Saturday, 18 February 2017

Can Copeland Save Britain From Itself?

The Copeland By-Election is coming up shortly. It's been a safe Labour seat for as long as most people can remember. Theresa May (not my Prime Minister) smells an historic opportunity. A ruling party hasn't won a by-election since the eighties. Largely because we're a cantankerous lot who always kick the government when we think it doesn't matter. Unfortunately Brexit did matter.

Labour has no position on Europe, divided and leaderless they could just fall victim to Mrs May's nuclear industry strategy and her visits to local schools etc. It would be a miracle if the Lib Dems took the seat, but it would send a huge message that people have their worries about the Tories' headlong UKIP inspired dash towards Brexit.

Only the Lib Dems among the major parties are united over Europe now and only the Lib Dems have been united in their pro Europe, pro joined up thinking, pro co-operative world stance in the past. Only the Lib Dems know what a principled position is right now. Nick Clegg paid a huge electoral price for two things: One for joining the Tories in a coalition. Two for not bringing the government down, at a time of financial crisis, over tuition fees. He paid the price, in effect, for responsibly putting the country first.

Labour did not pay the price for introducing tuition fees in contravention of their own manifesto and the Tories did not pay an electoral price for raising them. If you want Liberal policies you have to vote Liberal. As for the coalition with the Tories, the sums did not add up to form a workable government with debt monger Brown, the destroyer of pensions and personally I feel any coalition should always include the party which got the highest number of votes. For others to push them out seems borderline undemocratic to me.

Strangely the coalition worked pretty well, as Clegg in particular tempered the worst excesses of the Tory right. And look at the mess we're in now that Cameron bought off the electorate with his complacent, well, stupid actually, referendum pledge which almost wiped the Liberals out.

We need the Lib Dems more than ever now, just look at the attack on liberal policies going on over the pond. Please Copeland, please show the way, do something brave and wise, vote Liberal to a man, woman and youth. Do it, shine a light in the darkness, I dare you. Stoke won't, it's up to you.

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