Monday, 19 September 2011

The bitter partisanship of a Labour supporter

I read Darrell Goodliffe's stuff with interest, when it's in the realms of fact his views are excellent and I highly recommend them. By contrast when the issue is pure politics his views are beneath that usual standard. Take his recent "musings"


"Geroge Orwell would probably love a visit to the Liberal Democrat Conference. He would find enough examples of Newsspeak to convince him that rather than being a work of satirical fiction, 1984 was in fact a grimly ironic prophecy of things to come."

Maybe it's not his intention, but I think the idea of a Labour supporter citing Orwell as being prophetic through the actions of Lib Dems will do nothing but set the red rag to the proverbial bull.

"Orwell would have found Nick Clegg’s speech particularly laden with it. Clegg, as is becoming usual, spoke with his forked tongue; look at the pledge to ‘veto the abolition of the 50p tax band’ – made as if Clegg will not already know that there are, in fact, no proposals to abolish this band, in the next budget at least. Que much spinning about a ‘famous Lib Dem victory’."

Well talking of "spinning", Clegg didn't talk about the 50p tax rate in his speech. he did, in an interview where he was asked specifically where he stood should George Osborne press on with the much reported and alluded to plan to bring forward the cutting of the 50p tax rate, say he would veto such a plan if it came up.

Not so much spinning of a famous Lib Dem victory as much as spelling out the realities of consensus politics in a coalition, if you read the interview in question.

If Clegg is at all shaping up for "famous Lib Dem victories" it is on his desire to push for greater tax free allowance limits for low earners, and to shift taxation for the rich on to wealth...things that would be truly praise worthy if implemented well.

"This is the point, for all the rhetorical flourishes about the Conservatives being the “political enemies” it is still just a show being put on for recalcitrant Lib Dem members and the dwindling band of Liberal Democrat voters to convince them that they are still loyal to a Party that exists in more than theory."

How's this for theory?

Lib Dems run on policy that is, unlike other parties, actually decided by their membership.
Lib Dem manifesto's are created from these member approved policies.
Currently the Lib Dems have some 75% of their manifesto enacted, or being enacted, as government policy.

And this doesn't even scratch the surface of the nuances of tempering of conservative policy.

"Clegg’s speech and the whole conference will have been carefully calibrated in close consultation with the David Cameron and his clique within the Conservative Party as the same will be true of the Conservative conference. Cameron will make his carefully worded attacks on his allies to please his right-wing and the Daily Mail blue-rinse brigade and it will generate exactly the kind of media kerfuffle that both want."

This much is obviously true, indeed already the Daily Mail are doing what they feel they need to, the Lib Dem words of Farron and similar being portrayed as the deaths knell of the coalition when the reality will be far less interesting.

"Many Liberal Democrat’s are now so crazed in their hatred of Labour that it is unture. They are so much so that one rather shockingly accused Labour of being complicit in the killing of Baby P due to its “love of bureaucracy and red tape” on Twitter last night."

Indeed, the rantings and ravings of one individual are of course a fair representation of the entire membership's view...

"She also went onto to call all Labour members “deviants” and “vipers”. Red-eyed, demented and totally detached from the real world, you are left wondering at what Clegg has done to inspire this kind of fanatical loyalty."

The same could be said of any of the party leaders and those members of that party, who may be in the minority or not, that seem to attack other parties without actual basis in fact. It could be also questioned whether it is fanatical loyalty to one party, or an actual fanatical hatred of a party instead.

It would seem that hating the Labour party for what they did while in office is an illegitimate reason, and must be fueled instead by some kind of idolization. Hatred of the Tories for everything they did in the 80's on the other hand, is legitimate, and not at all fueled by a devotion to an ideal or an individual.

"The amazing thing is that the same Liberal Democrat’s then wonder why Labour activists heap bile on them. We are ultimately the ones who were first betrayed by a Party which pretended to share our values as long as it garnered them support."

Betrayed? The Labour party never reached the threshold of what the Lib Dems stated in advance of the election in order to become coalition partners. The fact talks were held at all shows how much the core membership and backbench MPs care about the shared ideals, and it's more than abundantly clear that it was Labour that shot themselves in the foot on this note. Betrayed isn't even close.

"This is a perfect example of why Labour cannot work with the Liberal Democrat Party as it currently exists."

Indeed, because there seems to be a core of party members, activists, and MPs, that all fail to be able to see common ground through differences within the Labour party itself. This post being a fine example of one of those viewpoints.

From my view point, speaking to Lib Dem supporters and Labour supporters before the election result...there was lots of common ground, some distrust, but little hatred. That has changed, and it's not been because of the Lib Dems suddenly turning on Labour. Quite the opposite. The fickle childishness of Labour supporters, in an essence sounding every bit like they were entitled to be handed power once again in 2010, is what has turned a lot of Lib Dem supporters' moods so hostile.

"Having said all that, there are good Liberal Democrats left. My plea to them is to leave their stinking corpse of a Party and government and if not join Labour, then at least join the opposition to the government and open up a conversation with the rest of us about the way forward."

'Leave a party that is delivering what you agreed to do, and join one that has generally failed to deliver those same wishes, and has actively gone against your core principles and hasn't yet faced up to how wrong doing that was'

Yeah, that'll work.

"Your Party is driving this country into the ground and is part of the problem. Not even your vaunted tax proposals are helping the poor, in fact, they are helping the rich,"

Really? The tax proposals still to come that could well bring more taxes proportionally from the wealthy than current taxation rules? The ones Lib Dem brought to the table that are reducing the marginal tax rate of going to work? I'd be interested in seeing where these tax proposals are indeed helping the rich.

"which is why the Conservatives are happy to implement them."

That'll be why the rich are, in the Tory press, on the back benches, and even through actual minister's words, praising current taxation on the rich and wishing it could have been like this sooner.

"Nothing is as it seems with your Party and I know you want to believe for the best of reasons but the facts are the facts."

Funny, I've not seen any facts here so far, only that "bile" that is detested so much by Mr Goodliffe.

"Leave government and join the opposition so we can overturn this government of the social elite and replace it with one that governs for the many, not the few, the country needs and deserves nothing less."

And so ends this Labour marketing pitch to do exactly what Nick Clegg warned about in his speech...

The Liberal Democrats are a family. There are those who wish to drive a wedge between us – our opponents, the vested interests in politics and the media who want to put us back in our place. They won’t succeed. Because whether you consider yourself more of a social democrat or a classical liberal, whether your hero is Gladstone or Keynes, Paddy Ashdown or Shirley Williams, we are all, to one degree or another, all of the above.