Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The strange flight of David Wildgoose

Watching the Channel 4 News coverage of the Rotherham by-election just now, I noticed that the English Democrats' candidate is called David Wildgoose.

A little googling confirms that is the same David Wildgoose who fought the 1994 by-election in the same constituency for the Liberal Democrats.

He also fought Rotherham for the Liberal Democrats in the 1992 and 1997 general elections and then fought the Wentworth constituency in 2001.

He reappeared as the English Democrat candidate against Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam at the 2010 general election.


Wildgoose said...

What's so strange?

The Liberal Democrats claim to believe in federalism - but not if you're English.

They publish manifestos for Scotland, Wales - but not for England.

Immediately after a spectacular U-turn on student tuition fees, raising them to up to £9,000 per year for English students, Nick Clegg then went and campaigned in the Scottish Parliamentary elections that it was right and proper that Scots not have to pay tuition fees, (but that of course his English constituents would).

Danny Alexander campaigned against any sell-offs of Scottish forests - but then immediately set to selling off England's forests.

As vice-Chairman of the cross-party Campaign for an English Parliament I gave speeches at Liberal Democrat Conference Fringe Meetings that were dismissed with contempt by the MPs present. Indeed, when I called for the Barnett Formula to be based upon need and not nationality I was called a racist by the current leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

So, No, I don't consider it at all strange that I would switch to the only party that considers me, my family, my wife and my 3 children to be deserving of equal citizenship in a federal UK - because that is something that the Liberal Democrats clearly don't believe in, fancy words notwithstanding.

Wildgoose said...

Incidentally, I also left the following comment on Lib Dem Voice. Needless to say, the only response was an ad hominem attack on me:

After the last Election the Liberal Democrats could have had everything. The Tories had won big in England, but lost overall. There was even talk of a “grand anti-Tory” alliance of all the nationalist and non-Tory parties against them. All Nick Clegg had to do was to offer his support for a minority government in return for a devolved English Parliament to stand alongside those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

That’s it.

How could the Tories refuse? Their vote was in England and their vote was being over-ruled.

And an English Parliament would be voted in by PR, the precedent having already being set by those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It would also mean the need for a new federal upper house – which would mean House of Lords Reform as well.

Not only that, a new federal UK would even undermine the SNP in Scotland. It would be in keeping with the professed (if not actual) belief of federalism within the Party. It would be seen as being principled.

But Nick Clegg wasn’t interested.

Wildgoose said...

And so in short, perhaps your post would be better titled "The Strange Flight of the Liberal Democrats From Their Professed Liberal Principles".

I am still a Liberal. But I don't believe the Liberal Democrats are.

I will leave you with a quote from Richard Wainwright, who was Liberal MP for Colne Valley back in 1977 during the first devolution debates: "For a government to propose that some British people shall have two Parliaments to shout for them, while others are left with only one, is the last word in political debauchery".

I knew Richard Wainwright and he was a good Liberal.

With the honourable exceptions of John Hemming and Greg Mulholland it seems most Liberal Democrat MPs can only be described as "politically debauched".