Wednesday, 11 May 2011

This is a time when it's right to get angry

What’s the real story of the past year in a nutshell?
The country had had enough of Labour. Tired, bereft of ideas and saddled with an unpopular leader who had been in charge as the country blundered into the debt crisis, Labour was out of the picture.
So the Tories and Lib Dems did the responsible thing – did a deal on what they could agree on, to get a workable stable government and avoid financial meltdown for this debt-laden country.
If the country does not have good governance, all politicking over this or that policy is futile.
But our opponents don’t want people to think about this. They are talking constantly the language of Lib Dem “betrayal”. They would say that, wouldn’t they?
Labour wouldn’t say their party had gullibly let the City do whatever it liked under “light touch regulation”, spent public funds like there’s no tomorrow, and then left a note for the new chancellor saying there’s no money left, would they? But that’s what really happened. Labour betrayed the country.
The Tories wouldn’t say it was they who had persuaded our leadership to compromise on policies with big price tags such as higher education funding, in order to get a deal with our leadership on the fundamentals – dealing with the debt crisis and getting the real economy going in a sustainable way – and then turned round and stabbed our leadership in the back, would they? But that’s what they did, and that’s betrayal.
Of course they wouldn’t. Our opponents love repeating the words “Liberal Democrats” and “betrayal” in the same breath. Words that injure.
Most people have short memories for factual details, but they do remember how they feel about people. Do they like them? Can they trust them and rely on them? We need to go out fighting and challenge that mindset every time. I mean EVERY time. That means challenging the words.
I don’t do betrayal, and my party doesn’t either. Sometimes it is right to get angry, and now is one of those times.

1 comment:

Robin Horsley said...

Jo,

Wasn't it your leadership who negotiated on Electoral Reform and gave away policies like higher education funding?

Then they failed to demonstrate that AV had any value - so they got caned. People just thought - 'you gave everything away for this...??'

This is one situation where it's neither the last governments fault or the Tories - it's your leadership that's made a mess of it.

If Vince Cable and Chris Huhne had been a bit more professional over the last year and looked like serious ministers governing in the national interest then it might not have been so bad.

And if Clegg has woken up to the need to campaign positively as Cameron did then it could have been different.

Best to focus on what needs to change within, that Lib Dems can control. Rather than moan about others over whom you have only minimal influence.