Vince Cable’s take on tribal Tories and the tyranny of the Treasury

Vince Cabe has nothing to lose. He’s (sadly) not an MP any more. In his new book, he could have gone absolutely to town trashing everyone’s performance in the coalition. But he didn’t. In an interview with the Guardian yesterday and an extract from his forthcoming book, he gave a thoughtful critique of the coalition years.

While Nick Clegg was right to have “the quad”, he and Danny Alexander gave too much power to the Treasury and didn’t challenge it enough, says Vince. That is a reasonable criticism.

On the Tories

Vince also talked about the tribalism of the Tories and h0w “vicious” they could be if their vested interests were challenged but rather than criticise them for it, he suggests that we might have been too nice:

The Tories collectively could be appalling, with some ugly tribal prejudices, and when their party interests were directly challenged, they could be vicious. During the alternative vote referendum, they channelled funding to Labour-led groups that specialised in scurrilous personal attacks on Nick, which led to one of the few cases of real verbal fisticuffs in Cabinet. But as individuals they were invariably courteous, professional, often likable.

This ability to operate on different levels is part of the modus operandi of the House of Commons. But the Tories appeared to have an exceptional ability to compartmentalise, to commit political murder with a charming smile. I worried that, in its rapid ascent from the Championship to the Premier League, my party hadn’t acquired this ruthlessness, and has now paid the price.

Vince as boss

The interview also features comments from people around him, such as his Special Adviser, Giles Wilkes, who talked about how he well he treated his staff:

An awful lot of politicians are bullying and unreasonable,” his former special adviser Giles Wilkes says. “I found him not. He wasn’t like The Thick Of It, and quite a lot are. They are often abysmal managers who compensate by being tyrants.

The Telegraph “sting”

He also talked about the Telegraph’s Sting operation in December 2010 where he (and other Lib Dem ministers) were found to be, well, being Liberal Democrats and standing up for Liberal Democrat priorities. No, he wasn’t boasting to attractive women, it was the end of a very difficult week:

Was vanity the reason he fell for the sting? “No. Some of the press wanted to get a nice story about these two beautiful women, but from what I remember they weren’t particularly beautiful. The reason it went pear-shaped was that it was the night we had a riot over tuition fees outside my constituency office. There were people banging at the door, police sirens, all the constituents who had come to see me about legitimate things had vanished. I was really quite charged up, these two women came in and wanted to talk about tax credits, and I let my guard slip. In a less emotionally charged environment, I wouldn’t have done. It was nothing to do with sexy women flattering me. I may be vain, but that isn’t a good example of it.”

Tuition fees

If Nick and Danny come in for some gentle criticism, party activists may well be a tad upset with what he had to say. His reference to the National Executive should actually be the Federal Policy Committee.

I’ve endlessly gone over in my head what we might have done differently,” Cable says now. “There was always scepticism about abolishing fees, but our national executive insisted on retaining this totem. That was the disaster.

Perhaps the actual disaster was signing a pledge that it was pretty obvious from the outset was unachievable. The best we were ever going to get from the Coalition Agreement was to abstain and that would not have been enough to stop what would inevitably have been a more unfair system being passed.

The Oakeshott Coup

On the Oakeshott coup, Vince disputes the account of Steve Lotinga, then Director of Communications, that he called Vince’s bluff while he was in China:

Cable disputes much of this account. “I wasn’t connected with it,” he says calmly, betraying not the slightest suggestion that he blew his moment to seize the crown. “There were some MPs who felt it might improve matters if we had a change. I wasn’t involved, but was in the awkward position that a lot of people who thought there should be a change wanted to change to me. There was guilt by association. But it wasn’t quite as it was portrayed in the more machiavellian histories.” Cable is choosing his words carefully here: “not quite as portrayed” is hardly a thundering denial.

Vince on Corbyn

He also has some interesting comments on Jeremy Corbyn, going back to knowledge of him when he was in the Labour Party but not joining in with demonising him:

“I’ve seen him in parliament for 18 years and he’s a straightforward man with a lot of integrity,” he says. “I also remember him from my days in the Labour party in the late 1970s, and he was one of the hard core [on the far left] that did terrible damage to the party. I can see that being repeated. But I don’t want to minimise the significance of this movement he’s created. There is a large group of people who are very alienated and looking for radical solutions, mainly young people shut out of secure jobs and housing. They are looking for someone to rally round – and unlike the late 70s and 80s, there is a mass movement.”

