of the Right for a love of power.
    The Lib Dems have signed up to the Tory agenda and will be remebered as the party who made the dreadful cuts to public services and jobs which must take place under Cameron’s government , much in the same way that the Tories are so fondly remembered in the North of Britain for Thatcherism. Nobody will ever believe the LIb Dems again when they suggest that they are a centre left party or in any way progressive. They are now the heirs of Thatcher- Thatcher’s children , so to speak.
    Already dodgy anti- democratic proposals are being put forward and justified for short term political gain. perhaps the next government can build on the foundations that are being laid by arranging a 10 year fixed term for Parliament with a 75% majority needed for dissolution. The precedent will be there, now.
    There can be no justification for anyone left of centre to support, even less go into government with ,the Tories. The Tories will use the LIb dem coalition to de- toxify the brand, put all the blame for the unpopular decisions they make on the Lib Dems, take all the credit for what they see as good decisions for themselves, and eject the Lib Dems into the outer darkness when it suits them.

    Well we all got what we deserved, didn’t we?

  • Betrayed Liberal 14th May '10 - 6:47pm

    @PWalsh

    I couldn’t have put it any better myself

  • Stuart Mitchell 14th May '10 - 6:55pm

    As a Labour voter, I was very relieved when the Tories and Lib Dems eventually walked up the aisle together, as it was clearly the only viable outcome given the electoral numbers. Having spent years believing a Tory government was inevitable, the prospect of a diluted Tory administration with its right wing severely clipped by a Liberal coalition partner seemed like the best I could have hoped for. The coalition agreement is, in most respects, a triumph for Clegg and his negotiators.

    Having said all that, it has been truly sickening to witness the unrestrained love-in played out on the news the past few days, with Clegg cosying up to Cameron, Cable to Willetts, etc etc. I just wish your guys were not looking quite so ENTHUSIASTIC about their new political playmates. Is all this canoodling truly necessary? Afterall, Churchill and Atlee managed to make a pretty effective team without ever pretending to like each other, or to even be prepared to spit on the other were he on fire.

    The point is, if this schmoozing carries on for another five years, then your party will have a very hard time convincing the electorate that it is anything other than a fully signed up wing of the Tory Party. I don’t think that will do you any good electorally. Sadly, I don’t think it will do Labour any good either. These are great days for Tory supporters, who must already be dreaming about ditching you in 2015.

  • @John Emerson “As to honesty I do not ever remember been told or suggested to, when I have campaigned/given money to/and voted for the lib-dems that they/we would ever join a coalition with the Tories (at least not for the foreseeable future and after PR was implemented) ”

    Well, it says so here, pretty clearly: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/11/nick-clegg-outlines-election-demands

    Nowhere in this doc does it state “and it is hereby decreed that the above shall henceforth only apply if the party which finishes with the most votes is the Labour Party”.

    I remember very clearly the moment when Clegg spelled out the above in a live TV debate, and I thought, “ah, that’ll be the Tories then – how do I feel about that?”

    I felt ok about it, and proceeded to vote LibDem anyway because the current Tory party is clearly to the left of Labour on some things, a little to the right of them on others. Do people who say “the Tories are right-wing, Labour aren’t” judge people by their names and the colour of the clothes they wear? I don’t, nor political parties.

    Thatcher is to blame for moving the goalposts to the right, but everyone else has followed. It’s great that New Labour signed up to the social chapter and they manifestly made *some* parts of the NHS better than it was. However, state dental care (for example) is practically non-existent, far worse than under Thatcher. Remember all the fuss we (rightly) made when Thatcher tried to introduce ID cards for football fans? Blair/Blunkett/Clarke have tried and almost succeeded in doing the same, for fans of footie, rugger, non sports fans and every bugger that leaves and breathes in the UK. Then, er, DNA database? Lowest ever levels of income tax since 1979? (Whether you think it’s a good or bad thing, it’s *not* left-wing)- step forward Tory Blair. Oh, and everyone’s forgotten who introduced tuition fees (despite Tory B. saying in 1997 they had “no plans to introduce them”). Preserving the House of Lords essentially unreformed? Still, it’s not *really* right-wing cos they wear red rosettes. Funding for public scientific research has now only just got as high as it was in….1986.

    I work in the public sector and Brown was making space in the slaughterhouse floor for a long time. A few months back I voted for my union to strike due to the Brown govts. unilateral changing of the terms of compulsory redundancy compensation in the civil service, without any consultation whatsoever. I’m ashamed to say my union didn’t strike, but PCS did, and you will have read the news 1 week ago that the High Court upheld PCS’ case and ruled the govt’s actions illegal.

