Why Liberal Democrats have passed the point of no return….

Yesterday was a perfect example of why those Liberal Democrats who think there is a way back for their Party are gravely mistaken. In what amounts to an act of charity, the government decided to give Nick Clegg a ‘plum job’ – launching a drive on social mobility; a subject likely to press all the right buttons for those Liberal Democrat voters queasy at sharing government with the Conservatives. However, within a matter of hours it was all going horribly wrong.

Up popped one of Clegg’s ex-interns, who was unpaid of course. This would have been embarrassing enough but by all accounts it seems this chap is actually much more articulate than the Deputy Prime Minister himself. Further was to follow as Clegg was forced to u-turn on ending unpaid Liberal Democrat internships by his own Party headquarters. Can it get worse? The answer is yes. Today, The Spectator has unearthed comments made by Clegg claiming credit for NHS Reforms he is now trying to tell us he is leading the fight against.

The media narrative is against them because in the public mind, the collective perception is that Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are either a) a joke and object of mockery or b) treacherous opportunists who are totally untrustworthy. I am genuinely not sure which is worse but the point is that neither is good and both are politically toxic. They are hated by the true-blue Conservatives because they are seen as a wishy-washy burden; they are obviously hated by the opposition, their ex-voters and the media.This is already so deeply ingrained in both the media narrative and the public psyche that short of a move which is seen as a wholesale change, and even here this would probably have to go as far as a organisational split, would offer any hope of rehabilitation.

In politics, a point exists from which there is no return and Clegg and the Liberal Democrats as they are passed that point a long time ago. Even if all their wildest dreams come true; the economy recovers and milk and honey flows through the streets, it won’t matter a jot because they have sunk so far in the public estimation. If that were to happen, its the Conservatives that would be credited not Clegg and his motley crew. Whatever happens they are heading into the electoral abyss; they have passed the point of no return and yesterday proves that.


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8 responses to “Why Liberal Democrats have passed the point of no return….”

  1. ianrobo says :

    obviously many Labour people would be happy at this and Darrell I think you have this spot on.

    However I like the LD’s from the left, I respect Kennedy, Menzies and to some extent Hughes

    Dr Evan Harris has proved to do great campaigning on the NHS

    these guys we should work with and not denigrate the voters will do that in May. Unlike members of the NEC I glad to see a few LD’s on the policy forums because we have much to learn from the Liberal left of their party.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Thank you and thanks for the comment.

    I can see what your saying; I like Kennedy too. Having said all that I dont approve of their involvement on policy forums either; they are members of another political and if that changes then fine, id welcome them with open arms but not before I am afraid….


  3. ianrobo says :

    thats where we disagree Darrell, we lost between 2 and 3 million voters to the LD’s after 2001, if they had stayed with us then we would have drawn level with the Tories.

    why did we lose them ?

    because of Iraq and because of authortian policies like ID cards, learn this from the LD;’s and we have the progressive side sewn up


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    We do indeed though I think our wires are slightly crossed over the area we are disagreeing on. I’m not disputing any of these facts. What I am denying is the democratic legitmacy of allowing non-members an equal voice alongside members. This is the crux of the issue to me -you say we lost votes to the LDs which is true but we also did to the Conservatives.

    People want these people to have rights with no responsibilities and I profoundly disagree with that, in the name of democracy. They say we should extend all sorts to the so-called Labour 5’s but as somebody who does canvass I know pretty much everybody whose only committment to Labour is to *say* they support Labour gets marked as a Labour 5. In fact, I only mark down to a lower mark in a rare case where I sense slight hesitancy – however, that is no basis to give somebody a stake in controlling this Party and thats why we disagree.

    This doesnt preclude listening to their opinions but it does exclude them from being allowed a vote or a formal, ie, voting say, say in the policy making process, I feel….


  5. ianrobo says :

    depends then how they do these policies and present them to us ?

    I think Ed is a pluarlist and wants more ‘liberal’ policies, well why not get involved the very guys that got the LD’s votes from us ?

    In other words get specialist advice ?

    HE has done this in other areas without people being party members ?

    a lesson to be learnt from Blair is to be inclusive of others, maybe ed does not think he is always right ?


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    No, for me, its not a matter of presentation but democracy. It’s undemocratic to give these people votes on a par with members.

    As I said, it depends on their manner of their involvement. If that is all it is, its a different matter….

    The crux of the issue for me is they should have no vote or veto….

    All for inclusion done in the right way, not in a way that undermines the democratic rights of the membership to determine the Party’s policy…


  7. ianrobo says :

    they can suggest ideas but policies should be left to the members whether to take them up, no disagreement there.

    But we do not vote for policies and have not done so for years, if that happens under the new policy review that is a massive step forward.

    regardless if the ideas came from a lib dem or not


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I think we basically agree then because my sole concern is that they dont have a vote.

    Very true, sadly….as you say it would be a massive and very welcome step forward; also a necessary one I think….


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