Monday, January 17, 2011

Things I would rather do than accept Ed Miliband's invitation to join Labour

It's that time of the month again, when Ed Miliband issues yet another invitation for disaffected Liberal Democrats to join Labour. He claims that thousands of Liberal Democrats have joined Labour since the coalition was formed, without giving a shred of evidence to back that up. Even in Scotland our membership has risen by over 16% since the coalition was formed so we're in good shape as a party. Ed really is full of the old charm - insinuating that those of us who don't take him up on his offer are not "courageous". It's not persuasive by any stretch of the imagination.

Let me just emphasise to Ed, in case he hasn't quite got it, some of the things I would rather do than join Labour:

  • spend a day looking after the snakes at Edinburgh Zoo (can't abide things that slither on the ground on their bellies);
  • clean out the rabbit hutch in the middle of a hailstorm;
  • take up speed skating (you know how phobic I am about snow and ice);
  • snog George Osborne (you know how phobic I am about Tories);
  • take a trip on the Pepsi Max Big One or any other Rollercoaster (not good with heights either);
I'm sure you get my drift by now. Ed, not even if the Labour Party was the last Party there at the end of the night, we'd both consumed more lager than was good for us, and we both had a paper bag on our heads, would I ever even consider joining your illiberal, authoritarian, union controlled organisation in which I as an ordinary member would have no influence over anything. And here's just a few of the reasons why, in no particular order:
  • Iraq, illegal war, enough said;
  • Implicating this country in complicity with torture;
  • Making it more difficult for the poorest to afford housing with unfair changes to housing benefit;
  • Letting down the poorest by increasing the gap between rich and poor;
  • Failing to fix the roof when the sun was shining - meaning we all suffer as a result of their economic incompetence;
  • Failing to regulate the banks, either before or after the crash;
  • Wasting a fortune on illiberal ID cards;
  • Failing to protect working families with low incomes;
  • Their dissembling over the cuts in spending they would have made if they had won the election;
  • The appalling mess they made of the Tax Credit system, and their treatment of thousands of poor families, forced to repay thousands they couldn't afford;
  • Imposing control orders on people without telling them even what they were being accused of;
  • Centralising public services to the detriment of people using them;
  • Taking kids' DNA without parents' permission;
  • Storing the DNA of innocent people;
  • Running an inhumane and often brutal immigration system.
The thing is they haven't changed. Just last week, we had Labour MP Kerry McCarthy say she'd happily stand by and let every man in her constituency give a DNA sample in the hope of catching a murderer. This mob are quite happy to play fast and loose with the basic tenets of our justice system, such as being innocent until proven guilty. Many of them, including my own MP, oppose a voting system which would require MPs to work harder and to properly engage with their constituents.

There are actions taken by the Coalition Government that I don't and will never support, on housing benefit, DLA, for example, and some of the NHS reforms sound pretty scary, making me very glad indeed I live in Scotland, on the ridiculous immigration cap and many other things. However, no matter how upset I get, I'm sticking with the party where my heart lies. There's no way I could possibly join  the Labour party which views people as a collective, amorphous blob who'll take what they're given by a Government who knows best. 

Lady Mark and Andrew Reeves have already robustly and politely declined Mr Miliband's invitation and I join their chorus of refusal. 


Vonnie said...

I joined the Lib Dems in the run up to the election and was very much looking forward to a new dawn of politics with Lib Dem input into the Government. I loved Nick Clegg's attitude and ability to appeal across the spectrum, and I genuinely believed the LD positions on key issues like Tuition fees and Torture.

Now, the Lib Dem effect seems like a hideous joke and I am genuinely shocked at the 16% rise in Scottish membership claim. I will be following my great friend Ian Robertson out the door, I'm afraid. The Lib Dems had a magnificent opportunity and blew it.

niklassmith said...

@Vonnie: What did we do wrong? Would you have preferred it for us to stay out of government instead and so have no input?

Rachel said...

There are many things I would rather do than join Labour. Especially not at the moment; I make a point of ensuring I know a parties policy before joining. That isn't even taking into consideration what they have done in the past. Sorry Ed, but I won't join Labour. It is going to take a lot, lot more than your current efforts.

I am actually one of those in that 16% in Scotland that have joined since the beginning of the coalition. Most of the people I have talked to have been more focused on the Tories than us as well.

I may not agree with everything the coalition is doing, but I agree with more than I thought I would at the beginning.

Sue Marsh said...

As a screaming Lab-Lover, that was BY FAR the best post on why stay a Lib than anything I've ever read.

Will now read avidly.

Won't even take exception at "Making it more difficult for the poorest to afford housing with unfair changes to housing benefit;"

Because everything else was so good ;)

Dan Falchikov said...

Well said Caron. Here's my effort:

Caron said...

Vonnie, I think this Government is much better than its predecessor. That's not to say that I agree with everything they do, but many of the good things are there because of the Liberal Democrats.

On tuition fees, I don't like the new policy, but the practical effect is that the lowest paid will pay less than they do now which is all down to Lib Dem influence. That can't be a bad thing, when no fees just weren't deliverable because there were nearly 600 MPs in favour of fees as opposed to our 57.

A coalition with Labour would have been so fragile and the numbers just didn't add up. What do you think we should have done differently?

Rachel, welcome to the party. Are you getting involved locally? Have you thought about coming to conference in Perth in March - it's great fun and a good chance to meet all sorts of people.

Sue, thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. I claim a score draw on housing benefit, given that Labour introduced the mess that is the Local Housing Allowance in the first place. It's really unfair that if you lose your job and you happen to have a house that's slightly larger than your needs, that you don't get the full rent. Moving is expensive and people can't afford it when they have lost their jobs, and system is inflexible as regards caring needs too. Also Labour would have introduced the same cap as the coalition.

I object to the LHA idea in the first place, and the reduction to the rates based on the bottom 30% is wrong. So is the reduction after a year.

Sue Marsh said...

Welcome! Us passionate political laydeez have to stick together - even if we're passionate about different politics!! lol


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