Any other Lib Dems feeling the slightest bit hypocritical today ?

I was looking back at the poster launched by the Lib Dems at the start of the election campaign less than three months ago and, from my own moral compass, I feel something of a hypocrite having delivered leaflets with this message on only to find three months later that a Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury was presiding over the "VAT Bombshell" the Lib Dems were warning about.

Taking a more measured view, I do find it hard to argue against a large chunk of the budget today. Quite clearly Labour have been running this country on the basis of chucking everything on to a credit card, which in many ways was the reason this country got in to such a mess in the fist place with the proliferation of cheap credit and a lack of control on spending and lending.

However, the fact that the Lib Dems are now having to share power ought to make Lib Dem strategists think twice in future elections about the kind of messages they want to put out during an election and to what extent these campaigns (as in the VAT Bombshell posters) cheapens politics. I know all parties do it, but we need to be honest enough to say we won't in future.

For those who are unaware of my stance towards the coalition, I have been clear in my view (and expressed this to MPs, the printed press and in Radio interviews) that I am no supporter of the coalition deal with the Tories. I don't want to go over the old ground of this, but I thought I should make this clear.


Anonymous said...

If it was Lib Dem Govt then yes! but it isn't, it's a coalition so it has to be a compromise. Better this though than just being on the outside moaning like Labour are now doing!

Andrew Reeves said...

Hi Nich, given that poster campaign was launched in Glasgow to kickstart the Scottish campaign I will answer your question directly as best I can.

No, I do not think it is hypocritical, that message was designed and unveiled at a particular time when we as a Party were trying to convince the public to vote for us as the next government of the UK.

It doesn't cheapen politics in my opinion, we have to have clear visuals sometimes to show a message off.

We cannot run every campaign on the "we can only say this because we may end up in a coalition government" basis, it just would not work.

Imagine running your next council campaign on that basis?

Like you I am not entirely comfortable with all aspects of the coalition but I do recognise that there was no other option for us as a party.

Labour ruled out the rainbow coalition because before even talking to us they ruled out working with the SNP!

Also like you I think selling some parts of the budget won't be easy, but imagine that same budget if it was only a Conservative government?

I am chuffed that we have an opportunity to put into reality some of our great Liberal Democrat policies.

Just remember it is a coalition government - not a Lib Dem one or a Conservative one.

I appreciate you and I won't entirely agree but I do know you listen to a reasoned argument.

Anonymous said...

At least the campaign proves that we were right . . .

Anonymous said...

Vince Cable

"From national treasure to Treasury Puddle"

Why dont we have a three year pay freeze for nurses, teachers and the police

does not matter to a bunch of Millionaire Cabinet ministers

who will be on there Yachts this summer

crisis what crisis

and what do 500,000 sacked public sector workers do (all those teaching assistants, librarians, community wardens etc)

they cannot all work at Sainsburys or put sky

Peter Dunphy said...

No, because we didn't gain an overall majority in the election so were in no position to impose every one of our policies. The alternative was a 100% Tory administration. Is that what you wanted ? That was the only alternative. We have mitigated the impact on the poorest in many ways, including the raising of the income tax threshold for low earners and exemption of standard rate tax payers from CGT rises, better pay for frontline troops, restoration of the earnings link for pensioners, amongst many others.

Alex said...

"We have mitigated the impact on the poorest in many ways"

No you haven't, check out for instance:








"exemption of standard rate tax payers from CGT rises"

That's the opposite of Lib Dem policy, so I'm not sure why Lib Dems should celebrate that.

Anonymous said...

Our leader sent me an email saying

this budget has Libdem stamp on it

yet rise in VAT hits the poor

and welfare cuts, especially rents will hit pooer especially here in London

I see also the Cadbury Foundation has said it will his the poor

Our back bench MPS need to speak out or we will be wiped out

Anonymous said...

Lib Dems defending this budget is the exact reason I cannot stand a huge section of politicians.

"Things have changed" they bleat. Like fuck they have. And stop toadying up to Cameron who is now trying to pin it all on the last government, while neatly ignoring the massive role played by our banking system and those who ran it fast and loose.

good to see Paxman make that Alexander twat look like the slimy weasel he is. He didn't answer one question, just trotted out the hard choices, times are difficult, there's no other way mantra. As Paxo said, "why should we believe anything you ever say?"

Forget child benefit and all that, what's with making single mothers work as soon as possible? For fuck's sake, raising a child is the most important job there is, and the fact that harly anyone does it anymore cos they're all working to keep the wolf from the door shows up in the number of amazingly unbalanced and illiterate etc young fuck ups we are producing. I should know I'm a long serving secondary teacher. And oh yeah, thanks for fucking my pension over. What happened to keeping the bankers in check? They're already right back at it. I haven't demonstrated since the Poll Tax but I'm looking forward to letting the Tories and Lib Dems know how I feel (I'm not a Labour supporter either, thanks)

They won't rest until we're all private sector and cough, cough, "competitive".


Anonymous said...

Aren't pay freezes and pension changes rubbish...oh hang on I've had that for the last 2 years, so why pray tell should public sector be exempt?

And yes the bank bailout was rubbish, but how much did that actually cost? Very little compared to the overall "pay on credit card" strategy employed by the last government!

That's what got us into this shit!

Anonymous said...

absolute bollocks

and that's why virtually all the euro zone and USA are fucked too. Don't kid yourself by trying to pretend it was down to Labour, that's mental (and I don't support them at all). Every other fucked up country didn't have the Labour Party.

If, after the economic miracle of the capitalism of Thatcher and Blair, you have ended up with two year pay freezes, maybe you should think a bit more?

Life gets shitter all the time and you keep espousing these regimes to make us fitter and leaner and more competitive. Have you ever noticed that you're running out of road?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Why is it rubbish ?

Labour ran defecits even in the god years prioor to 2007. That is why our finances are such a mess.

If labour had run a fiscally prudent government then in the good years they should not have been adding to the national debt.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Rail boses award themselves huge bonuses just like the bankers at record levels

Glad to see Lib Dems sign up to cut benefits to Chemotherapy patients

Very Progressive

Why has Clegg said in the next budget there will be clauses for poor - admission this one isnt

The Liberal moment has come

and gone

Anonymous said...

Hughes has woken up
but is it to late

dazmando said...

Disbite what other have commented on this blog I think this poster campaign was silly at best http://bracknellblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/vat-bombed-in-bottom.html I was never happy with it