Sunday, March 22, 2020

Columnist says people feel they can trust the Lib Dems again

We Liberal Democrats have become more used to being kicked than praised. So it was good to read this from Barbara Ellen in the Observer:
I can’t be the only one who remains grateful to the Lib Dems for offering a safe political harbour from Corbynism and Brexit. I also applaud how they stuck to their Remain principles, without trying to work both sides. If nothing else, this helped dislodge the mud that’s stuck to them since the 2010 Tory coalition. While there’s much to be done, people feel they can trust the Lib Dems again.


Frank Little said...

December 2019 demonstrates that there was a glimmer, but also that we have some way to go.

Phil Beesley said...

The old jokes are always the best, aren't they? How do you trust a Tory? Answer: You can't.

Lib Dems entered coalition without understanding the truism of a barely funny joke. Leaders led the party into coalition, ignoring people who had worked in local government or European liberals, into something that was better for the country (could and should have been better) and catastrophic to liberalism.

It was a brilliant result for the Conservative Party: their foe would be the Labour Party, led by a man etc... ...really can't be bothered to enter unnecessary detail. The Tories absolutely stitched up the Lib Dems, smashed the party up.

Whilst we temporarily slice up some of our liberties, and I mean temporarily, let us remember which party has the best record of maintaining liberty, the party which has championed people versus power and ideas which were outmoded when first pronounced.

Phil Beesley said...

Before WWII, motor racing was a sport for factory teams or very wealthy people. Some people participated in trials on a motor bike or road car, maybe a hill climb, but a circuit racing event was too expensive for them.

During the war, a bunch of enthusiasts at Bristol Aircraft came up with new ideas. The participants came from different backgrounds and they agreed that a cheap racing car was needed. Pub chats turned into the overall design for a simple car powered by a motorcycle engine, which eventually became the international F3 category. It changed motor sport forever, and aircraft technicians briefly inspired motor sport more than men in blazers.

Liberalism needs that sort of instinct now. All of the untouchable elements of capitalism -- railways, plane operators, supermarkets, private health care, utilities -- have been touched by the state. Hopefully the government will use them wisely.

Liberals have to act like the car enthusiasts in Bristol. When it (I do not need to define 'it') is all over, things will be very different from where we were last month. Some of the things which we believed to be 'the way things work' have already been shown to be more malleable.

Create a liberal future.