by robstickland on 31 July, 2016
Things we’ve heard before: The Libdem’s are finished, heading for extinction…
You won’t be surprised to hear, but I disagree. Far from it, wounded from the battering taken at the last General Election, maybe, but still here and rebuilding slowly under the #libdemfightback banner.
Since the EU referendum Libdems have GAINED 8 council seats and held 2. Apart from independents ‘gaining’ from independents (3 seats) and conservatives gaining one seat, we are the only party making such a positive headway. We even increased our vote share in an Islington council by-election (Corbyn’s back yard). (stats from @britainelects).
Also since the referendum our membership has risen by 17,500 (in just a month!!).
I have read lots of comments, recent and in the past, that are derogatory, distasteful, deceitful and just wrong about our party. Instead of believing a slanted, tainted populist view, if people took the time to see exactly what the party stands for (and against) they may take a different view and join the fightback as well.
A tweet from Catherine Bearder:
In coalition, as is now becoming obvious, especially on green agenda, LD was instrumental in ensuring the Conservatives were checked from going too far in their right leaning agenda. A quick Google check will tell you what was LD involvement in policy. We now see the Department for Energy and Climate Change being merged, and the name disappearing in Theresa May’s first government. “Abolition of Decc ‘major setback for UK’s climate change efforts’ (Guardian)”
That as they say, is the past… Though as Ian Hislop recently said, you don’t just give up because you lost an election.
The EU referendum took place, the Labour Party is ineffective due to internal strife and behind closed doors, the Conservative party with new leader in place are trying to reunite and Brexit (or not) with all the anxiety that holds. UKIP are looking for a new leader (we read in the Sun paper/online that Farage is off to I’m a Celebrity as Celebrity Big Brother wouldn’t pay his £750k demand), as are the Greens. Will there, won’t there be a General Election speculation. The uncertainty goes on…
Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ :
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies…”
So here we are the Liberal Democrats, on the rise, steady, growing again and there to speak to and represent any of the 48% that voted against leaving the EU. Whilst also recognising there are those in the party for whom the EU isn’t the main focus as well, though obviously with the referendum being so much in the recent past it is the focus of the moment.
Regarding the EU, I note the quotes from Tim Farron in a Guardian Article outlining our stance on the subject :
“Farron revealed that Liberal Democrat policy would now not only offer a referendum on the Brexit deal when it is hammered out, but also promise that on the ballot would be the option of “remaining in the EU”.
But he insisted the position was not about disrespecting the outcome of the referendum.
“Any MP who talks about frustrating the will of the electorate by blocking Brexit in the House of Commons – that would be wrong … we shouldn’t be sticking two fingers up at the people, that would be a disgrace,” he said.
“Calling for an immediate second referendum because you don’t like the result of the first, I can understand the temptation, [but] that is wrong.”
But he argued while the 52% had voted clearly against something, they had not been given anything to vote for, pointing out that Britain’s relationship with the EU could be modelled on a large number of possibilities “ranging from Norway, to North Korea, and all the points in between”.
So far from being washed up has-been’s we are here being progressive, winning seats, rebuilding, offering a voice that would otherwise be lost in the void that is the turmoil of present day UK politics. We even have Nick Clegg scrutinising Brexit!
Like the phoenix from the ashes Libby rises again