miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... are many and varied. Perhaps for their knowledge of party systems and what needs to change. Perhaps for their ability to present a compelling case for liberalism to the world. Perhaps for their endurance and stalwartness.

What I don't understand is people passionately declaring their allegiance for one or the other based on a particular policy position. Much as the media would like to believe otherwise, policy is not made at the whim of the leader in our party. Yes, the leader has some advantage in publicising what their policy priorities might be, and yes, the leader can pick and choose from policies voted on at conference to push or to ignore. But the fact remains that policy is voted on by conference in the Lib Dems, not made up on the hoof by the leader.

And even if that were not the case:
  1. Tim and Norman agree with each other on more policies than they disagree and pretending that they are lightyears apart just sets up a false scrap where there is agreement.

  2. Both have been coming out with policy statements - I've not seen ONE of these that isn't either already party policy or aligned with existing policy, and I'm reasonably sure that neither has come out with one that the other would utterly condemn.

  3. It's utterly nonsensical to fervently support one candidate because they believe in a policy position that the other also believes in and has publicly stated they believe in.
So can we please stop with this "I support $candidate because they are in favour of $policy" crap? It buys into a stupid, bullheaded media narrative which sets up a false adversarial tone and does neither candidate any favours. Yes, I'm supporting Tim. But that doesn't mean I'll be wailing and gnashing my teeth if Norman wins. Either candidate will make a fine leader and I'm not going to join in any Punch and Judy bollocks.

... I'm doing a Canute again, aren't I? :/

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
I'm doing a Canute again, aren't I?

Given this was inspired by a conversation we had in which I said it, I think we both are darling ;-)

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
I was reading something about this just today or yesterday... Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton discussing why minor differences between candidates with basically similar beliefs become disproportionately divisive - but I cannot remember where! But the phrase that springs to mind is bikeshedding; it's not quite the same phenomenon, but I think the wells fill from the same spring.

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (libdem)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
Likewise; I think Tim would be better as the leader of the party at the moment, but actually I think Norman would be excellent too (and in a slightly different situation possibly even preferable). I'm impressed that we seem to have more credible candidates standing from a field of eight than Labour do from 258.
Edited Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
<nitpick> 232, surely? </nitpick>

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (moo)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
You're quite right. I had the figures from last time. Whoops!

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
Your point, though, is thoroughly sound. All I can suggest is that New Labour imposed such a rigid conformity on the party that anyone with any spark of originality left or found themselves eased out. They have to get over that if they're going to come back again. Someone needs to say something new and interesting.

Rather than, to give an example conjured completely from my own imagination (allegedly), a candidate who's risen without trace insisting that the party needs something new and offering, as that new thing, a slice of reheated Blairism with extra dog whistles.
Edited Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
Yeah. There are a lot of ways they could take the Labour party that aren't "let's do what worked in 1997"; I think they're kind of scared of trying something different. I'd say the "correct" answer is "start from what you believe" rather than "start from what you think will get you votes", but what do I know?

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
I'd agree with you. For pragmatic reasons, as well as principled; if you start from what you believe, and you don't get votes - well, at least you went down fighting for something. Whereas if you start from what you think will be popular, and people still don't vote for you... you no longer really have a raison d'ĂȘtre, having managed to betray both your own principles and your lack of understanding of your prospective constituents.

Which sounds an awful lot like where Labour are now, doesn't it?

Date: Monday, June 1st, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
It sounds quite a lot like where the Lib Dems left themselves after coalition and the election. Difference being that I have every confidence that the Lib Dems will pull themselves back to their "true" position, whereas I'm kind of wondering what exactly Labour thinks it stands for on its own terms.

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