Thursday, April 21st, 2011

miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
NB: this post is in response to a person I consider a friend. I hope I can still say that after she's read it...

I can understand people who hate the Tories. I'm from Yorkshire. I can understand the disquiet of lots of members of my party at being in coalition with the Tories; I share it. What I don't understand is what people who claim not to be Labour supporters hope to achieve by continually bashing the Lib Dems when what they are actually objecting to is Conservative party policy which we are actively trying to restrain. What do they hope to achieve by attacking the people who are doing what they want done?

I can understand why Labour supporters are doing it: they are conferring an electoral advantage onto the Labour party by denigrating the option their supporters are likely to choose of the two governing parties. The fact that it's all tribalist nonsense, and when you dig beneath rhetoric you still couldn't slip a rizla between what the reds and blues would actually do in sole power is neither here nor there.

I can understand why some segments of the mainstream media are doing it: the red-blue pendulum suits them very well indeed.

What I don't get is people who claim not to support Labour yet who still trumpet the Labour party's lines; or who claim to be independent journalists but who parrot the memes of the mainstream media.

What would they have us do?

Leave the coalition? 6 months of Tory minority government, followed by an election which the Tories would win outright*? that would be better, would it, for a person who claims to detest the Tories?

Assert ourselves more? Well, I hate to break this to you people, but we're outnumbered 6 to 1. I genuinely think that in terms of actual legislation, we're punching a long way above our weight in government.

The thing that annoys me more than anything else is the continual trotting out of the line that the Lib Dems have betrayed their voters. Exactly how have we betrayed our voters? By doing our level best to get Lib Dem policy enacted into legislation? By preventing the Tories from riding roughshod over as many things as humanly possible? Perhaps it's by getting Lynne Featherstone into a position where equalities legislation is being meaningfully enacted, or by having Julian Huppert on the Home Affairs select committee, making sure that a sensible evidence-based approach to things is actually represented? Or is it, and I suspect this is closer to the truth, that we have betrayed our voters by actually getting somewhere, when a certain segment of our voters would prefer us to just sit on the sidelines and carp, rather than doing something useful?

I'm with Andrew on this one: it would have been a betrayal of our voters to let the Tories govern alone when we had the opportunity to stop that from happening. And we didn't do it.

By all means insult the party's media handling; it's been rubbish, and I've said so myself. By all means tell us that our priorities need to change; I've said this myself too. But when you start throwing round emotive words like betrayal, and "yellow Tories" and all the other gutter sniping we're getting used to now, just be aware that we're going to bristle.

* anyone who doubts this is naive in the extreme: not only are the Tories the only ones with any money left to fight an election, but all they would have to say is "do you really want this incompetent shower back in?" and "they criticise our policies: let them tell us what they would do differently" to scupper Labour. And if an election were held tomorrow, under FPTP, Labour would be the only other party in contention.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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