Waving or Drowning?

Monday 17 December 2012 was, in some ways, another day at the office for the Coalition.

It started with a speech by Nick Clegg which was principally about his desire to move the Liberal Democrats, Blair-style, Rightwards towards ideology-free territory of the ‘centre ground’. It ended with a signifier of what that might resemble, as Liberal Democrat MPs (with the honourable exceptions of Martin Horwood and Greg Mulholland) trooped through the Tory lobbies to vote for George Osborne’s discredited ‘shares for rights’ proposal, to the Right of anything in the Coalition Agreement, rejected by over 90% of responders to the Government’s own consultation on the subject, the overwhelming majority of Liberal Democrats from all corners of the Party, and displaying contempt for the comprehensive employee co-ownership proposals passed just a couple of months ago at Liberal Democrat Federal Conference.

I am not normally a person to react to polls, but the universal trend is there for all to see. The legacy of the shameless Richard Reeves, probably the worst political strategist in the world, is untold damage to the standing of the Liberal Democrats. There is work in hand to repair the damage; but is the ship holed below the waterline? The evidence of yesterday is painfully clear to see.

3 Responses to Waving or Drowning?

  1. Steve G December 18, 2012 at 11:56 am #


    When I left the party after the tuition fees broken pledge, you said that I would be better staying in the party to fight to save it, as you proposed to do. Well whatever the SLF or Liberal Left have been doing, it’s not working, is it?

    When did the party agree to this change of direction? When was it debated? With the former Lib Dem left fractured into the SLF, Liberal Left, and those many who have simply gone, who will stop him? I notice that the think tank ‘Centre Forum’ is now called THE Lib Dem think tank and ‘Lib Dem Voice’ people are now regularly put up on TV as party spokespersons; the conversion of a once great party to a centrist ‘right-little-tight-little-party’ is nearly complete.

    Unless the Lib Dem left can come up with its own think tank (Libertarian Left perhaps?), and reform into a tighter and louder
    angry brigade, then very sadly you’ll all follow Nick Clegg into oblivion.

  2. Tracy December 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Adrian Sanders also didn’t support it.

  3. Iain BB December 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Gareth, it just got a lot worse… Tory Michael Fallon has announced that job seekers will face ‘sanctions’ if they turn down a job with reduced employment rights at one of Osborne’s ‘shares for rights companies’

    We really need to start proposing a reform to company law to make employee ownership/participation the norm. The right to request and tax incentives are not sufficient. This is about diffusion wealth and power.


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