http://flavors.me/onmejack ) has turned into a serious piece. I got to thinking...What started as a jovial discussion today with Stephen Keevil of the Medway Green party (who came up with the title... You can read his blog here;
Hang on. If we can't say what an awesome job we've done so far how the hell are we going to do it in 2015?
Sure we've made a hell of a lot of mistakes and I have been accused of being in a party that stole the votes and that is propping up one of the echelons of the Axis of Evil. We are seen as stomping on the rights of the poor, robbing students of the right to education, dismantling the NHS, and basically being the most evil thing since Stalin passed away.
Who is at our head?
Nick Clegg! The most incompetent, backstabbing, lying, conniving, child eating, Nazi loving, pro-European, biscuit loving monster that given the chance will destroy all that he comes into contact with...
Now I may have taken some of the criticism to far... in fact the only thing he hasn't been called is a child eater! However there is a strong hatred of Clegg and the Lib Dems. Is it fair though? Is the Coalition the worst thing we have ever signed up to? More importantly can we be redeemed?
So firstly I should say something about the formation of the Coalition. A lot of people have said that we stole their votes and betrayed them by forming a coalition with the Conservatives.
Last May there were three choices;
1. Stand alone and indecisive in the face of the people and crisis leaving a Conservative minority government that would ultimately lead to another General Election, one we may lose even more seats and cause business to lose confidence in Britain.
2. Form a ragtag Rainbow coalition with Labour and support a toxic Gordon Brown for a further parliament as well as ultimately betray our words on change. We could not agree with Labour policy on ID cards, child detention etc and a rainbow coalition with the SNP, DUP, Greens, Labour and ourselves would have been the coalition of the losers and held together with very little glue and the tides of parliament would pull it apart.
3. Side with David Cameron and the Conservatives, the party that had won the most seats, called for change and a new society, a big society and held a lot of similar voices to ourselves.
Surely the choice was easy.
The Coalition offered so many opportunities for a better Britain, a fairer Politics and better society. Yet it all went so wrong and so quickly.
It's claimed that the Coalition parties didn't know how bad the debt was, or the true state of affairs. I sincerely believe that the LibDems didn't!
Tough decisions were made and at first it was easy to pass the buck back to the last government... After all, they were in power when it all happened and we and the Tories were here to clean up the mess they were unable to deal with.
Then the wheels fell off. Its still dragging on with no rapid solution and the public and the media expect instant results. Results that aren't on the horizon...
Then there was the big Iceberg that the Libdem Jollyboat struck at full pelt. The Tuition fees. I'd like to say we were hemmed in, but our MPs had a choice to stand by the pledge and some, like Greg Mulholland and Julian Huppert et al did. Others like Simon Hughes stuck to the Coalition agreement and abstained. The rest knowingly grit their teeth and voted against their promise.
Why? was this the sacrifice that we were willing to pay for AV? Was the financial situation so bad and the Brown report only left one door open? Whatever the reason people turned away from us in droves. The parliamentary party had shown that we couldn't be trusted and that Nick Clegg had lied to the electorate and that his principles were worth not a jot.
We may have sacrificed our stance on Trident a little bit but we were a small voice of gold in a sea of blue and red who wanted renewal so backing down to delay is a worthy move BUT a betrayal in some people's eyes.
We've also been seen to step away from environmental issues with Chris Huhne agreeing to Nuclear power stations, we've also stepped back from equal pay for women in work, we've part of a government that is leaving the vulnerable in greater peril e it from the winter, being forced back to work, ignoring disability etc
At the head of the party - Nick- sat solemnly next to David Cameron nodding along and smiling vacantly as f he'd had a lobotomy.
Nick cannot do anything right. Moronic bungling by saying he had forgotten he was running the country, an atheist shaking hands with the Pope, saying he wouldn't have anything to disagree with David Cameron about in the leadership debates, being on holiday when crisis broke.
These are not fair representations of the party in Coalition or of Nick.
Since the Liberal Democrats have been in power we have put through legislation that was in our manifesto including cutting income tax for the first £10k you earn and starting to tax those who earn more, ran a referendum on electoral reform, getting rid of the ID database and child detention, end of house arrests, reforming the house of Lords into an elected house, pupil premium, free preschool for the less well off, moderated Conservative proposals on the NHS when the party members stood with one voice and said NO at the spring conference.
Apart from the obvious good that these policies do the further good is that the electorate know who we are and what we stand for. We are no longer sit on the sidelines only attracting malcontents, hummus eaters and idealists. We can finally hold our heads up proudly and say that we have made a difference and are the serious party we were under Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith and Grimmond. As for Nick... the public love a hate figure and for some reason the Media have picked him, I'm not saying he's perfect but I do believe and agree with Nick, he is the right man for the job and is doing the best he can representing our voters, party and manifesto in government exceptionally well considering we have only 8% of the house's MPs.
One of my friends stated the other day that he would like to see the Liberal Democrats completely destroyed in 2015. Well I'm sure many echo this sentiment but I say this;
Liberalism will never die, you can crush a party but never its belief and I think that we have a definite future in British Politics. Labour couldn't replace us fully in the 30's, we will not be taken down now. What we have done we have done for the good of the country, the electorate and the party... should we lose seats so be it... Individual party glory is not what we are in this for. If that is what you believe then you have no place in politics. We are here for the people and they and history will judge us well in time.