Leaving the Lib Dems….

This is a hard blog to write; I have agonised over this decision for a long time, sat on my hands and done not a lot locally politically. However, in the last analysis a decision has to be made and it has been.  I cannot pretend there isn’t a strong local context to this decision. I am happy to be in a minority (sometimes of one) but not to have my democratic right to dissent trampled over.

This is what happened to me in Leeds over the bin strikes. No matter how it is dressed-up; the local party decided to silence a critic in a fashion that would do any dictatorship credit. All I initially called for was for the ‘consideration’ of the unions’ position and an end to a strategy of defaming the bin mens character in a style that fully deserves the epithet ‘Thatcherite’. However, even this was too much for the local party to tolerate.

If this was an isolated problem then it would not be so much an issue but the blatant truth is that in Leeds, the Liberal Democrats are not fit to govern and that the people of Leeds would be best served by the defeat of the current coalition. The council doesn’t listen nor does it care and what happened to me is a symptom of a wider malaise (as shown by its attitude to things like the community campaign to save Royal Park School). New leadership is required and the people of Leeds would undoubtably be listened to more and better served by a Labour administration.

Furthermore, a Labour council in Leeds would stick-up for Leeds against Cameron’s swinging cuts. The Liberal Democrats cannot be trusted to do that and that is a further reason they are unfit to govern in Leeds. My local experiences have led to national concerns.

At the next election there will be a clear choice and the progressive course is equally clear. The Conservatives must be stopped; the election of a Conservative government will bring this country to its knees. It will destroy communities and services in the name of asset stripping. Above all it will bring our economy to its knees and cause social chaos on a scale that has not been seen for some decades; if at all. It will stigmatise ethnic groups further and will cause more terror attacks than it prevents. Britain will become a pariah in Europe; a joke told around dinner tables.  In short Cameron, for the probably short time he survives, will bring disaster to this country.

How can we be equidistant in that situation? Labour does have problems; it has lost its way but it has also delivered progressive social reforms and still, it represents something qualitatively better than that which offered by David Cameron. I cannot be clear in my mind that faced with a choice the Liberal Democrats would make the correct, principled, choice. Already Nick Clegg has signalled he is more interested in power signified by his abandonment of principle and economic sense in a probably vain attempt to hold ‘the Shires’. Furthermore, my experiences in Leeds point to the possible prospect that the lure of power and association with the Conservatives would taint the party.

Progressives cannot be equidistant in that situation or put party before cause and in squabbling with Labour that is what Nick Clegg and the leadership do. There is little signs of resistance within the Liberal Democrats; hopefully that will change. However, within Labour there are already people fighting from that prospective like the Fabians and there are signs that the left is growing in strength and confidence. The progressive cause will not survive by the strength of the Liberal Democrat party alone; nor will it prosper by destroying Labour. Labour still has something to contribute to the progressive struggle and in that spirit I intend to join it as a critical ally who supports its struggles but feels its interests would be best served by rediscovering what Nick Clegg calls its soul.

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About darrellgoodliffe

n.a

50 responses to “Leaving the Lib Dems….”

  1. Arnie says :

    Oh yes, just like Leeds Labour stood up to the cancellation of Supertram or the Leeds Arena funding fiasco.

    All we can expect from any future Labour administration in Leeds is a perpetual exercise in political point scoring against the incoming Tory govt.

    I do apologise if this sounds critical, as I am sure it was hard to write what you just have. But it just boggles the mind how someone who has seen Labour shaft Leeds for the last 13 years could join that party.

    Like

  2. Jonathan Hunt says :

    As you are a man of principle I trust you will resign your seat and give the people who elected you as a Lib Dem the choice and the chance to make their voices heard.

    Like

  3. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Jonathan,

    Im not a councillor so have no seat to resign but were I to be so yes I would.

    Arnie,

    Where as of course what the coalition would do is have a principled argument *cough, hack*…I dont think. Also, I dont think there are many bin men who will feel the coalition has served them well neither will the Royal Park Community group etc etc.

