Saturday, February 18, 2006

An e-mail from Shirley Williams

Shirley Williams has sent me an e-mail:

Dear Jonathan

I am writing to you to let you know why I am supporting Ming Campbell to become leader of our Party.

Liberal Democrats can celebrate the commitment, talent and hard work of our MPs and peers. These qualities will take us much further given time and experience. Ming Campbell is the leader we need to guide us through the challenging years ahead. Years in which security and liberty need to be carefully balanced...

Enough already.

If liberals accept that there is a simple trade-off between security and liberty - so that the less liberty we have, the more secure we are - then we have already lost the battle.

Someone should have told Mark Oaten this when he was the Lib Dem shadow home secretary. He regularly accepted this view in his speeches in the Commons.

I know he believed in "tough liberalism", but did he really believe that the inhabitants of North Korea are the most secure in the world?

So Shirley's e-mail does not make me wish I had voted for Ming.

Still, it was nice to be reminded on Desert Island Discs the other day that she almost beat Elizabeth Taylor to the plum role in National Velvet while she was evacuated to America during World War II.


David Morton said...

I got Shirleys email and (a) it made me very glad i had already put ming at 3 (b) I'm the sort of person that wants to have shirleys gay babies. (c) b points to how pissed off I am having these sorts of "I'm famous so vote for my famous friend" emails from the parties liberati.

Sod off and debate the issues and the future.

Anonymous said...

I got one as well. They seem to be coming in from all sides, on behalf of all candidates at the moment.

It's quite funny if you think about it. Not sure what is the effectiveness of these mass mailings

Anonymous said...

I think there's nothing illiberal to think, that we'll have to choose between security and liberty, as long as you choose liberty. Then, what's the correct balance between them, of course we shouldn't give up liberty for security.

Anonymous said...

... And by "correct balance" Shirley Williams might only have hinted, that the Labour government isn't currently balancing them correctly.

Anonymous said...

It occurred to me that Shirely's words can also be interpreted as Ming is willing to increase liberty at the expense of security, so your interpretation is somewhat unjustified. Iain Sharpe has suspected suspected the commitment of Chirs to liberty and pointed out that his contribution to the Orange Book was "excessively enthusiastic for international military intervention in the world’s trouble spots". So Shirely might also have meant, that the other candidates can't balance security and liberty carefully.