All in all, the interview and book extract are fascinating reads. Get yourself a cup of tea and savour them.

Of course, we also have David Laws’ book to look forward to, and Nick Clegg’s after that.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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44 Comments

  • There are Liberal Democrats with ruthlessness honed in council chambers and elsewhere some of them in the Lords in 2010 sadly not deployed in Government

  • Paul Kennedy 6th Sep '15 - 12:03pm

    “I’ve endlessly gone over in my head what we might have done differently,” Cable says now. “There was always scepticism about abolishing fees, but our national executive insisted on retaining this totem. That was the disaster.

    Today’s Hate on Sunday is suggesting that Osborne offered to pass on increasing tuition fees recognising it was a key Lib Dem pledge. So of all the things he might have done differently why didn’t Vince consider taking up this offer and keeping his pledge to students, to his party and to the British people?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3223836/He-t-lie-Samantha-Cameron-blurted-plan-resign-BBC-interview.html

  • John Tilley 6th Sep '15 - 12:49pm

    ” …..we also have David Laws’ book to look forward to, and Nick Clegg’s ”

    And then there is the latest version of The Telephone Directory, that will be a cracking read.

    What a relief that they have not published The Chilcot Report, how would we fit in all that quality reading?

  • “Perhaps the actual disaster was signing a pledge that it was pretty obvious from the outset was unachievable.”

    More rewriting of history. Some of your MPs kept their pledge. Please explain how it was possible for them to do what you now claim was impossible.

  • paul barker 6th Sep '15 - 5:06pm

    @Stuart. Your comment is a good example of “Not in my Name” syndrome – being more concerned with not bearing guilt than with effecting real change. The election of Corbyn is just the latest example.

  • To be honest, I think the disaster was forming the coalition in the first place but I feel like a stuck record on that one. However once it was formed, some people seemed to think it would continue past 2015. and warning signs from numerous local elections were glossed over.

  • It wasn’t Vince Cable who determined the budget for his department, that was down to the quad. Vince had to manage with the budget he was given. Nick and Danny didn’t believe in the policy of abolishing tuition fees, they thought under the cover of the Coalition they could get away with reneging on that commitment. Governments commonly do this; the Tories promised not to implement a top down reorganisation of the NHS, and then went ahead anyway, and got away with it. Interesting how some policies matter a lot more than others in this regard – the Tories can do what they like to the NHS and noone seems to care.
    Conference of course was never presented with the policy that the Coalition implemented and never had the chance to have their say. And the policy behind the policy, namely economic austerity, was also not presented to the electorate by the Lib Dems during the general election campaign either, let alone to Lib Dem conference.
    I happen to think that Vince Cable’s rebuke of Nick and Danny in supporting the Treasury line on austerity in 2010 is a serious charge. It had an enormous impact on the government that emerged in 2010.

  • Paul Holmes 6th Sep '15 - 9:48pm

    We have been over this ground before but while people try to rewrite history we will have to keep going over it I suppose. I admire Vince enormously and barely ever disagreed with him on anything bar the Tuition Fees issue but………

    Vince says the disaster was that we kept our Tuition Fees policy in the 2010 Manifesto despite the doubts he and Nick expressed. Most of us though think the disaster was that the Coalition was used as the excuse to abandon it at the first opportunity.

    Before the election the Parliamentary Party debated the policy in detail and disagreed with Vince and Nick. The Federal Policy Committee likewise. Conference likewise. We are after all supposed to be a Party proud of it’s democratic decision making process. The plan to phase Labour’s Tuition Fees out over a Parliamentary term was then deemed “costed and affordable” as both Nick and Danny separately proclaimed when launching the 2010 Manifesto.

    Once in Coalition, as Paul Kennedy notes above, it seems very likely the Tories would have accepted this as red line issue for us and a compromise could have been reached to leave the issue alone. We would not have been able to abolish Labour’s Fees because of the Conservatives but equally they would not have been able to increase them and we would not have been urged to break our election pledge by either abstaining on or voting in favour of the trebling of Fees. What a tragedy that two or three people thought they knew better than the rest of the Party and trashed our democratic policy making process as well as electoral common sense.