    Like

  4. linda jack says :

    Darrell,

    I really really really hope you will reconsider. Of course I know what is going on on the ground locally has a huge impact and if I was there you know I would be with you arguing the case, but frankly Labour has well and truly betrayed the trade union movement, as well as continuing to justify a totally unjustifiable war. I am sorry, you are completely mistaken to think that this party would ever countenance a coalition with the Tories, Nick may well favour it, but he is – when the chips are down – a pragmatist. He backed down on tuition fees because he understood he couldn’t take the party with him – and we will not go into a Tory coalition for the same reason. Frankly, our party may not be as progressive as I would like, but as a liberal I could never feel comfortable in the authoritarian Labour party or the Stalinist fringe alternatives. We do have progressive policies and we can and will become more progressive – but not if you and other progressives in the party leave. Fair enough about the Fabians, but seriously, they will not have more than a limited impact on the ingrained Tory market philosophy that has poisoned anything of worth in the leadership of the Labour Party. And as for democracy – how a party that has abandoned any notion of democracy in its own ranks can be trusted to uphold the values of democracy in the country beats me!

    And as for little resistance hmmmmmmm.

    So Darrell, please don’t give up the fight, we need you!!!!!!

    Love Linda

    x

    Like

  5. Luke Bosman says :

    Good luck in persuading the Labour Party, one for which I used to have huge amounts of respect, that its insistence on constantly eroding civil liberties is not a good idea.

    Whether I’d rather see freedom destroyed under Labour (who needs a jury trial after all?) or the economy destroyed by the Tories is a decision I could never make.

    Like

  6. James Graham says :

    Having been there, seen that and bought the t-shirt (albeit 8 years ago now), I can sympathise with Darrell’s frustrations with elements of the Leeds Lib Dems. But to join the ‘old right old shite’ brigade that is Leeds Labour is quite gobsmacking.

    No bunch of well meaning Fabians they, the culture of Leeds Labour is about the closest thing we have to Sicilian-style mafia politics in the UK. Sadly, certain Lib Dems have been known to stoop to that level of gutter politics from time to time, but I’m amazed anyone would want to opt for the undiluted version.

    Good luck!

    Like

  7. Jonathan Hunt says :

    Darrell, I apologise for misreading, seemed as though you were part of the council. Glad to hear you would have – seems rare in politics today, something most of us are sick of.

    Like

  8. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Linda,

    Thank you for the comment. I dont doubt that but the whole point is you would have been treated in the same fashion. I was told I was excluded for discussing policy on an activist list yet none of those supporting the councils stance will have been excluded nor was I warned beforehand. How is this democracy either? It smacks of Stalinism to me. I disagree about the Fabians; I think they will have a very big impact. In Leeds, how can the Liberal Democrats who behave in such a way be trusted with democracy and to listen to local communities?

    As regards the coalition with the Tories I see no amount of pragmatism justifying this; I can see the pragmatic argument well enough but I cant justify it on principled grounds; nothing can justify supporting them. Pragmatically it also falls down because it advances none of the Liberal Democrats stated aims and to pretend they might is to be dillusional.

    I am sorry but my mind is made-up.

    Like

  9. Oranjepan says :

    There are a couple of points which are worth raising in relation to your decision and the reasons you give for taking it, but first of all I have to say from my perspective it is completely expected given your recent topics of concern on this blog.

    I can completely respect anybody’s sincere decision to get involved in politics and stand up for what they believe in, indeed I encourage it, but while I commend your ability to grasp and analyse facts your ability to reach conclusions is hampered by a narrow and negative outlook which unnecessarily and unsuccessfully strives for ideological clarity (as suggested in your blog name) over the essential political practice of compromise.

    Narrow in that the immediate cause for your decision is given by means of justification relating to personal reactions on one specific and local issue.

    Negative in that you state your wider aim is in fighting against your presumptions of the policies of another party.

    In both of these areas I surmise you’ve either been given bad counsel of none at all. Certainly LibDem membership training does not support either form of politics and therefore on reflection you were not participating in liberal-democratism during that period.

