Now I agree with - nich?
So what are you gonna do, Nich? Part of the cartel or not?
NichI am a Labour supporterits a very sad dayto see yourself betrayed by your partyI take no comfort in this (your betrayl) and certainly looks like that from policy agreementI really fear for the NHS and our schoolscondolence
Michael,I could never join a party that boast Mike Baker as one of its members. So don't get your hopes up.I remain a Lib Dem, even if others have become seduced by the chance of a ministerial car.- Nich
I understand Nich I hope time may help. Let see what happens im sure the cars where not the factors but the need to get Lib Dems into govt and to support the country. I believe them for the moment.would you of gone into a coalition with Labour or one of them?
The 55% dissolution clause is the clause which shows everything said about the Torys was right.Same Old Tory - LD's have been suckered
What's your beef with Mike Baker?
As unpleasant a man as I have ever come across.In my opinion he has no warmth, no generosity of spirit, no compassion and of course there is the 6 month suspension from council for reasons that were simply disgraceful.
I got used to betrayal - I was in the Labour party 1989/2007.While I hear all the arguments and can see some sense in them - the sight of a Lib Dem leader outside No10 with a Tory PM makes me feel physically sick...But I will continue - party & principles are bigger than the leadership. There are still important fights against the neandrathals on our local councils who represent the Tories. We owe it to local services to keep going.I was not taken in by the prospect of the rainbow alliance for a minute. It is people on the left hoping for the kind of Labour government that they have wished for over the last 13 years. It would have fallen early on - either SNP, PC or the big chunk on the Labour benches who secretly want to "renew" in opposition would have scuppered it.Labour had 13 years to be a progressive government or head a progressive alliance - on so many big issues they blew it.And no, the Greens don't cut it.We Lib Dems have to keep going
Dan, I have no energy to do it. I cannot bring myself to deliver one more leaflet for the party.
If your party manages to get PR you will always have coalition governments, so get used to it. Coalition means working with parties with whom you disagree. You may have to work with some seriously weird people to form a government. That's what the Tories are doing now! I thought you Lib Dems wanted all the parties to work together? Thats what you have been batting on about for years.
Why I have 55% no confidence in the 'New Deal'Like many I have suspended disbelief as the twists and turns of the last few days have passed. Now we have agreement, and like a Gordon Brown Budget, the Devil is in the Detail.The Tory's understand power in a way other don't. They have, can and will exercise power to the hilt.Whilst the promises and patronage lent to LD MP's is real today, the day after a bill to make 'No Confidence' votes contingent on a 55% majority is signed, our MP's can pack their bags and go.The detail will be the timing;-LD drive requires immediate political reform - our new bedfellows - as a gesture of good intent agree to this being a first priority.I anticipate some of the changes will take immediate effect, primary legislation being put in place. Some changes will need detailed consideration - perhaps the detail of a referendum package on AV. Whilst enabled these may not be effected at the same time.If the 55% bar is introduced as part of the primary legislation, together with the fixed term, and is signed into law, all the remaining aspirations (including those of Mr Cameron to stay in office) can be swept away and Liberal Democrats will be sidelined.This is a pessimistic view of further options, but as Clegg mania came and went - if it was ever real, so to may coalition mania.Focus on 2015 for the answer to be delivered.
Sounds like you enjoy permanent opposition! I have always suspected that there are a large number of Lib Dems supporters who are drawn to a party with no hope of forming a government as they are the types who like sitting on the sidelines whinging all the time. Not so easy when you actually have to make decisions as you will no doubt find out.
We wont get PR as AV is not PR ! Get your facts right before quoting what you think is important information at me.AV would have given less proportional results in most of the recent general elections.
I've often believed that people who post insults anonymously lack backbone.
Every morning I drive past the Dungavel Detention Centre, a former prison in South Lanarkshire. Since 2001, the Labour Government having been locking up children in Dungavel, in some cases for as long as a year, as "illegal immigrants". This despicable practice has been strongly condemned in a long campaign by churches, civil rights groups and many others appalled by Labour's contempt for human rights and civil liberties.On the first morning of the LibDem - Conservative coalition it was announced that the state will no longer be allowed to imprison children in Dungavel.That is liberalism in action; that is what we can achieve with the Liberal Democrats in government.We will never be able to put all our policies in action. In opposition, we cannot put any policies in action. In government, we can make a difference.
