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Showing posts from May, 2014

Liberal Democrats: We are not dead yet

As the rumbles of the Euro-massacre continue with mutinous mutterings across the Liberal Democrats, it is worth stepping back and thinking about where were could realistically recover to in the course of the next few weeks and months, and, post the general election election in May 2015, years  Personally I think that the difficulties of changing leader are so large, and the probable benefits so marginal, because of the damage that it would cause, that it is simply not worth it. So what should we do instead? I agree we absolutely need to refocus and to change our way of doing things, but to be honest the false hope that people are investing in a coup de partie against Nick is arguably a substitute for dealing with the real problem of how we have failed to set the political weather at the outset of the coalition, especially because we were outplayed on AV and tuition fees, and how trashed the Party image now is. A civil war will make things much worse, not better. Meanw

Its not the Lib Dem leader that is the problem...

I am encouraged by some of the comments that people have been expressing about my early thoughts about the UK Liberal Democrats, post the Euro-massacre. I am rather less than encouraged by those self-indulgent folk who have decreed that the Liberal Democrats problems can be solved by an early change of leadership. Especially since it is self-evidently not the case. I say self-indulgent because, actually, I think Nick Clegg has actually come very close to quitting. I think he has taken this defeat extremely personally. I would like to ask those who are open enough to front the #libdems4change what they hell they think they are going to gain by replacing Clegg with Cable? Its not as if we have not been here before. The short-run sugar hit of the attention of a leadership change would soon lead to the media doing to Vince what they did to Ming Campbell under unfortunately similar circumstances. Change must come in time, but it has to be measured and intelligent, not the force majeure

UK Liberal Democrat Euro Mess

OK, so it's the Euro elections, where the Liberal Democrats *usually* under perform. OK, so this does not mean that UKIP will form the next government, and OK, so the Tories, less so, and Labour, more so, face problems with the implications of the results too. Nevertheless there is no getting away from the fact that the 2014 European elections have been a thoroughgoing disaster for the UK Liberal Democrats. I feared, going in, that we would be down to three MEPs, in fact we only held one, and that by the skin of our teeth. So there is no easy way to gloss or spin this- it is a massive blow. We have- had- extremely good and well respected MEPs, but in the end this election was not about Europe. Even as UKIP made major advances, the latest polls, for the first time in years, if not decades, show support for staying in the EU outstripping those who would leave. Most voters cheerfully accept that most if not all the UKIP MEPs are pretty useless, lazy and hypocritical. Some may even b

Curate's Egg... So Far

Well, let's not kid ourselves, it was another pretty gruesome night for the Liberal Democrats.  Yet although losses in Kingston, Cambridge, Portsmouth, and Haringey are all painful (with, doubtless more to come, as I write), the fact is that the Lib Dems actually do have a few gleams of comfort amongst the ash. Although these gleams come not so much in the results, but in the implications of the results.  The surge in UKIP support this time is creating problems across the board for both Labour and the Conservatives. In fact Labour must be deeply concerned that they are not hitting as many of their targets as they did in the last round of voting. So although a pretty horrible night for so many Lib Dems, the fact is that in relative terms our pain is not so severe as it has been.  So far, based on these results, we can begin to see the floor of Lib Dem support, and that floor may yet allow the party to defy predictions and play king-maker again in 2015. There is still the pros

Plus ca change...

After a prolonged hiatus, I have decided to resurrect this blog. The same battles are still being fought. We still do not know how the challenge of Russian neo-fascism will be met. We still do not know how the European Union can maintain liberty and democracy in the face of the economic complexities that it has created. We still do not know if the UK can meet the challenge of Scottish separatism. We still do not know how Liberty can be protected in the face of the multiple challenges of technology, fear and greed. In Britain, tonight is the eve of the European and some local elections, in some of the rest of the EU, the vote is already taking place, although for most the official polling day is on 25th May. Normally I would be out canvassing or delivering for the Liberal Democrats, but a thousand miles away, in Estonia, the challenge of UKIP seems more absurd than threatening. Doubtless the UK media who have been unearthing the ancient scandals of lazy, stupid or incompetent (not t