    If you wish to go into a circular argument about what you’ve written I’d be happy to humour you, but I suspect you’ll refuse to engage in a discourse as you’ve already made your mind up (as this post also indicates you had already made your mind up on the issues beforehand – I mean, you state positions rather than arguments, which as a political methodology mitigates against flexibility on either side).

    So the consequence of this post is to condemn yourself by your own hand.

    I’m sorry to be able to reach this conclusion as it indicates a certain unreliability and questionable judgement which will continue to dog you when you address political or practical questions in future.

    I also disagree with Jonathan, as based on the evidence of the reasons you’ve given here you show yourself to be highly unprincipled, despite the depth of consideration you’ve gone to. If I may be frank your tactical choice was a logical and inevitable end result of backing yourself too far into a corner. This is a telling sign of an immature political consciousness and one which it concerns me to think you appear unwilling to outgrow.

    As I said above I’m happy to engage on any of these comments or the issues you’ve described which lead me to reach them, but if you do not then I wish you the best of fortune for the future – though I also offer the gamblers warning not to depend on luck, for she is a fickle mistress… as you should remember, to give a clearcut example, Labour’s ‘ethical foreign policy’ brought popular plaudits in the short-term, but became twisted for use in justifying the instigation of the folly of war in Iraq.

    Clearly your ‘principles’ favour the relative livelihoods of hundreds of your nearest class comrades in Leeds over and above the very real lives of faceless, nameless millions across the world. Not by default, by actively.

    What a calculation to make – it says everything about what you actually do stand for!

    Like

  10. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Luke,

    I agree that the erosion of civil liberties is bad; in my view it is inextricably linked to the war on terror and the wrong response to that.

    I think you will find the Tories will do both actually, the notion they support civil liberties is a nonsense. Yesterday, they were bleating on about stop and search something that was brought to light by a law they want to repeal!

    Like

  11. darrellgoodliffe says :

    James,

    One assumes things werent much different in your day and all the invective you have hurled at Labour could easily be applied to the Leeds Liberal Democrats I am afraid or else how do you explain the silencing of dissent?

    Like

  12. Chris Lovell says :

    Darrell,

    I think it’s a shame that you felt the need to make this decision Darrell, though I can’t say I’m surprised. I think you’re wrong about the Labour Party in Leeds. After six months in with that bunch you’ll think the Lib Dems were pussycats!

    Anyway good luck for the future.

    Chris

    Like

  13. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Oranjepan,

    Thanks, as always for the considered response.

    I think you mistake me; I am very pragmatic and indeed have argued my perspecitves with a pragmatic tint when I have looked at relations between the two parties. Pragmatically, the notion that in a hung-parliament the Liberal Democrats would even consider the Conservatives is madness.

    I, of course, disagree with how you see this though thank you for your assessment. I think it is immature to strive for equidistance when in my eyes there can be none.

    My mind is made up and I thank you for the good wishes; on a personal level I would like to extend them back.

    Like

  14. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Chris,

    Thanks for the comment. Well we will see. Thanks for the kind words at the end. Good luck to yourself too. 🙂

    Like

  15. Alan Greenfield says :

    Good bye & good luck with Labour (either old, new or Blue, good and bad , happy & sad etc etc!).

    Like

  16. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Alan,

    Thanks for the message. The same to yourself.

    Like

  17. Oranjepan says :

    Well, Darrell, I can’t comment with any authority on the ins and outs of what goes on in Leeds, but in my local authority where there is a minority Labour administration (19 Lab, 18 Con, 8 LD, 1 Ind) there has been significant progress on a variety of fronts which has taken advantage of the very fluid nature of issue-based politics. This offers clear demonstration of how any theoretical description of ‘equidistance’ or whatever is pure lazy armchair punditry.

    As a prime example, earlier this week an absolutely outrageous Labour decision was called in by both LibDems and Tories on completely opposite grounds.

    The LibDem group has been highly effective and gained huge credibility as a constructive force by avoiding any suggestion of an alliance or coalition – indeed after a marathon three day session of meetings earlier this year the council budget which was passed was a LibDem budget with support from the Labour and Independent councillors!