    Oh, and here’s another link for you: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2010/03/chancellor.html

    Thatcher trashed public spending so she could cut taxes. Whoever won last week, any of the 3 parties has no choice but to massively cut public spending AND make big tax rises, in no small part due to the insane, unregulated ultra-capitalism beloved of Blair-Brown. The boom was nice Gordon. I didn’t mind the Boom. Was it worth it? Well, everyone in the UK will literally be paying for it for the rest of their life. I’m not stupid enough to say it was 100% Labour’s fault, of course it wasn’t, but they are extremely far from being “unlucky” on this.

    I’m a lefty, and that’s why I voted Labour out. In fact I joined the Anyone-but-Labour party in 2003 and have never left. Notice how I’ve not even mentioned the parliamentary outrage of TB not stepping down when shown to have lied to parliament (BTW it’s irrelevant what TB thought, and even whether there *were* WMD – Blair lied about that document). More than a lefty I’m a lover of democracy. Which brings me back to 2005 and Labour “winning” (ha ha) that election.

    The 3 funniest statements I’ve heard in the last week are (i) Any member of the Labour party whatsoever criticizing the ConDem coalition for supposedly riding roughshod over parliamentary democracy. (ii) Alastair Campbell criticizing another party for “moving to the right” (iii) some idiot New Labour ex-minister criticizing another party for “saying anything to get elected”.

    Precious.

  • John Emerson 14th May '10 - 11:09pm

    “Well, it says so here, pretty clearly: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/11/nick-clegg-outlines-election-demands

    The first of the four tests/requirements

    “His “four steps to fairness” are: reform of the tax system to lift 4 million people earning £10,000 a year or less out of income tax altogether, financed by higher taxes for the rich”

    Great policy, which unfortunatly has not been met. This is now to financed by either spending cuts or a tax (most likely VAT) increase. The point was to make the tax system fairer.

    and the last of the 4 tests.
    “and voting reform for Westminster elections”

    I (naively?) assumed that election reform for Westminister was some form of proportional representation whether full, STV or at least AV+, as I think (I could be wrong) most lib-dem members also thought.

    Since there was little chance of the Tories of supporting, either a higher tax for the rich to lift the lower earner out of taxation or a form of PR, (and they haven’t) then why would I think a coalition with the Tories was forthcoming?

    I would whole-heartenly agree with your assessment of Labour with regard to many civil liberties, 90day detention (although some labour rebel helped defeat it, God bless them!), ID cards etc. However you missed out one important one; sexual orientation equality. Who introduced section 28? under whose government was it abolished? Who passed the Equality Act.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the party which brought us the poll tax is to the left of the party which brought us the minimium wage?

    I have no wish nor I am able to defend all the mistakes (and there have been many) Labour have made over the last 13 years. But given what the conservatives did to the unions the last time they were in, how can you compare the two?!

    Yes the labour party were planning large cuts in the public spending, but the tories and now our coalition, that means our party, are planning even larger ones. That is the price of this coalition. We now have to support those cuts. We are the junior partner, with oversight of none of the major departments, about to make very large cuts in public services. These cuts will come into play a long time before the limited reform to westminster voting system. If we win the referendum. In two or three years time with the spending cuts hitting home, the left of center voters who we will need to win the referendum may not be too amenable.

    Incidentally if we hadn’t joined a coalition there would have been plenty of opportunities in private member bills. I still cannot see why this coalition with it’s huge risks and costs is better than the obvious alternative, a confidence and supply deal.

  • Most contributors to these threads have focused on how the coalition might be viewed from the left. Nothing much has been said about the right. And that is possibly because, so far, and the with notable exception of Melanie Phillips on “Question Time”, the right has been silent. Why so? Has Cameron hinted to the nastier elements of his party that he will get the big cuts out of the way, then call a general election? What has he promised them? How is Hague going to play Europe? Is he going to be co-operative, or will he be a polite version of Nigel Farage? Past conduct suggests the latter. And what about awkward issues like crime, prisons and political correctness? The coalition is inherently unstable because the contradictions between modern liberals and the authoritarian conservatives who fill the government benches are in many cases irreconcilable. Cameron and Clegg will no doubt do their level best to keep the show on the road for a year to eighteen months, but no way is it going to last a full five years. I believe we will be faced with a general election in a year to eighteen months. We have to plan for it and be ready to fight it when it comes. However horrible the present situation, the Party must hold together. A falling out like the one we had in 1988 will cost us big time.

  • That’s it isn’t it? The only choice in the real world was between a minority Tory Gov which would fully implement its own policies and run the the country again in October, or whenever it felt the opposition were in the worst mess, or for us to accept responsibility in a coalition would would see some of our policies implemented and tug the whole flavour of the government in a liberal/non-centralist direction. I’m glad we proved we could act as adults.

