Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Orange Book 2???

I've been reading After the Coalition by a mixture of Conservative MPs and it has made me think about what we're going to do after the Coalition.

What are the Lib Dems to do?
After all there are two inescapable facts:

1:) We haven't agreed with all the policies implemented by the Conservative led Government.

2:) We have to differentiate ourselves from our partners so that the Public can see who we are.

It is true that we have not always agreed with our Coalition partners, it is to be expected as we aren't the same party or have the same ideological identity.

We need to be able to be critical of what the Coalition has done, much as the writers have, but similarly support the aims. After all we have got some of our major policies through.

One of the great criticism's of the Party has been that people don't know who we are or what we stand for and the danger of the Coalition is that we could be seen to stand for exactly the same thing as the Conservatives,

Now would be a good time for the Orange Book II the revenge... or a similar style of "Who are the Lib Dems?" with essays outlining how WE would improve on current policies and how we could make the state better.

We need to be serious about our aims and plans, no more promises that we don't know if we can keep, the party cannot again be linked to disasters like "Tuition" and another move for electoral reform should not be on the agenda for the next parliament.

But sensible Liberal ideals and approaches to the NHS, optimising public services and spending, making the tax system fairer, how we can help the squeezed middle and the 99% that find themselves under constant attack.

Tough Liberalism will help with showing our identity, if the national media don't crucify us at every murmuring of discontent but is it enough?

The Conservatives and Labour have finally realised there is a middle ground and they are marching down from the Left and Right to take it from us, the ground that we have always held and known of. Liberalism has always appealed to the centre ground, people who look to improve the state through discussion and democratically rather than looking to the markets or the unions and now this may be lost to us.

Ok that may be an over simplification and a generalisation of the other two parties... However they are talking a lot about the centre ground which lets face it is what we are all about.

When it comes to 2015 the pessimist within me fears that there will be one loser and that will be us unless we begin damage limitation now. Some kind of detail as to what we stand for and where we want to be would be best to come out sooner rather than later.

I really don't want my prediction to come true...

1 comment:

  1. I've heard that Andrew Page has been asked to do collect together essays on Liberalism in the 21st century. Don't know whats happening yet.