Friday, February 10, 2006

No power on Earth

I stayed up to watch the result from Dunfermline and West Fife. I had my spies at the count who were telling me that it was looking good, that we were ahead but that the more Labour pit villages were not in yet. Of course, when those boxes were opened, it was clear that Willie Rennie had got it.

Does this excellent result mean anything long term?

The answer is maybe.

Firstly we can say that despite the awful experiences of the last two months, the Liberal Democrats are emerging intact. The party has not gone into meltdown, and the Conservatives are still weaker than they seem. The callow and shallow David Cameron is not the saviour of the Tories on his own.

Despite the aspiration of the Cameron clique for the Conservatives to be "Liberal", they are totally unconvincing. Meanwhile across the media, it is clear that on such issues as ID cards, civil liberties, and localism and local government the arguments are headed the Lib Dem way.

There are limits to what the government should be allowed to do, and as all three leadership candidates said yesterday, there are limits to what proportion of the national income that the government is allowed to take in taxation.

Labour's permanent revolution: endless legislation and endless tinkering with the tax code and regulation is looking more played out than ever.

To misquote Victor Hugo: No power on Earth- not even ourselves- can stop an idea whose time has come. That idea is Liberalism.

1 comment:

Andy said...

> the more Labour pit villages were not in yet. Of course, when those boxes were opened, it was clear that Willie Rennie had got it.

It was that runner-up spot in the Scottish Coal-Carrying Championships wot won it, then!