Thursday, 14 April 2011

A political dinosaur

I was reading a piece in the Telegraph and was reading the comments underneath it (as one does) here's one that really jumped out at me:
"I hope and pray that you are wrong and, that at the next election, the Liberals are, finally, and once and for all, destroyed. 
Our political system is basically, a two party system.
Minor Parties, such as UKIP, BNP, Greens, Screaming Lord Such etc., can be tolerated, and may even be a source of fun, or a reminder to the Conservatives and Labour, that they are being watched. 
The Liberals are different. They are a Party of spoilers and political opportunists, - the present coalition government is evidence of their duplicity.
They always play both ends against the middle, whilst always supporting Labour, evidence, the way they sustained the failing Wilson and Callaghan Governments, in power during the latter part of the 70s. 
The forthcoming AV vote, brought about by the crass stupidity of Cameron, promises to lead to the destruction of strong, decisive Government, probably for all time, and lead to a Party of all time political losers, the Liberals, calling the tune, and effectively governing by default."
Well, it's hard to know where to begin with a statement like that.

But I suppose the simplest thing to say is to comment on how this is a statement of a political dinosaur. An arch tribalist whose one hatred other than the opposition is anyone who dares to attempt to disrupt the hegemony of the two main parties.

Of course, a century ago people were making the same comments about the Labour movement - and just look at how that turned out.

But I suppose the thing I take away from what this guy said is the breathtaking arrogance, the certainty that there can be no valid views other than his own and, if you do disagree, then you must belong to the other lot, those blasted socialist marxists. Well, I'm sorry to say that we do not have binary political views in this country. We may once have had a binary political system (thanks to first past the post) but we have never had binary political opinion.

And let us not forget the triumphs of those minor parties. The Greens put climate change on the agenda, UKIP put the EU back on the agenda and the Pirate Party are putting digital rights on the agenda. As for the Liberals, well we've never stopped reminding governments, of any colour, of such awkward issues as civil rights and the humane treatment of some of the most vulnerable in society (such as asylum seekers).

But ultimately, the best answer to such a statement from a political dinosaur is this:


  1. Kieran E: God comments like that depress me. For all there are things about the LDs that I have always disagreed on and plenty I still do, a truly believe a strong third party (at the least) is a vital component of our political system, and I hope the massive damage heading their way in May, not totally fairly, does not signal their end.

  2. @Kieran

    Personally I doubt it's going to be the predicted armageddon. We probably will see sizeable losses but nowhere near the wipe-out that the media are predicting.

  3. I assume on this basis, you recognise the need for third party representation on Guildford Borough Council?

    Kind regards,


  4. Of course. As long as you only take seats from the tories.

  5. So your commitment to pluralism comes second to tribalism does it?


  6. Not at all. It is just that, as we both know, the Lib Dems are, at the moment, best placed to take control of the council and protect frontline services. The Lib Dem track record in local government is also better than Labour's so, for the benefit of the people of Guildford, it is best that, if Labour does gain seats, they gain them from the tories.

    I just have the best interests of the people at heart.


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.