In the key marginals…..time to turn our guns on the Lib Dems…..
Alot of Liberal Democrat voters and supporters are progressives in heart, soul and intent. They are frustrated with Labour; they despair of the record on civil liberties and the pace of constitutional reform and want more done to tackle social inequalities. Also, internationally they opposed the Iraq War and maybe are more skeptical about the mission in Afghanistan.
However, events of the last few days should encourage them to take a long, hard look at the Party they support. Firstly, we had Nick Clegg praising Margaret Thatcher in an interview with The Spectator. Secondly, we had the frankly outrageous committment to pay back the national debt through *100%* spending cuts. Not even the Conservatives are that ambitious in their desire to slash the state.
Looking at Clegg’s comments they are shot through with naive liberalism; the kind that cannot clearly see the difference between trade unions who represent whole communities and a collective body of workers and banks who represent no other interests but their own and only care for their own enrichment. Clegg’s illiteracy makes his program for ‘fairness’ nothing more than hot air; something Left Foot Forward expose with their unpicking of the policy commitments.
The second point makes any talk of ‘not slashing spending this year’ brazen hypocrisy. People who are worried about the Conservatives desire to cut the deficit (they should be) should ask themselves what effects the Liberal Democrat proposals would have on public services and peoples lives and on the economic recovery. Ask yourself this; how can the Liberal Democrats deliver ‘fairness’ on a shoestring? They are not willing to do what is necessary; they have abandoned in all but name the committment to growth through investment that was spelled out in the Green Road out of Recession and instead are wanting to ‘comfort’ the markets when they need to be confronted. So much for Clegg’s attacks on the ‘vested interests’ of the banks.
In key marginal seats the ability of Labour to reach out to Liberal Democrat voters could determine the whole outcome of this election. In that dialogue we should recognise legitimate frustrations but ask those voters if, for all the fine words, the committment to fairness really adds-up…..