    Funny of the week were those actually suggesting Brown/Balls/Mandelson/Campbell were progressives!

  • @John Emerson

    No, I didn’t suggest that the Conservatives are less right-wing than Labour – you might want to re-read what I said 🙂 I also gave credit to New Labour for signing up to the social chapter, which included the minimum wage.

    The example of the Poll Tax illustrates another point for me very well. The Tories not only introduced it, they also abolished it 3 years later – despite the fact that that meant sacrificing their dear iconic leader who had won them 3 elections. No doubt for self-preservation reasons in many cases.

    Contrast that though to the sickening shoulder-shrugging of the Labour Party over their leader’s actions over Iraq. Blair had been shown to have made a colossal (“honest”, if being exceedingly charitable) mistake about WMD. Other British Prime Ministers have resigned over rather less. The parliamentary Labour party could have brought him down, but didn’t, because they figured that keeping their sacred leader and guiding light was the least bad option for getting reelected, with the help of the electoral demography + FPTP. British democracy has been in intensive care ever since the 2005 Election, when 65% of the voters chose to eject New Labour – and they got a majority of 60 seats! I think most in the Labour Party don’t care how right-wing they get as long as they are still in power.

    For sure there are such things as political philosophies and principles, in fact there is a continuum from far left to far right. But it’s a naive mistake to assume that there exists some political party X which genuinely stands for ideology ABC at *any* moment in time, far less decade-in, decade-out. Unless that party is so small as to be irrelevant.

    I’m old enough to remember when Labour was a genuinely democratic socialist party. It hasn’t been anywhere near that for a long, long time. In 1979 UK politics in general was way, way to the left of what it is now. Of course, it took a long time for it to be slowly but surely moved the other way. So yes, if you compare the early 80s Thatcher govt. with the outgoing New Labour govt., then in some, but not all, regards, Thatcher was unquestionably to the left.

    Example: for the FIRST 9 YEARS of the Thatcher government, the higher rate of income tax was 60%. For the ENTIRETY of New Labour’s it was 40%. That was one promise Labour actually kept to!

    When New Labour came to power they cut corporation tax for large (and small) businesses by a very significant amount. This was around the time they also introduced tuition fees. “Progressive”, eh? I’m pretty certain that if a Con. govt. had done these things, many who support the Labour party would have been muttering darkly about the remorseless right-wing Thatcherite agenda.

    That is why all this stuff invoking the ghost of Thatcher is meaningless. Thatcher hasn’t died.

    Of course VAT is going to go up. Are you seriously suggesting that it wouldn’t have done in the next 5 years had Labour won the election? Also I will be amazed if tax for higher (and middle) earners isn’t raised by the Coalition. Equally amazed had it not been raised by Brown had he got in.

    This does not represent the gospel about what we are in for but it does illustrate that all the parties were much of a muchness – of course: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47796000/gif/_47796373_party_plans_466.gif – and all 3 got away with lying about the scale of the necessary means, because no-one was being honest about the size of the hole.

    And if it had been a Conservative govt. which had gone into Iraq, I’ll bet that to this day we would be hearing it described as a “fascist Tory war”. What exactly do you mean by “the Tories were more gung-ho than Labour” over the Iraq war? What does that mean? So the Labour govt. which actually committed that deed is somehow less guilty than a political party which, er, didn’t? If Tom stabs Dick to death and Harry nods approvingly, you are saying that Harry is “more guilty” because you happen to dislike Harry and you like Tom? (By the way, most of the MPs in 2003 could only go by what Blair had told them was in some document which they weren’t allowed to read.)

    I think the best you can do is claim that the Conservatives are a bit more Tory than Labour are. Not a good basis for claiming that a coalition with Labour would have been ok but one with the party which actually admits to being Tories is an outrage.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMick Taylor 23rd Apr - 3:52pm
    It is always good to read informed articles. Too bad that so few in the modern Lib Dems understand anything about our Liberal/Whig history and...
  • User AvatarBernard Aris 23rd Apr - 3:42pm
    Wow. Praise by the indomitable Liberal veteran activist *) whose column on the back of LibDem Weekly I always read first since the early 1990's;...
  • User AvatarMartin Land 23rd Apr - 3:32pm
    There is no doubt that ECOWAS has been a positive force change in West Africa. An economic group that has evolved into a more political...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 23rd Apr - 3:09pm
    The BBC is having difficulty changing the name of a TV programme from The Daily Politics to Politics Live, as evidenced when they move the...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 23rd Apr - 2:48pm
    He’s a Dutch historian, Milord. Pretty flat then?
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 23rd Apr - 2:29pm
    What a crying shame there is today no modern equivalent of the 1960s Young Liberals to be playing a leading role in the climate and...