    As far as what happens after a general election in the situation where a hung parliament exists and the leadership of all parties remains in place I think this is an excellent model – I can’t see a grand coalition forming, and Clegg has repeatedly asserted his preference for an ‘advise and consent’ system such as the model here in Reading has operated.

    I wholeheartedly demur (based on this experience) that refusal to consider any offers of concessions to our agenda is likely to bring them about any sooner, so although I completely agree that formalising any relationship in a pact or coalition is tantamount to disbanding the party premature refusal is akin to shooting ourselves in the foot.

    From what you’ve written you indicate a severe lack of imagination of the sort true political leadership requires, whereas by comparison Clegg does inspire some modest confidence that he would be able to successfully navigate negotiations with any party. So if you’ll forgive me the percentages offer a much better return with him than you.

    Nonetheless I’m intrigued by your identification with pragmatism – this is a big reversal from only a few short months ago. Can you offer a bit of insight into what you mean by it, possibly by describing your damascene conversion?

    Like

  18. James Graham says :

    Darrell,

    Come come. Your complaint is about the local party censoring you on a email list – a stupid and counterproductive thing to do to be sure (although I’ve only heard your side of events) but hardly “Stalinist”.

    The party you have joined suspends whole constituency parties for selecting the “wrong” candidate and organised systematic voting fraud campaigns as recently as 2007. I’ve been awestruck by the number of Leeds Labour activists I used to have run ins with who have gone on to specialise within the party in terms of running smear campaigns.

    Leeds is a hotbed of Labour corruption and authoritarianism. I appreciate that certain Leeds Lib Dems are no angels but they are mere shadows in comparison.

    But like I said before, good luck with it.

    Like

  19. mommsen says :

    I’m glad you didn’t make this decision last week. Had you left the Lib Dems one week earlier, I would never have found your excellent blog on the internet.

    Last week the ‘LibDemBlogs’-website drew my attention to your blog for the first time. Now I have a look at it every day.

    Since you’ve made your decision to leave the LibDems, they’ve stopped to mention your blog posts on the ‘LibDemBlogs’-website.

    I think that’s a bit narrow-minded. Can’t they see that only your party membership status has changed, whereas your political point of view has remained the same? Perhaps they simply don’t care what their supporters actually stand for as long as they get the support. All they seem to want are the votes – and bloggers who make people vote for them. How poor!

    Like

    • Dave Page says :

      mommsen, I should point out that Lib Dem Blogs isn’t run by the Liberal Democrat Party, so any criticism of their listing criteria shouldn’t be taken as a reflection on the party 🙂

      Like

  20. Mark Littlewood says :

    Darrell,

    Do you support your new party’s position on the introduction of identity cards?

    If yes, as a LibDem, did you support the identity cards act when it was introduced? And if not, why not? Or have you changed your mind since?

    If no, which (if any) Labour Party statements on ID cards would you like to distance yourself from (if any)?

    Like

  21. John Booth says :

    Darrell,

    How about nationally? Are you convinced that the Lib Dems are unlikely to get their act together and overtake Labour as the primary party of the centre-left, even if Labour in government has betrayed its centre-left founding values?

    I mean, the Lib Dems have had so many years to overtake Labour from the left but have continually failed to do so.

    Like

  22. a very public sociologist says :

    Yours is a principled position. I may not be in the Labour party but it’s good to see you return to the labour movement. I hope it proves to be a better and more fruitful home than your previous political abode.

    Like

  23. darrellgoodliffe says :

    James,

    Like you say; I have other grounds for feeling like I do but wont be drawn.

    Mommsen,

    Thanks for the kind comments. Dave is right though; the lack of listing is because I am no longer a member and is expected.

    Mark,

    I dont support ID cards and am happy to say I still dont support the policy; never have and never will.

    John,

    I dont think that they will especially not under the current electoral system. I think there is both a cultural and policy issue here. I think the policy issue is that the Lib Dems are not a wholly leftist party and get caught between the two stools so to speak.

