Saturday, 6 February 2010

Lib Dems - the New Party for the Poor

The Liberal Democrats have taken over the role from Labour as the "party for the poor". It was always the Labour Part which championed the working class poor in British society (when Britain was a society in which the class divisions were clearly demarcated). Since the emergence of New Labour, or even before that when the socialist wing of Michael Foot ceased to have relevance in British politics, Labour has moved farther to the right and one could argue that there is now little difference between the two major parties as they compete to control the centre ground. They are both the party of the "middle class".

The Liberal Democrats have perceived this situation and their strategy is now to support the deprived elements in society, namely the old and the poor. The Liberals would like to be seen as a caring party and to bring back fairness and justice to those former Labour supporters who are turning away from their traditional voting patterns. They are hoping to make inroads into the core Labour vote and promote themselves as the party which can bring fairness to the tax system, mitigate the effects of capitalism on ordinary people and assist the elderly.

However, as far as Wales and Scotland are concerned the Lib Dems are a unionist party. They serve the interests of Britain and more particularly, England. In Wales they appear to be backpedalling on the date of the Referendum for a Welsh Parliament in the fear that "it may be defeated in the vote". Indications show that the vote for the establishment of a proper Parliament for Wales will succeed, so it appears that these so-called fears are groundless. In Scotland, the Liberals debated whether or not to support the SNP in their mission for independence for Scotland, then withdrew from this position. There are obviously divisions within the Liberal camp which are revealed in their bewildering twists and turns and their inability to produce a positive plan. They are hampered by the Conservatives' predisposition to take over their best ideas and make them their own.

They would gain more respect and support if they came out strongly  for democratic rights such as the reform of the House of Lords or its replacement, as well as a constitutional solution - independence for Scotland and northern Ireland and a Parliament for Wales would be a start and a move in the right direction.

Now see THIS, and now THIS
Doubleclick image to enlarge


DougtheDug said...
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DougtheDug said...

When you describe the Lib-Dems as unionist in Wales and Scotland you miss the point. The party is unionist across the UK.

The current Lib-Dem party is not the old Liberal Party it's an amalgam of the "New Labour" refugees who fled "Old Labour" before Tony Blair came on the scene and the old Liberal Party. Whether or not the old Liberals would have supported independence for Scotland and Wales is unknown but the Lib-Dems with their roots in Labour certainly don't.

The relevant part of the Lib-Dem constitution is:

We believe that sovereignty rests with the people and that authority in a democracy derives from the people. We therefore acknowledge their right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs and commit ourselves to the promotion of a democratic federal framework within which as much power as feasible is exercised by the nations and regions of the United Kingdom.

The weasel words are, "...within which as much power as feasible is exercised by the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. It's a straight lift out of Labour with its reference to "Nations and Regions", and what it means is that any part of the UK can have as much independence as it likes as long as it's within the UK.

Anything that threatens the integrity of the UK is verboten under the Lib-Dems so that's why they are so rabidly anti-SNP in Scotland and why any moves which loosen the ties with the UK are frowned upon.

Which means that if you believe in Scottish or Welsh independence then waiting for the Lib-Dems to change their spots and support any loosening of the ties between Scotland, Wales and England is futile.

alanindyfed said...

Of course unionist means unionist across the UK. Lib Dems are one party. I am not waiting for them to change their spots, and I suppose that the Scottish Lib Dems were warned not to support the SNP. The point I always reiterate is that all British parties are unionist parties and therefore only Plaid Cymru and the SNP can deliver for Wales and Scotland.