Sunday, May 08, 2011

Oh, for pity's sake Mr Milliband, no means no!

Another day, another invitation from Ed to join the great progressive crusade against an evil government, stealing the bread from the mouths of orphans, etc, etc. So, just in case you missed my first response, let me put it in terms that will take me off your invitation list...

I'm a liberal, not a socialist. Alright, you're not a socialist either, but a progressive - a bastard word that would sell itself to any weasel in a tight corner, as Terry Pratchett so elegantly describes in 'Going Postal'. Or at least, you say you are. And given that your definition of progressive is the creation of a client state obliged to vote for you to keep all of those things you can't actually afford to pay for, it isn't a word with tremendous appeal.

I don't believe in blind opposition to whatever anyone else does either. Your response to the economy - a blanket denial of the need for cuts or tax increases - doesn't convince me that you're offering a home for a 'sound money' liberal like myself.

And as a social liberal (and yes, you can be both quite easily), your notion of rights, something to be awarded by the State, as opposed to freedoms, to be claimed from the State and to be presumed, troubles me deeply.

Your Party also believes that the answer to every problem is more legislation, whereas I believe that applying the laws that you have - and heaven only knows that there is enough of it - might actually do the job. You might even be able to strip away some of the regulatory fat from our system of government if you concentrated on getting the basics right.

I also have a say in the running of my Party, whereas in yours, faceless union bosses decide upon the leadership, and ordinary members are given marching orders rather than encouraged to take an active role in policy-making.

So, Ed, that's just a flavour of my thoughts on your 'kind' invitation. You don't really want me to make a contribution to your party anyway, other than as a scalp to wave at other Liberal Democrats, and you don't believe in what I believe in, so it would only end in tears.

I think that I'll stay put, if that's alright with you...

8 comments:

Jennie said...

* applause *

John Minard said...

Brilliant! Shame on the BBC for not giving the Lib Dems a reply to his offer - as Cleggy superbly put it on the Marrs show about Labour's "radio silence" on any alternative.

Anonymous said...

He isn't asking you, pal. He is inviting the social liberal wing of the party to ditch the regressive, proto-tory wing of the libdems.

oneexwidow said...

*further applause*

Mark Valladares said...

Anonymous,

Posting your comment twice was overkill, especially as it is nonsense on stilts anyway. I've deleted the second effort.

No, he isn't, and even if he was, it's no business of his as to the membership, or otherwise, of our Party. Do I go around telling the Labour leadership to exclude those responsible for the abolition of the 10p tax rate, Iraq, child detention, the introduction of student tuition fees? No, I do not. I merely wouldn't welcome such people anywhere near the Liberal Democrats.

Our party is a broad church, like you believe yours to be, I trust. We welcome social and economic liberals, and understand that one can be either, or both. The Labour Party welcomes everyone from the fringes of communism to the conservative fringes of social democracy. There's a degree of overlap, but not enough to allow us to merge. Likewise with the Conservatives.

Your problem, apart from your cowardice (it's sooooo brave hiding behind your anonymity) is that your view of pluralism is entirely one-eyed. If we agree with you, pluralism is good. If we disagree with you, we're 'proto-Tories'.

And that's why I am just as unlikely to join Labour as I am to apply for a Conservative Party membership card...

James Hargrave said...

I am not minded to accept Ed's offer either. I joined the Lib Dems as I was unhappy with Labour's policies and approach in a number of areas - especially civil liberties and their statist approach to every issue and fondness for more and more legislation. If I did go anywhere it would be more than likely to the Greens.

What I think is a better approach is an end to the political tribalism that we see constantly. Whilst I am not a labour member I would personally prefer to see them elected over the Tories.

I had never attended an election count before but it gave a graphic visual account of how unfair the electoral system is with split Lab/Lib Dem and Green votes letting the Tories continue their hegemony in Suffolk despite the large number of votes opposing them.

I have always had a simple view of the term "progressive". It means not a Conservative! That's why I would like to see progressives work together but I don't agree this means we all have to join Labour for all the reasons you mention!

I do think we need to work more with Labour though and wrote a blog earlier asking for Lib Dem MPs to heed Andy Burnham's call to work with him for the sake of our schools to amend the education bill on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

"Posting your comment twice was overkill"

Didn't know I had.

"Do I go around telling the Labour leadership to exclude those responsible for the abolition of the 10p tax rate, Iraq, child detention, the introduction of student tuition fees?"

LOL! You aren't, as you claim, a believer in a broad church then? It is getting rather out of date to start ranting out previous Labour cock ups, compared with the cash taken off low income workers by Osborne's emergency budget the 10p tax rate was a Christmas present. Iraq...Libya. Child detention is still going on and the coalition have no plans to stop it. Tuition fees really you're mentioning tuition fees! Some brass neck you have! ROFL!!!

"apart from your cowardice (it's sooooo brave hiding behind your anonymity)"

Yawn, grow up. I can't be bothered to set up a blogger account so I take the easiest option. If you don't want anon comments disable them or don't allow them through moderation.

"your view of pluralism is entirely one-eyed. If we agree with you, pluralism is good. If we disagree with you, we're 'proto-Tories'."

The thing that annoys me about libdem "pluralism" is that 13 months ago you agree with Labour or attacked Labour from the left in many cases. It isn't pluralism, its opportunism on many libdems part.

Mark Valladares said...

Anonymous,

Welcome back for another round!

Yes, I do believe in the broad church concept, you're the one calling for Liberal Democrats to 'ditch the regressive proto-tory wing'. So I'll take no lecturing from you on that point.

Liberal Democrat policy to remove some of the poorest in our society from the income tax regime was so simple that Labour could have stolen it at any point. Instead, they created a mesh of tax credits that took money from the poor with one hand, and gave it back to them with the other. What did that achieve other than the creation of a bigger bureaucracy? Yes, increasing VAT hurts, but it has less impact on the poor than it does on those better off. And, of course, Alastair Darling would have done pretty much the same thing.

Comparing Iraq and Libya? One without UN approval based on dodgy intelligence, the other following a request from the Arab League and an affirmative vote from the UN Security Council? If you find that funny, I suggest you need a sense of humour transplant. And I'll not be attacked on tuition fees by you either. I've called for an apology from my side, and there's no evidence to suggest that you've done likewise.

Cowardice or idleness, there's nothing stopping you from putting your name at the bottom. I trust that it isn't too much like hard work...

Actually, I spent most of the last two years of the Labour government attacking its fixation on legislation and its general authoritarianism. I attacked the Conservatives for a lack of policy. The Party tended to do likewise. If you think we were attacking you from the left, perhaps it might reflect how far New Labour had gone to the right...