Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #243

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 243rd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (9-15 October, 2011), together with a hand-picked quintet, normally courtesy of LibDig, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

1. A memo to Liberal England on the subject of Mr Farron by Caron Lindsay on Caron’s Musings.
Caron rates Farron: “…gobby, barnstorming, feel-good stuff, always delivered with a good kick up the backside.”

2. A letter to Labour by George Potter on The Potter Blogger.
George will never forgive Labour.

3. The Co-op party’s big mistake by George Potter on The Potter Blogger.
George argues in favour of the Co-op Party standing Lib Dem candidates.

4. Day 3934: Things Wot I Was Going to Write This Week by Richard Flowers on The Very Fluffy Diary of Millennium Dome, Elephant.
Millennium’s Conservative Conference Catchup.

5. Is the Coalition changing the Lib Dems? Polling data shows people more confused by the Lib Dems by Matthew Gibson on Solution Focused Politics.
“We need to stop talking about left/right/centre and more about values,” says Matthew.

6. Lesson1: Never defend Chris Huhne unless you have all the facts by Angela Harbutt on Liberal Vision.
Angela replies to Paul Walter’s LDV post.

7. My letter in today’s Guardian: Liberal Democrat conference on Mark Pack’s blog.

And now to the five blog-posts that come highly recommended, regardless of the number of Aggregator click-throughs they attracted. These are normally chosen using the LibDig bookmarking website for party members, the site where you can highlight blog-posts you want to share with your fellow Lib Dems. Remember, though, you’re still more than welcome to nominate for the Golden Dozen a Lib Dem blog article published in the past seven days – your own, or someone else’s – using the steam-powered method of e-mail … all you have to do is drop a line to [email protected]

8. #whatLDsstandfor by George Potter on The Potter Blogger.
“George Potter wants to start a trend where we all say why we’re a liberal democrat and what our three favourite coalition achievements are.” (Submitted by Caron via LibDig.)

9. Taking a photo of your wee girl? That’s terrorism, sir! by Andrew Page on A Scottish Liberal.
“Professional photographer Andrew takes up the case of the father threatened with Anti-Terrorism Act while taking pictures of his own daughter enjoying an ice-cream while out shopping at Braehead Shopping Centre.” (Submitted by Stephen Glenn via LibDig.)

10. Southend-on-Sea schools to get £2,072,000 in Pupil Premium – Lib Dem Win! on the Rambles of Neil Monnery.
“A story to shout about!” (Submitted by oneexwidow via LibDig.)

11. Why is Chris Huhne hitting the nuclear button? on Hoping For More Than Slogans.
“Good summary of an interesting speech, with more analysis to boot.” (Submitted by niles via LibDig.)

12. Why don’t we set up system to cover PPCs who need to take leave? by Caron Lindsay on Caron’s Musings.
“Excellent piece by Caron on how we should treat PPCs” (Submitted by oneexwidow via LibDig.)

And that’s it for another week. Happy blogging ‘n’ reading ‘n’ nominating.

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  • Andy Dowland 16th Oct '11 - 8:19pm

    So after many many articles accusing Labour supporters of being too tribal, the official Lib Dem stamp of approval goes to a blogger (Mr Potter) who ends his rant with a closing sentence with language that I doubt would be allowed on this site?

    There’s nothing wrong with Lib Dems deciding that they can’t work with the Labour Party, but if that’s the case why not stop the wounded expression when Labour supporters aren’t keen to work with Lib Dems?

  • Do Liberal Democrats oppose ‘tribalism’ because it makes it difficult to pull votes from traditionally Labour and Conservative voters? Or because they’ve had difficulty forming a tribal identity for themselves?

    Perhaps, in the abstract, voting on the basis of a traditional affiliation is unwise. It is also very normal and human, and merely ranting against it won’t make it go away; not least when it’s so apparent that ‘tribal’ parties do so much better than ‘non-tribal’ ones. The fact that the Liberal Democrats have lost about 60% of their support since the election is hardly going to encourage the other parties to reject ‘tribalism’; a Liberal Democrat party that had been a bit more tribal might have avoided such severe losses of support.

    What exactly is the model for a ‘non-tribal’ electorate anyway? Can anybody name a single country where there is little no ‘tribal’ voting? Does the ideal electorate that carefully considers platforms and programmes and votes for the best one really exist anywhere? Is there any convincing programme for bringing it into existence?

    It seems to me that by being reduced to a rump or core of 10% of the voters, the Liberal Democrats have little choice but to become more ‘tribal’, and this will happen whether members like it or not, whether they admit that it is happening or try to cover it up. But the party will continue to do poorly unless someone admits that the real task is not denouncing ‘tribalism’, but increasing the size of the Liberal Democrat tribe. Pursuing a narrow group of dissatisfied but ideologically unaffiliated voters will simply produce unreliable bubbles like ‘Cleggmania’; it’s not a recipe for long-term success.

  • I don’t really see ‘refusing to admit the other tribe might be correct’; what I see is standard oppositional politics, where a party in opposition cherry-picks everything that can be disagreed with, exaggerates the negatives and minimises the positives; and the party (or in this case, parties) in power circle the wagons and refuse to admit that they could be in the wrong — at least until either (a) the opposition no longer seem to gain advantage by it or (b) the error is so gross and obvious that it can no longer be denied.

    And that’s how politics has been for a very long time. Would it be better to have a politics in which each party was open and forthright about its shortcomings, where the opposition was fair, never took advantage, and only argued over robust factual issues and philosophical differences? Where everybody was out for the common good and shared their best ideas in hope of improving the country, regardless of who was in power? I think so. But I think that kind of politics is a long, long way away, if attainable at all. Can you really say that the Liberal Democrats have never unfairly bashed the party in power over things that were beyond its control, or that they have never attempted to defend the indefensible simply because their name tag was stuck on it?

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