  • @Geoffrey Payne
    “the Tories promised not to implement a top down reorganisation of the NHS”

    Actually they promised change that would have meant top down reorganisation.
    The Lib Dems promised change that would have meant top down reorganisation.

    The coalition agreement promised no top down change (figure that one out).

  • A Social Liberal 6th Sep '15 - 10:38pm

    Chris_sh

    Can you point to where either the Tories or we LIb Dems said that we would have a top down restructuring of the NHS. You see, I remember Cameron saying “With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS.”, as plain as day.

    Here is the quote in an article in the New Statesman

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/11/pre-election-pledges-tories-are-trying-wipe-internet

  • Paul Kennedy,

    That pretty much finishes the “Tories would never have agreed to not raising tuition fees” argument, doesn’t it!

    I have bookmarked that article ready for when the next tuition fee apologist comes out with it. It just beggars belief how incredibly stupid our leaders were over this. Makes me want to cry at all that was thrown away…

  • @A Social Liberal
    Just 2 examples from each, all 4 would require top down change, but in reality a lot of the others would as well.

    Conservatives
    “We have a reform plan to make the changes the NHS needs. We will decentralise power …”

    “an independent NHS board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidelines …”

    Lib Dems
    “Cut the size of the Department of Health by half, abolish unnecessary quangos such as Connecting for Health and cut the budgets of the rest, scrap Strategic Health Authorities …”

    “Sharply reducing centralised targets and bureaucracy, replacing them with entitlements guaranteeing that patients get diagnosis and treatment on time. If they do not, the NHS will pay for the treatment to be provided privately.”

  • A Social Liberal 6th Sep '15 - 11:00pm

    And also, in a speech which you can listen to he said

    “First let me make it clear what the reforms won’t look like, we will not persist with these endless, top down restructurings and reorganisations that have dominated the last decade of the NHS – the endless sets of initial changes and new organisations are endlessly rebadged, restructured and reformed. These things have caused terrible disruption demoralisation and waste” [You said it Dave]

    http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//ITN/2009/08/20/R20080901/

  • Stephen Hesketh 6th Sep '15 - 11:00pm

    “Of course, we also have David Laws’ book to look forward to, and Nick Clegg’s after that.”

    I really don’t know if I will be able to contain myself.

    I’m sure both books will be most enlightening regarding what really went wrong during the coalition period and have a hugely positive effect on party unity.

  • A Social Liberal 6th Sep '15 - 11:02pm

    YOu do have links for those quotes Chris_sh? Or a text book with the page and paragraph number?

  • @ Paul Kennedy

    However I have to ask how you managed to get through all that Cam and Sam sycophantic claptrap to find the quote from Osborne!

  • @A Social Liberal
    P.S. Thanks for the link, it’s interesting that the quotes they mention are from 2006 & 2007, quite some time before the election. I wonder if there were any closer to the event?

  • nigel hunter 6th Sep '15 - 11:54pm

    We had better ,SERIOUSLY learn from the past and show a UNITED front against the opposition.

  • David Allen 7th Sep '15 - 12:26am

    Chris_sh – You’re probably right. The original Lib Dem manifesto would also have required some major top-down changes. However, it wasn’t the Lib Dems who originally claimed otherwise.

    It was the Tories who promised no top-down reorganisation, and it was the Tories who subsequently insisted that there would be one.

  • Paul Pettinger 7th Sep '15 - 12:30am

    “Perhaps the actual disaster was signing a pledge that it was pretty obvious from the outset was unachievable.”

    Except followers of Scottish politics will know that the Party didn’t freeze tuition fees north of the border, but had already scrapped them.

  • @David Allen
    No, I’m not actually saying it was, it’s just something that has always puzzled me. Both parties wanted to make major changes that involved top down reorganisation, yet they put that in the agreement. Why?

    I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that it was the Tories who put it in as it would cause the Lib Dems most problems. After all, who would take seriously any claim from them that they wouldn’t try to change things? Of course, the Lib Dems had campaigned long and hard on the “we’re better than that/them” front, so when it hit the fan everyone concentrated on them.

  • Nick Tregoning 7th Sep '15 - 8:23am

    Gideon Osborne, and the Wail on Sunday. Yup, must be true.