    Like

  24. darrellgoodliffe says :

    averypublicsociologist,

    Thanks for the comment. I hope so too. 🙂

    Like

  25. Ludwik Kowalski says :

    AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FORMER STALINIST

    Please share this link with those who might be interested.

    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/mybook2.html

    P.S. The book is waiting for a reviewer

    I am a retired physics professor, the author of “Tyranny to Freedom: Diary of a Former Stalinist,” looking for a reviewer.

    Like

  26. Peter1919 says :

    Of course this has absolutely no relevance to the fact you have continually failed to be selected as a candidate for Council elections then?

    Your ambitions to get o the politcal gravy train are obvious and jumping ship to Labour who were a disaster for Leeds when they ran the Council Peterjust shows you are no real political convictions

    Like

  27. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Peter,

    Your factually incorrect as I was selected to fight the Middleton Park ward so errr that kind of ruins your argument doesnt it? Also, as has been pointed out elsewhere the Labour Parties star is not exactly completly ascendant now is it?

    Furthermore, if that was my aim I could have simply not talked about the bin strikes at all and kept quiet and toed the line like a loyal sheep.

    Like

  28. burkesworks says :

    You’ve joined the wrong party – but for the right reasons. That said, as James points out you’ll have your work cut out to overturn that authoritarian outlook that’s endemic among large sections of Leeds Labour; and how are you going to reconcile your left-liberalism with the apparatchik mindsets of some of the high-profile candidates parachuted into Leeds seats for the General? I’ve a feeling it won’t sit too easy with you.

    Good luck to you in your future endeavours anyway.

    Like

  29. darrellgoodliffe says :

    burkesworks,

    I am not expecting an easy time or to be in an automatic majority; I do recognise alot of hard work and argument ahead. Thanks for your kind words and the same to you too 🙂

    Like

  30. Peter1919 says :

    Sorry, make that selected for a winnable council ward. We were 4th in Middleton Park in 2008. Even in their current parlous state Labour have more Coucil Seats than us in Leeds so mathematically presumable more winnable council wards as well. They also certainly have more safe Parliamentary Consituantcies than us (We probably only have two seats that could be desribed as totally safe).

    I was not exactly enamoured with some of the handling of the Bin Strikes but that is one small issue in the grand scheme of things there are a lot more important reasons (IMHO) to stay in the Lib Dems. I could have even understood you resigning from the Party but to jump from Lib Dem member to Labour member simply stikes me as obiously at least parlty motivated by ambition and as I say a lack of real political conviction.

    Like

  31. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Peter,

    Well that is correct and maybe you are correct about the maths but I was quite happy with Middleton to be honest so I do totally reject that. I thought it would have made a good development area.

    Its not just that as I explained in my blog; its the wider questioning this led too. Certainly that didnt help. I think there are some hard questions that Lib Dems have to answer about whether they want to be part of ushering in a Conservative government and if they really are so blind as they can see no difference.

    Locally, I certainly prefer the Labour Party and nationally I think if it changes course then it can be a progressive force to be proud of once again. Some kind of interaction with the Lib Dems will probably form part of that (like I said; I support the Fabian perspectives on this) but thats unlikely to take place while the Lib Dems are motivated by dreams of supplanting Labour. Given that their handling of the bin strikes from failure of the Lib Dems to take account of class or even see it as significant. At least Labour has a heritage that points to the possibility of seeing that.

    Like

    • Oranjepan says :

      Darrell,
      if your reasoning is as entirely negative as you state and based around keeping the tories out of power or resisting their platform then I can only doubt you were ever comfortable in a party which represents an independent agenda and promotes positive campaigning.

      As that is the case it may well be that the LibDems were being held back by your membership in ways which could not be compensated by any amount of leaflet delivering!

      We shall see, but if that is what transpires then you can consider me grateful for your decision!

      I’d be interested to hear exactly what policies you would support considering you disagree with both tory policy and Labour policy, but you only disagree with LibDem strategy.

      Given that I also wonder how long it will be before you decide to defect again and where you’ll end up that time – you’ve shot your bolt and it’s unlikely you’d ever be trusted with any responsibility by LibDems or anything less than suspicion by anyone else. Tough it sounds like you’d be welcomed by the Greens to help them get into government… errr, Parliament.