Nobody has yet given me an asnwer to this questionWhy should anyone vote Lib Dem for the next five years ?Policy and plans are set for five years now, so voting tory won't affect that and voting Lib Dem will not change it either.
Question...What did you expect from a coallition government?I am asking in a non sarcastic way.Even the most optomistic scenarios never had your party as more than 50% of a government - in terms of MPsSurely that would mean giving up a big portion of what you wanted?Elected Lords, ID cards dead, surveilance state curtailed, 42 days detention, Iraq enquiry, US extradition treaty fixed... The list of overlaps in policy seems quite long to me...But then I am a Tory :-)
Nich, there won't be any elections for the next five years, so no-one will get the opportunity to vote except for by-elections.And local policy is a matter for a local party, not the national party - so when you elect a councillor, you elect them on a manifesto for what they will do in running the council. No-one will force the Tories and the Lib Dems into coalition on Norfolk County Council. So you can write your leaflets about that.
Reason to vote Lib Dem (for a Lib Dem suporter) -The Lib Dems actually getting a number of their policies through Parliment and into law. The more that vote in such a fashion the stronger their positin in the current coallition.But then, I am a Tory :-)
Of course you are laughing. You get to do things and you get a free scapegoat !
Richard, there are local, European and County elections before 2015.
I can think of two words that would motivate me to vote Lib Dem in Taverham South - one of them is Claudette....
NichAs a Conservative I enjoy very much your blog. However I am trying to understand what you are saying. As a Lib Dem, you believe in PR where votes are shared out. If you believe in the PR system then it follows that you must also believe in coalition governments. In that system each member does not get all of what they want and each partner during and after fights to ensure that the next time they have a higher share of the vote and more seats to ensure they have better bargaining power at the next set of negotiations. Well that is what has happened here. Is it that you are unhappy with the deal, to which the answer is work to get more MPs so you have a better lever, or is it that you think the Lib Dems should never work with Torys. If it is the latter, why should Torys in the northern seats vote Lib Dem to help keep labour out, if the Lib Dems only partner is Labour?
You are not offering PR. that is first and foremost my problem.AV is NOT, I repeat NOT PR !Secondly, coalition partners in other countries where they have PR might lose support in the course of a parliament, but do not face electoral wipeout because of their support for a larger party, in the main because PR maintains those parties as a political force.FPTP and AV does not afford that luxury to the Lib Dems.If you want a coalition, offer PR. A PR coalition with no PR massively favours the Tories and makes the Lib Dems the scapegoats.
You keep saying you are not being offered PR. You are right but you miss the point. Presumably you will continue to fight to get PR? A number of people are pointing out to you that if you get it you will have to work with other parties of differing views. I thought that is what you wanted? This coalition is an ideal opportunity to convince people like me who want to retain the first past the post system, that coalition governments can work. Reading your blog and those of like minded people confirms my view they are hopeless. If activists like you scupper it and another election is called within the year, you will be punished by the electorate. If you were Clegg what would you have done? Walk away and let the country fall into the abyss as the markets exacted their punishment on a bankrupt nation?
You said my comment earlier was cowardly, as I am anonymous(plead guilty to that!)and insulting. If you think that post was insulting you should re read those leaflets you produced during the election for Dan Roper which were personal, rude and negative about your opponents (both Labour and Conservative) You have 'previous' on insults on your blog as well. Pot and kettle come to mind.
1) Anonymous above is right; coalition, compromise and cooperation are the future of politics under a fair voting system: are you saying the idea was we'd either work for STV and magically get a majority, or else for for STV and never ever form a coalition with the Tories. Labour are (almost) as bad as they are remember; STV means you have to work with people you don't agree with.2) Some of what was on the leaflets was correct; a lot of Tory policy stinks. We've got rid of some, other remains; that's what happens when you're the minority party in a coalition government. A lot of (crazy) people in England voted for the Conservative policies, just as 23% of people in the UK voted for us. The difference is for once we actually get to enact some of our policy rather than saying 'oh wouldn't it be nice if'. I missed the clause in the constitution which said we weren't actually a political party intent on making political decision but rather some bizarre in-parliament opposition bench pressure group. And I dare say a lot that was on the focus leaflets was lies; the kind of scaremongering that Lord Rennard is so fond of; no wonder a lot of activists are finding it hard to adjust.**On both sides - I almost pissed myself when I saw the agreement insisted we wouldn't join the Euro this parliament; I hope they 'traded' that for something good, like the abolition of the inheritance tax cut. The Tories said that was our plan so often they finally believed it.3) All this seems to completely ignore the question of alternatives. When faced with two options a) let the Tories do whatever they wanted, b) negotiate out the worst parts of their manifesto and negotiate in a good whack (I reckon about 33% give or take) of our manifesto in turn what would someone do if they genuinely hated Conservatism. What they wouldn't do is what the Labour party did; stick the country with the Tories, piss off to the opposition benches and call it principle that the Glasgow Labour MPs don't want to reform FPTP.Nick did exactly what he ought to have done. If I'm losing faith with the LibDems as a party, it isn't the party leadership I've lost any faith in.