  • @A Social Liberal
    Sorry, I didn’t catch the request for links until just now, I must be going blind as I’m sure they weren’t there when I replied to David Allen – he ho.

    The examples I gave are from the Manifestos.

  • Liberal Neil 7th Sep '15 - 8:56am

    Paul Holmes is spot on.

  • Very good post Paul Holmes.

  • Nick Tregoning 7th Sep ’15 – 8:23am …………..Gideon Osborne, and the Wail on Sunday. Yup, must be true………..

    Maybe, but on the item regarding Tim Farron’s support for ‘out of term’ children’s holidays, Caron starts off with, “I would normally apologise for linking to the Daily Mail, but on this occasion……”

    Such items weaken one’s case; far better to never, ever quote the Mail…

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '15 - 10:24am

    Vince Cable

    I worried that, in its rapid ascent from the Championship to the Premier League, my party hadn’t acquired this ruthlessness, and has now paid the price.

    The old criticism of our party was that we were too ruthless, at least in our local campaigning. Our opponents in the Labour and Conservative parties used to call this “dirty tricks”. Perhaps if there had been more influence and control at the top by people with more experience of local campaigning, what Vince Cable is talking about here would not have happened. I remember being shocked from the start at how people at the top seemed to take at face value the line that Cameron had made the Conservative Party more moderate, when it was obvious if you looked at what was happening underneath that it was continuing to move the extreme economic right, and the “moderate” stuff was just a little tokenism, or in some cases part of that move to the right as it involved dropping old-style small-c conservative paternalism.

    I’ve endlessly gone over in my head what we might have done differently,” Cable says now. “There was always scepticism about abolishing fees, but our national executive insisted on retaining this totem. That was the disaster.

    As Caron says, it was not the National Executive which insisted on drawing attention to this as a red-line “pledge”.

    Anyone with proper political experience will know that if you are going into a negotiating situation you make sure you do not make absolute promises over issues where the other side may not concede. You push those issues strongly in a way that makes sure the other side will give you plenty of other concessions in return for not conceding on that one. So the correct position was indeed to insist it is in the manifesto, but not make it an unbreakable “pledge”. And afterwards be honest about not getting it because the other side wouldn’t concede.

    Plus, keep a united front. If Clegg and Cable had doubts about this, they should have kept it quiet, as making those doubts public means the other side exploit that as a weakness. One of the jobs of a leader is to do what those you are leading want and sacrifice one’s own opinion on it if they are not in accord.

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '15 - 10:36am

    Paul Holmes

    The plan to phase Labour’s Tuition Fees out over a Parliamentary term was then deemed “costed and affordable” as both Nick and Danny separately proclaimed when launching the 2010 Manifesto.

    Indeed. Although I was concerned about how we would actually pay for this “pledge”, the message that the manifesto was “costed and affordable” comforted me during campaigning in the 2010 general election and meant I felt I could push this in that way. Had I been on the National Executive, I would have been one of those pushing for the policy to be maintained as a manifesto item, but also I would have wanted to know how it would be paid for. I fully accept that one can have policies which are long term aspirations, while accepting that in the short term budgetary limitations mean they cannot be immediately implemented.

    If it was “costed and affordable”, then those who said that have a duty to give the figures that show it. The approach after that should have been to make clear that the Conservatives in coalition would not have agreed to what it was that would make it affordable. The obvious way to deal with this in the Coalition would have been for it to be agreed that the Liberal Democrats would be given the right to propose the necessary tax increase, and the Conservatives the right to vote against it. This would then have left it up to Labour and the other parties, their responsibility either to unite behind the Liberal Democrats on this one issue, or not.

  • Matthew Huntbach

    Whilst I disagree with your assertion that the Tories would not concede to not increasing tuition fees, (we simply don’t know), the approach you describe ie that each side sticks by their position and then the HoC votes on it is what I would describe as “grown-up politics” (horrid phrase) in other words that everything, on such a totemic issue, is above board and transparent to the electorate. They can then judge for themselves. As it is, we don’t know what happened, who fought for tuition fees and who kyboshed it. I wonder who benefits from this uncertainty?