      But negativity is a deep-seated philosophical outlook which indicates the adherent is susceptible to all sorts of pressures and therefore isn’t really cut out for party politics of any sort. So possibly you’ll be happier concentrating on particular issues as a member of a campaign group rather than as a candidate or member – I just hope you continue to participate in some productive way or form and you don’t forget the trenchant opposition to tribalism you identified with in our previous encounters.

      Like

      • mommsen says :

        THE DAILY QUIZ

        Q: Who is the author of the following sentence?

        “Negativity is a deep-seated philosophical outlook which indicates the adherent is susceptible to all sorts of pressures and therefore isn’t really cut out for party politics of any sort.”

        A: Oh, I’m so sorry, but I really don’t know whether it was written by Mussolini or Stalin.

        Like

  32. Oranjepan says :

    haha, that’s quite funny, considering I like to call myself goofy.

    Like

  33. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Oranjepan,

    Promotes positive campaigning indeed. I think you will gather from James’s comments above that it is totally wrong to infer from your specific circumstances a generalised positive picture of the Lib Dems the nation over.

    I also disagree with aspects of Lib Dem policy too.

    Thanks. I hope I will be able too as well :).

    Like

  34. linda jack says :

    Darrell

    I was not saying that it was pragmatic to go into an alliance with the Tories, rather that Nick’s pragmatism, in terms of keeping the party with him, meant that we would not. Re policy, I am interested to know which policies you disagree with (of course I have a lot of disagreements!) also whether you agree with all Labour policies? Of course, there are many Labour policies and ideals I would support – but on the ground, in the reality of living with their policies outworked at the chalkface – for me they were nearly always – shortsighted, authoritarian, misguided, anti young people and thoroughly freemarket anti public service and anti trade union.

    So, no doubt we will disagree, but I wish you well and will continue to read you when I can….thanks for your latest on Israel – hope we can work together on that issue if no other!

    L
    x

    Like

  35. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Linda,

    A rite. Well we will have to wait and see on that score. I think the current position has boxed him in somewhat, if the Conservatives get the biggest ‘popular mandate’ he is now obliged to support them however Vince has already made it clear that there would have to be a massive u-turn to support a Conservative emergency budget; the failure of which would either result in months of wrangling or another election sharpish. So what is the point in supporting them in the first place?

    Afghanistan for one…and no I dont. I am not saying there are not valid criticisms of Labour; there are however things like trade unions might as well not exist as far as the Lib Dem world view is concerned (and I am not saying this is your personal one) and I have complained along time about there being no account of class for example, at least Labour has a heritage that makes an account of that more likely.

    I am sure we will. Many thanks for your kind words and good wishes. The same to yourself. I am glad you liked the post and thank you again 🙂

    Like

  36. James Graham says :

    if the Conservatives get the biggest ‘popular mandate’ he is now obliged to support them

    Utter nonsense. You haven’t listened to what he has said at all. To quote his exact words from the Andrew Marr show (which upset people so much):

    “It’s just stating the obvious, that the party which has got the strongest mandate from the British people will have the first right to seek to govern either on its own or reach a …”

    That was the position Charles Kennedy took in 2005, and the position Nicol Stephen took in the Scottish elections in 2007. It does not behold the party to supporting the party with the “strongest mandate” – all it does is commit the party to talks and to explore the possibility of reaching an agreement.

    What irritates me the most about this bogus argument that the party should automatically rule out even the vaguest prospect of a coalition with the Tories is that if we did so then the party would by default hitch itself to Labour. We’d fatally weaken our negotiating position.

    So we keep an open mind and instead of focusing on which party we should do deals with, concentrate on promoting our own agenda. That’s what the other parties are doing, so why shouldn’t we?

    Personally I cannot conceive what the Tories could offer us that would make a coalition or even confidence and supply viable. One of my pet projects is exploring joint working with the Labour party. But I’d rather our position was one of studied objectivity than spend the next five months being Gordon Brown’s bloody poodle.

