Iain Dale writes on Lib Dem Voice today an article that attempts to point the way forward for the Lib Dems in the wake of catastrophic election results. Sadly, despite the fact that Iain is actually a rather nice guy, he fails to understand the problem, and his solutions are very much what is best for the Tory Party, not the Lib Dems.
Vince Cable, who has long been on Iain's list of Lib Dems who need bashing, comes in for some tribal abuse from Iain. The fact that Iain then brings up a quote from a campaign manual from more than a decade ago, long since abandoned, but still copied and circulated as a truth by the Tories actually serves to highlight the very point Vince Cable was making about the Tories.
But where Iain really loses is is his view that the Lib Dems need to stick with the coalition. The need to join was to avoid a Greece style meltdown. This has been avoided, so the need for the Lib Dems to remain has gone. Iain says we face the prospect of the Lib Dems losing many MPs if we walk away from the coalition now. What he does not say is that if we go now, we lose. But if we wait four more years, we take all the flak for the Tories, allow them to pick off our council base, degrade our ability to campaign and show our independence, and by the time 2015 comes around, we will be in a worse state, whilst the Tories will be strengthened.
Iain's final analysis that the Lib Dems position would improve by bringing back David Laws his hopelessly at odds with what I found on the doorsteps in March, April and May. Iain likes to quote canvassing in Norfolk. I can assure Iain that bringing back a discredited right wing Lib Dem who has long been suspected within Lib Dem ranks as being on the extreme right wing of the party (admittedly though still to the left of Iain), is not what people want on the doorsteps of Norfolk.
What people told me is that they want those who broke promises to stop lying, apologise and for the Lib Dems to once again develop a back bone, which was so obvious in the Iraq war.
We do need to re focus and decide what we stand for, and what we want to be as a political party because we have abandoned our voters. Tories like this government, and as I warned a year ago, why should anyone who likes the government vote Lib Dem ? If they like this government, which is essentially a Tory one with a little Lib Dem garnish, they just need to vote Tory, You don't order a meal because you like the side salad, and that is what we are.
Nick Clegg is political poison. I turn the TV off when he comes on because he makes me want to shout at him. When he was in Norwich a couple of weeks ago, I told Lib Dems I would NOT like an invite to his meeting for fear I would say what I think of him.
The Tories love him, he's their fall guy. The fact that Tories are coming to his defence is reason enough to know we are not doing the right thing.