  • Peter Watson 7th Sep '15 - 12:33pm

    @Chris_sh “Both parties wanted to make major changes that involved top down reorganisation, yet they put that in the agreement. Why?”
    I think that it was an attempt to present simultaneously the appearance of being modernising, conservative (small C) and liberal (small l). The changes would be presented as “bottom-up” despite being imposed from the top. All-in-all, horrible misleading spin and old-fashioned politics from both coalition parties.

  • @Peter Watson
    You’re probably right, it must be my nature that made me think that games were being played. 🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 7th Sep '15 - 5:52pm

    Phyllis

    Whilst I disagree with your assertion that the Tories would not concede to not increasing tuition fees, (we simply don’t know),

    We have seen huge cuts in other areas of state expenditure outside those the Tories promised to protect, so I think it very obvious that had universities continued in this category they would have experienced similar cuts. And that’s not considering, on top, what theTories would have demanded to pay for subsiding what was left of universities.

    The reductio ad absurdum line is that the LibDems could have “kept” their pledge by agreeing to close all universities except two (we know which two), but if you got a place at one of them, it would be free. How would that have gone down? I’m not saying it would have been as bad as that – but nearly half as bad, quite probably. After all, it WAS with further education – 40% cuts.

    Your line, and all the others who say the same, would be more believable if you could suggest something remotely plausible that the Tories would have accepted that would have allowed subsidy of universities to continue. None of you have ever done so. It’s no good raising other suggestions that the Tories would not have agreed to, which is as far as is ever done.

  • @Matthew
    “So the correct position was indeed to insist it is in the manifesto, but not make it an unbreakable “pledge”. And afterwards be honest about not getting it because the other side wouldn’t concede.”

    You’re still confusing what was in the manifesto with the very different pledge that all Lib Dem MPs signed. What was in the manifesto was not pledged. What was on the pledge cards, was.

  • Actually rather than be unaffordable to abolish tuition fees, it seems that the taxpayer is now spending more than the abolishing the old tuition fees would have cost. They were £3,290 and the Government estimates that overall 45% of loan money will not be repaid or £4,050 of £9000 ! See http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/mar/21/explained-triple-tuition-fees-no-extra-cash
    The proposal in the 2010 manifesto was for a six year phasing out of tuition fees – starting with final year students. This was costed in the 2010 manifesto figures.
    I think one of the lessons – should we ever go into coalition again is to make sure that Lib Dem backbenchers plus the opposition can outvote the government partner party plus our payroll ministerial vote.

  • Michael, yes it was all just a big con.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 1:27pm

    Michael

    Actually rather than be unaffordable to abolish tuition fees, it seems that the taxpayer is now spending more than the abolishing the old tuition fees would have cost.

    If you think this is an argument against what I am saying, you have completely missed my point.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 1:36pm

    Stuart

    You’re still confusing what was in the manifesto with the very different pledge that all Lib Dem MPs signed. What was in the manifesto was not pledged. What was on the pledge cards, was.

    Er, please go back and read what I wrote and you quoted. You are accusing me of making precisely the opposite point to the point that I was making.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 1:38pm

    Phyllis

    Michael, yes it was all just a big con.

    Yes, but who was conned? The answer is the Tories.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 7:20pm

    Michael

    Actually rather than be unaffordable to abolish tuition fees, it seems that the taxpayer is now spending more than the abolishing the old tuition fees would have cost.

    The word “now” is wrong here. Universities are now being funded by borrowing, not by the taxpayer. What the article is actually saying is that the write-off of student loans due to graduates not earning enough to repay them means the taxpayer IN FUTURE will be paying more than if straight subsidy had been kept. But isn’t this what Jeremy Corbyn is being lauded for proposing – pay for things by government loans, don’t worry too much about how we’ll pay them back?

    The point is that the loans do mean that universities right now have full funding, and not through the taxpayer. If they were funded directly by the state, it would mean either higher taxes, or more state borrowing, or more cuts in other things. The Conservatives were not willing to agree to more direct government borrowing or to higher taxes, so it would have had to be cuts. However, the Conservatives were willing to agree to it being paid by borrowing when that borrowing was called “student loans” and so did not appear as straight government deficit.

    The dilemma for the Liberal Democrats was that if they had insisted on keeping their pledge, it would have been balanced by big cuts. However, breaking the pledge and in return insisting on full availability of the loans, on generous payback conditions so that low earning graduates paid nothing, and generous write-off conditions so in the end much of it would be funded by future tax-payers saved the universities from these cuts. In return for their acceptance of the fees and loans system, the Conservatives agreed to what was actually hugely generous funding of universities, much more than they would have agreed to under any other circumstances. That is why I say they were conned – they did not realise they had signed up for Corbyn-style subsidy of universities which they would have opposed had it been proposed more directly.