    Like

  37. Oranjepan says :

    James, wouldn’t you also say openmindedness is a major part of liberalism?

    Like

  38. James Graham says :

    Absolutely. Apart from anything else, it would be fascinating to see how far Cameron is willing to compromise his principles in the name of power.

    Like

  39. Oranjepan says :

    You think Tories may be willing to accept being restrained in the exercise of power??? – it’s not something their voters appear to support and in my experience it’s only something the party supports as a means to get into power which is abandoned at the first opportunity.

    If Cameron is willing to behave responsibly then he shows his mandate is weak and he’s been stringing his membership along – which opens him up to attack and charges of division. If he does he’ll get judged badly by history, but if he doesn’t he may not get there at all.

    I think it’s funny that the hung parliament question is always thought damaging to us – it’s not like either Labour or Conservatives are ever challenged on it…

    Like

  40. Judith Brooksbank says :

    Dear Darryl

    Perhaps you could join another Liberal Democrat constituency assocaition if the Leeds group are the problem.

    All groups have problems from time to time, that is part of the human condition, but you may find another constituency group more in tune with your outlook.

    Like

  41. Dazmando says :

    Ok Im a Lib Dem and I note That Charlotte Gore who livews in Leeds has also become independant, so I want to ask the Leed Lib Dems. Look at these blog and just consider what are you doing wrong, and correct your action listen, please listen.

    Like

  42. Chris Lovell says :

    Dazmando – what exactly would you like the Leeds Lib Dems to do? Darrell left because the Lib Dems aren’t socialist enough and Charlotte left because the Lib Dems are too socialist.

    There are close to 700 Lib Dem members in Leeds and the vast majority are happy with the direction of the party (as Darrell notes when he says he was sometimes in a minority of one). The Leeds party is not going to change its entire political approach because one person leaves.

    Also, to the best of my knowledge, Charlotte was never a member in Leeds. She lives *near* Leeds.

    Like

  43. MatGB says :

    Dazmando, Chris is correct, Charlotte remains a member of the same local party as me, which is near Leeds. He’s also correct that it’d be difficult to reconcile a local party so that both Charlotte and Darrell were fully happy with the policy platform.

    Broad church politics is necessary, but that requires compromise. Sometimes, a party that’s been in power for a long time in an area simply needs to be removed. It’s my understanding that that was the main rationale for the alliance with the Leeds conservatives.

    Maybe, in opposition, the Leeds Labour group can learn from the mistakes they made. Unfortunately, that normally takes awhile longer.

    Darrell, Judith’s right, you could simply abandon Leeds and work elsewhere, there’re plenty of other seats in the area that are winnable, and where we’re the best bet for keeping the Tories out–the seat I live in is one of them.

    I get very frustrated with local politics a lot, it was the useless council group in Torbay that prompted me to let my membership lapse in 2003. It was the excellent MP that persuaded me to rejoin in 2006. I sometimes find simply ignoring the local council stuff is the best approach, but sadly that’s not possible in Leeds currently.

    Your choice, won’t argue it, you have to do what oyu think is right.

    Like

  44. darrellgoodliffe says :

    MatGB & Judith,

    I will merely say that it is totally clear that whatever the circumstances were surrounding the orginal coalition there is no question in my mind that the Liberal Democrats are part of the problem in Leeds. Their sole rationale is to hang on to power at all costs. I remember how one councillor had their lead membership removed from them for being against the council policy of encouraging academies so its not even as if its an isolated incident.

    Thanks both for your words and advice but have now crossed so have made my choice. 🙂

    Like

  45. mommsen says :

    Darrell

    Re: a political party’s “sole rationale to hang on to power at all costs”

    Has there ever been any political party which has not tried to hang on to power at all costs?

    That’s why elections are important. Without them, there could never be real change in politics.

    Like

  46. darrellgoodliffe says :

    mommsen,

    True enough but there is hanging-on and hanging-on in my eyes.

    Like

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  1. Quaequam Blog! » Nick Clegg: well hung? - January 24, 2010

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