Monday, July 12, 2010

Tony Greaves: "It really is appalling"

From the Burnley Citizen website this evening:
Pendle-based Lord Tony Greaves is the first major Lib Dem politician to break ranks with his party because of the initiatives and policies being introduced by the Conservative/Lib Dem pact.
He is particululary unhappy at policies in relation to education, health and cuts to local services.
Lord Greaves, who lives in Winewall, near Colne, has written a weekly column in the Lancashire Telegraph for more than six years.
However, he announced yesterday that he felt unable to continue the role, fearing the column would only develop into a vehicle for his rants against the political party he has represented for the past 40 years ...
Announcing his decision not to continue the column, he said: “I am frankly appalled by the stream of bad news that is coming out of the government. If I continue to write these columns they will inevitably consist of weekly attacks on my own party which I'd rather not do.”
Later. For the sake of clarity, I had better add that I posted this because I thought my readers would be interested to know what Tony has said, not because I agree with him.

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Linda Jack said...

He was very kind to me @ special conference, speaking in favour of coalition directly after I spoke against and asking folk to be kind and understanding to me and my ilk. I really appreciated that, it is not easy to speak and vote against something when you are so overwhelmingly opposed! So I offer Tony my full support.

Anonymous said...

What an honourable man. I am tempted to set up a blog where I can voice my politics a little more freely as it is getting difficult to control my rants particularly after watching that bullying fool blabber on for ten minutes without ever really listening to any of Kirsty or indeed the countries concerns

Harry Rama said...

Honourable? He can't bear to slag his own party off so he's going to keep quiet?
I'm a Labour supporter who respected the Liberals for opposing the illegal war, and seeming more left-wing than us at times. That's gone out of the window now we've seen your true colours - one sniff of power, sell out all your principles, and put an unrestrained Tory government in power.
Thanks a bunch. I shall never vote for you - you're down there with the Tories and the BNP.

dreamingspire said...

What did he expect from a govt in which the LDs are a small proportion?
The so-called bad news often isn't bad news - its an attempt to soften us up in case the news in the near future really is bad - shock tactics. Not that I condone doing it that way, mind. Coupled with fumbling a la Gove, its very uncomfortable, but, please, boys and girls at Westminster, stick at it and do the job for which we put you there (and a similar prod to the LD Peers, the more so because they were offered their seats in the Lords rather than fighting them, and didn't have to accept).

Anonymous said...

It must be heartbreaking to have campaigned for years for policies you believe in, only to see them abandoned for the most extreme Conservative policy agenda since the second world war.

Poor guy.

Frank Little said...

dreamingspire, I think Lord Greaves would argue that Clegg could have got more out of the Conservatives on education and health and didn't try hard enough to do so. I must say that if I were in the English party (health & education are devolved to Wales) I would probably be in his camp.

Frank Little, in Neath

dreamingspire said...

@Frank: due to the Grove fumbling, I don't think we have anything like a clear picture of what is going to be happening with schools.
Maybe my experience yesterday is a bit helpful: I was at an industry meeting in a sector where there has been a significant govt technology programme for some years. That programme is now on hold, despite both public and private sector knowing that there will be a significant knock-on effect for public and private sectors (including loss of a potentially significant new export market) and for public services if it doesn't get going again soon. We were told that the date for a final decision is end October, but restart will be earlier if possible, and in the meantime two people are being funded by govt to work up the case for going ahead and to do detail planning (and try to keep industry on side).
So the story today is: programme stopped. The ongoing welcome is to keep talking to govt, who are listening and learning. And I think that that is also the case with schools.

Anonymous said...

I think Tony Greaves must have one of the most difficult jobs at the moment. He remains a councillor on Pendle Borough Council and has for many many many years been a champion of the parties local government base (remember it was he who introduced community politics in the 1970s), furthermore he is responsible for shadowing the government on DEFRA. Therefore, almost his entire job is involved in being opposed to the tories (as we all are, thank god!).

However because he is a peer and a prominent party member everything he sais that relates to either of these positions is likely to be seen as party disloyalty, even though he is extremely loyal to the party, because our illiterate press cannot comprehend the concept of coalition.

In this difficult situation, it is quite natural for him to seek to narrow his communication channels to prevent misinterpretation; I see nothing in his statement other than this.

Furthermore, @ Harry, at last your illiberal types are finally getting the message that this is not your party, the clue is in the name!

Anonymous said...

I can understand him not wanting to speak out against his party after being a loyal member for forty years, but should Lord Geaves be putting his party over and above his country?
If ever the country needs people like Lord Greaves to speak up and out and stand up and be counted it is now.
This profoundly undemocratic unholy alliance, is not just changing a policy here and there, they are railroading through reforms in health and education that will effect every single person in the country and they are also forcing through cuts that many top economists think are suicidal for the UK. They did not have a mandate to do this, so we need all the Lord Greaves we can get to speak up for us, befor it is too late. We have privatisation commencing in the NHS and all this is being aided and abetted by the Liberal Democrats.
If Lord Greaves and all the others in the liberal Democrat party do not do something now, they will not have a party in the very near future, as it is they look to be heading for oblivion.