Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Coalition, UKIP and Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt MP
As the true depth of Jeremy Hunt's involvement with the Murdoch scandal is uncovered more than a few Liberal Democrat commentators have suggested that we should be rethinking the future of the party within the Coalition and whether we should even continue.

Martin Shapland tweeted this on 24th April;
Here's an idea. This would be an excellent time to walk out on the sleazy, Incompetent, onnishambolic Tories

I'm sure he speaks for a good many. After all we have taken A LOT of flak for the policies of the Coalition and a lot of Local politicians are upset by the way the National party has acted. There are others who point out that a lot of our members who resigned once we joined the Coalition would return.

Would it not be better to beat a fighting retreat and distance ourselves from these "Sleaze" allegations as well as the Pasty tax and pension changes, tuition fees, rising fuel etc etc... If we were to the head from the party and forge off standing up for our principles would we not be doing the party a great service?

UKIP have overtaken us as the third party of the nation in the polls too. How did this happen? A right-wing euro sceptic party who up until recently had no real policies short of withdrawal from Europe but now they're close on our tail. Is this the final death knell for the British Liberal Party?

I personally don't think it is time to call time on the Coalition. Yeah its tough but we've done a lot of good things and kept a lot more manifesto points than we've traded. If anything there is a lot of antipathy against us by some sections of the Conservatives because we have had such a disproportional sway over the Government. 2015 will be a tough time trying to get voters to recognise that but if we walk away with so much left undone would we not look like we couldn't stand the pressure? Our opponents would claim we choked and baled rather than stood up for what we believed. What ever happens there will have to be a leadership contest around an election as I know that many Libdems do not feel that Nick can lead us into a successful campaign. I still have faith in the Coalition, yeah I have moments of despair and horror but there is a lot to still be said for it.

So what about UKIP? What about them? Lets be honest when parties are in Government they lose popularity, the opposition always look better. However, even though Labour have recovered a lot of ground there is still a level of distrust because of the last administration and, I'm sorry guys, Ed Milliband has hardly won the hearts and minds of the populous as the face of capable opposition.
Indeed when I first asked Twitter whether we should bail out or not my friend Simon said;

would we get any difference in govt? Swap posh incompetents for Labour incompetents? Whoopie...

We're tied to the Conservatives and have made some glaring faux pas so we've lost support and the Conservatives likewise so who will people have to turn elsewhere...
There is a dislike for Europe which is exacerbated by the collapse of the Euro and the Greek economy and there was quite a few angry voices at the lack of referendum on Britain's role in the EU and people are looking at UKIP and wondering. They're no longer a party of crazies with Kilroy leading them, they're developing into a real party that may well hit the big stage in Parliament 2015 but I think they will gain places in Conservative seats rather than from us as they tend to attract right wing voters anyway and it would have to be a big swing of centralist to right. After all as the Conservatives and Labour's obsession of capturing the "Middle ground" and former Liberal territory, they begin to lose those on the Right/left of their respective parties, the ones they used to appeal to exclusively, now UKIP are absorbing those disenchanted. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for them though.

Jeremy Hunt has to resign. Its that simple.
His position is untenable. The level of communication and collusion between him, his office and the Murdochs even before the removal of Dr Vince was far too close. It looks bad, even if it was all innocent, and it looks like grubby back room deals have been made - Not what fair and open Government should be about. Jeremy Hunt and his office should not have communicated with Murdoch's office whilst Dr Vince was dealing with the affair full stop. It reeks of favouritism and done deals. If David Cameron doesn't act now then we need to distance ourselves over this affair.
This is one incident that we should not get tarred over, after all we're not implicated and should refuse to take the flak for this.

This whole thing has been mishandled and it makes all of us look bad. The Leveson enquiry only has to mention a name and you are immediately tarred and discredited. The party Leadership would do well to distance itself from this immediately in the media, after all it wasn't our idea at all and something we opposed. Sounds harsh but a good dose of "I told you so" may be in order.


  1. "Lets be honest when parties are in Government they lose popularity"

    ..I think you really underestimate the level of feeling against your party.. I have voted Lib Dem in the past but will never ever vote for you again.. I have just voted in the locals and I can assure you it was not for you.. I now hate your cowardly Judas party with a passion.. doesn't matter how much you really, really want people to forgive and forget forget or to change their opinion about what you've done..they won't.. the age of the internet, people will not forget..

  2. Interesting to here Tunbridge Wells local election candidates trying to distance themselves from the national party earlier today.

    They say that they know the national party has let them down, and that people are saying they dont even know what they stand for anymore, but that local voters, should still trust local Lib-Dems.

    For me that doesnt wash. A Lib-Dem is still a Lib-Dem at the end of the day, they are a part of the same political party that has sold out on principle, torn-up many of their policy and basically sucked a whole load of Tory Eggs in return for a level of power and influence that would otherwise have been impossible.

    People are not stupid, they appreciate the way in which their party of choice has brutally betrayed them and without doubt many many voters in Local elections will now choose to cast their vote elsewhere, if at all.

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