Saturday, 24 September 2022

Half a cheer for the Lib Dems


In political circles, the things for which the Lib Dems are most famous, and not necessarily in a good way, are dodgy bar charts and an astounding ability to promote completely contradictory policies in neighbouring areas – or even as they move from one house to the next in a street. To give them their due, they’re also quite good at mobilising large numbers of people to deliver a deluge of leaflets to flood voters’ homes in target areas, particularly during by-elections. Long term plans carefully and consistently executed have not, however, generally been seen as a strong point.

Perhaps we’ve all misjudged them. Liz Truss’s ability to pivot from one deeply-held policy position to deeply holding the complete reverse view makes her a classic Lib Dem. No surprise that was her initial choice of party. Infiltrating such an obvious Lib Dem into the Conservative Party with the sole aim of destroying that party from within is something of a master stroke, which shows clear signs of long term planning and organisation. After spending twelve years as a minister supporting the policies of three successive Prime Ministers, it turns out she never agreed with anything they (or she herself) did or said, another giveaway about her true allegiance. From upholding the idea that there is no magic money tree to claiming that she controls a complete enchanted forest, without even pausing for breath, is a manoeuvre which must have taken the breath away from even the most experienced Lib Dem candidate. A party which has spent 40 years telling us that they believe that spending must always be balanced by income suddenly decides to trash the very basis of its reputation by arguing that the bigger the gap the better; that’s on a completely different order of magnitude to merely overturning policy on student fees.

So, why only half a cheer for such an astounding achievement? Whilst the success of the cunning plot has almost certainly exceeded the wildest expectations of the plotters, they really don’t seem to have anticipated quite how much collateral damage would be caused for the rest of us when the bomb exploded. Perhaps they thought that she might get to a senior position but assumed that the Tories would never be stupid enough to make her leader. It’s an easy enough mistake to make (who wouldn’t have made a similar assumption?) but catastrophic for many of the least well-off in society. Next time, stick to dodgy bar charts. Please.

1 comment:

dafis said...

John, Broaden your range of vision on this latest tax scam. The party of the rich making the rich richer is in some ways to be expected. However it has seldom happened before on the scale that has been announced this week. This is another big step in the grand plan of concentrating wealth in the coffers of the few. Breathtakingly simple it uses public funds to finance the largesse as there is nowhere near enough alternative inflows to pay for it. Public borrowing gets inflated and in due course the cost of that borrowing will be charged to the tax payer, not the top rate payers who will no doubt revert to their famous mitigation plans but the poor old standard rate payers who will have nowhere to hide. The programme of theft continues as a key stage of turning us all into serfs.