    I would have preferred for this not to have happened, I would have preferred direct state subsidy through taxation. However, I can see the argument that if you look at all the possibilities that the Conservatives would have accepted, this one actually works out best.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 7:34pm

    Michael

    I think one of the lessons – should we ever go into coalition again is to make sure that Lib Dem backbenchers plus the opposition can outvote the government partner party plus our payroll ministerial vote.

    When I was Leader of the Opposition to the Labour administration in the London Borough of Lewisham, I made the decision that I would run a constructive opposition. That is, on whatever Labour were doing, I would consider what I would do if I were in their place. I would not jeer “nah nah nah nah nah” at them for making cuts unless I could really see how the money could be saved so those cuts could not be made. The reason for this is that I had seen so much damage caused elsewhere by the “nah nah nah nah nah” approach, politics brought into disrepute when the opposition calls those in charge bad people and makes out that difficult decisions are being made through nastiness rather than necessity. Difficult decisions (like the need for tax rises) can never be made if the case for them is never made, because instead of making it the opposition just jeers “nah nah nah nah nah”.

    The most central role of government is to provide services on the one hand and raise money to pay for them on the other. That is why anyone who criticises government for making cuts has a duty to say what they would do instead. That’s what I’m saying on tuition fees. To me, if you say you oppose them, you must also say what you would do to pay for university tuition.

  • Matthew Huntbach 8th Sep '15 - 7:43pm

    So, to say that government ministers who are agreeing to a budget are doing that just because they are “on the payroll” is really insulting, and damaging to politics. If one has carefully negotiated a compromise, how does it look if others come along and jeer “nah nah nah nah nah” at you for the result, without proposing anything constructive as an alternative?

    In this case, I would like to know just what rise in taxes would have been enough to pay for full subsidy of universities. It seems to me that whoever opposes the tuition fees and loans system is honour bound to state what that alternative is.

    Why is it that people find this point so hard to understand that though I’ve been making it for five years now, whenever I bring it up again, I still get this same incomprehending response?

  • Matthew Huntbach
    ” Yes, but who was conned? The answer is the Tories.”

    Hardly. They are the ones who kept their promises to their core voters and gave ended up with a majority, having, (to quote Hague during the Coalition discussions) “just finished off the Liberals”.

  • Matthew Huntbach 9th Sep '15 - 11:42am

    Phyllis

    Matthew Huntbach
    ” Yes, but who was conned? The answer is the Tories.”

    Hardly. They are the ones who kept their promises to their core voters

    As the article which Michael referred to us in his message at 8.11pm on 7 September said, the Conservatives ended up agreeing to something which provided more generous state subsidy to universities than what they had before and what Labour were proposing. They so believed that a cash market system would drive down prices that they went along with LibDem insistence on very generous repayment and write-off conditions, not realising what they were signing up to. They were conned into agreeing to huge state-backed loans to carry on generous finance of universities. That it would work out like this is shown by the way almost all universities raised their fees to £9000 immediately, the Conservatives were conned into believing costs would be cut as there would be a fight to reduce fees.

  • chrisjsmart 10th Sep '15 - 4:50pm

    As a common voter and long time supporter of the Lib Dems I find Vince and many of the commentators missing the basic point. Regardless of the politics of coalition (which I supported) the party cannot avoid the issue of trust. In 2010 and previously, the party was held up to be trustworthy, willing to stand by it’s principles. They were the New Politics where no false promises were made, and those made were based on sound principles, fully costed, and agreed by the full membership. It now seems clear that the party is no better than any other , willing to do deals and cover betrayal with weasel words. No wonder party allegiance has collapsed. Voters thought they had at last found a party they could trust, only to be disillusioned of their faith. No other party had that element of trust. Broken promises by Tory or Labour were discounted as par for normal politics. The loss of trust is going to take more than lame excuses/explanations. Too late, trust is gone and it will take many years to regain. I am not surprised by the rise of the Corbyn movement but given the nature of politicians, disappointment awaits around the corner.

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