Saturday, 18 September 2010

Lib Dems give up on social justice

Shocking news that the Lib Dems no longer want a more equal society, have given up on social justice and just want to be little rich kids like their Tory cousins, except that Simon Hughes says they never wanted it: "the loyalty and values of Liberal Democrat party members had not changed since the coalition with the Conservatives was formed".

While I never for one moment had them as a party of the left, they have always positioned themselves as the antidote to the Tories in Maidstone. And while some of the old fashioned left / right thinking has moved on, many of the principles of the left remain - social justice, equality, workers' right etc., etc.

It is not just these prinicples that people will be thinking about when they go to the ballot box in future years. In Maidstone people will vote tactically against the Tories (as proportional representation - i.e. modern democracy - remains a pipe dream) and they have often looked to the Lib Dems. Now that the Lib Dems have come out as Tory Lite, voters are going to be thinking twice about their claims to be anything but Tories.

I suspect that the local Lib Dem councillors will be thinking similar thoughts... next year's council elections will be interesting!

4 comments:

EastMallingKumon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia Batt said...

Stuart - tut tut you for sensationalising a headline out of nothing!

Nick Clegg making it clear that we are not an off shoot of the Labour party in no way implies we don't want a more equal society, or social justice etc etc.

Just one paragraph from the article:
He [Nick Clegg] pledged that one of the most radical programmes of any government for a "long, long time" would achieve more on political reform, civil liberties and protecting pensioners than Labour did in 13 years, combined with "an impeccably Liberal approach" to the NHS, education and welfare reform. "This is not some arbitrary menu of rushed proposals cobbled together. They reflect, right across the piece, big, long-standing Liberal aspirations," he said.

Stuart Jeffery said...

Hmmm, impeccably liberal approach...

Slashing welfare is hardly the same as 'reforming' it. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11258108

25% cut in education and no end to student fees.

I'm not going to comment on the NHS though as I work there, but the Greens have made our views quite clear: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/News/11-09-2010-em-nhs-conference.html

This government will see an already large gap between rich and poor get far bigger. The Lib Dems neo-liberal economics are being exposed and they are very close to the Tory's economics.

Julia Batt said...

I think you are confusing the Liberal Democrats with the coalition government.

Clearly, the Lib Dems are a part of the coalition, but not all of it! Your first link shows the discomfort many Lib Dems feel about the scale and pace of cuts - however that is the nature of coalition.

You, better than most, appreciate that a coalition government is one of compromise based around pre election manifestos. The Lib Dems have a tiny proportion of MP's in comparison to the Tories - as voted for by the public - and therefore should have a smaller proportion of our manifesto met!

I think the Lib Dems have done well to get so many of their pledges into the main coalition policy document. I also find it increasingly difficult to listen to people who say "I'm never voting Lib Dem again.... they've really let me down...." etc etc when in actual fact, Nick Clegg has only done exactly what he said he would prior to the election.

In addition - exactly how do you think it would look without the Lib Dems watering down some of the Tories policies?

I remain proud to be a member of this party, and stand by what I said in my original comment - you're sensationalising a headline out of nothing!

PS - with regard your link to the NHS privatisation conspiracy - I can not find any evidence apart from this link to the Green parties conference.

From the executive summary of the white paper comes this:
1. The Government upholds the values and principles of the NHS: of a comprehensive service, available to all, free at the point of use and based on clinical need, not the ability to pay.
2. We will increase health spending in real terms in each year of this Parliament.
3. Our goal is an NHS which achieves results that are amongst the best in the world

If you have any other links to your suggestion of the NHS becoming privatised can you please send me the links and I will read them with genuine interest.