I agree with Nich.Reading the posts above, those who support the coalition seem to have fallen into the following logical trap.1) I enthusiastically support proportional representation.2) Proportional representation implies coalitions.3) This is a coalition.4) Therefore I enthusiastically support this coalition.Nich is pointing out the fallacy of this line of argument. Firstly, we do not have proportional representation nor is it on offer. AV is NOT proportional representation. Secondly being against a particular coalition agreement does not mean we are against any coalitions. We are against THIS coalition agreement. It is basically the tory manifesto with some tinkering at the fringes such as vague aspirations to raise the lower tax threshold to £10k at some point... maybe. On top of that, we got none of the great offices of state in the cabinet. With this party now effectively neutered, the Tories can do anything they like. How long before we will be treated to the unedifying spectacle of Lib Dems trotting into the lobbies to support such things as unlimited top up fees because they dare not do otherwise?The question now is what strategy should those of us who oppose this abomination pursue? And is that strategy best pursued inside or outside of the party?
It may be true that the Liberal Democrats will suffer some electoral damage in the short-to-medium term. So be it. We are not in politics to further the sectional interests of our own party, but to make government as liberal as possible. Will the UK government be more liberal as a direct result of our willingness to work with the Blue Beast? Yes, it clearly will; and we should be proud of the fact. Party tribalism is not our sole concern: leave that to "progressive" Labour.
I had been told that this was a good intelligent Lib Dem blog, but I've got to say I'm wondering why that was said. The gist seems to be, we shouldn't have taken this opportunity to block right-wing policies and insert liberal ones instead, because it could well cost us seats. Well, I for one will be glad to look the vulnerable in the eye and tell them that they are safer because my party is risking its seats for them.
Perhaps then an acknowledgement that the party was risking a lot for this would be better than groups of Lib Dems going to the press saying how excited they are ?Ministerial cars have blinded people to the dangers they place the party in, but hey, ministers get larger salaries and lots of other perks !
Oh, so now you tell us that's what's really bothering you - the fact that Lib Dem supporters are saying the wrong thing. Is that really the cause of all the anguish you've poured onto your blogs? Are you being honest with us Nich?
I do get annoyed with two basically socialist parties calling themselves 'progressive'. Since when has socialism been 'progressive'? Socialism is a failed system, so please don't try and take us back there. Nich, just stop whinging and join the Labour Party, obviously your true spiritual home. I am fed up with Lib Dems pretending to be all things to all people. Norman Lamb has convinced, small 'c' conservative in North Norfolk, he is a sort of liberal 'one nation' Tory and in the North of England you sell the Party as being to the left of Labour. Often you promote these opposing views in the same constituency depending on the demographics and what you think the voters want to hear.You forget not everyone voted Lib Dem to keep the Tories out, some voted Lib Dem to keep Labour out. If you had your way those people would presumably feel 'betrayed' as you put it. Everyone knew the risk of voting Lib Dem was a hung parliament. They got their wish; live with it.
The country needs a strong leadership and Nick Clegg has taken the opportunity to make sure this would happen. Anyway stop spending your valuable time telling people why not to vote conservative spend it telling why to vote lib dem. It's hardly worthwhile and mature to spend your time picking on others. When I receive a leaflet which spends most of its time telling me why not to vote for a party, I tear it in half and recycle it. If you have to fill your leaflets with arguments against another party, then your party must haven't much worth saying!!!!!!
Your views on Mike Baker are interesting. I am amazed you don't get on with him. The character traits you describe for him also apply to you. Two peas in a pod you are! Re-read your blog, 'generosity of spirit' is distinctly lacking. You don't even give 'posh boy' Clegg and your fellow Libs the benefit of the doubt.
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