Monday, September 24, 2007

Vivre la Différence!

If I had a pound for every time I had been asked why I had hitched my particular waggon to the Lib Dems.............the latest but one enquiry was Saturday night from my son who has just started his A level politics. "Mum, why do you want to be in a party that is never, well not in your life time, going to be in power?" "Son, you just joined that party!" "Oh yes!" Actually said son has just joined said party following an interrogation similar to that endured by the faithful wanting to be baptised............do you believe..........are you willing to lay your life down for...........you know the score. Then yesterday evening a call from a very old friend who informed me she had got into a bit of an altercation with her housemate. "Why on earth is Jack in the Lib Dems when they are never going to win?" And therein lies the rub, if every pore in your body oozes liberal democracy, how could you ever be comfortable anywhere else? Is it just an accident of history that we find ourselves in this position? In a nation that regards itself as generally liberal when will we reach the tipping point that will give the electorate the confidence that it is worth voting for us? That if they vote for us they will get us and not allow the Tories/Labour in through the back door? In a cynical climate where people are more likely to vote against the party they don't like rather than for the one they do, to outsiders I can understand why they think those of us who stick to our party because of our principles and not our personal ambition are on a hiding to nothing.

But, perhaps to the chagrin of some of you (!) I am still here. Still here, partly because I don't expect I would last more than 5 minutes in a less liberal party, but fundamentally because apart from a few well documented differences of opinion at the margins, I believe we have the policies and approach to policy making that can change our country and our world, for the better. Our party is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. If I had a ......penny for every time someone had said to me, either on the doorstep or socially, well I think we should give you lot a chance......but under the current system, they don't always want to take that risk, then I would maybe be rivalling Chris Huhne for riches!

So, for me, despite the odd bit of evidence to the contrary, there is still clear blue water between us and the other two Tory parties, lets hold our nerve and even consider being more radical............(?!)the electorate deserve a choice, and the way things are going we may be the only party able to deliver that.

3 comments:

Arwen Folkes said...

You are absolutely right - it's about principles and not just about winning. Winning would of course be the icing on the cake but I believe when you are a true Lib Dem it is a part of your being ... and sitting anywhere else purely on the basis of better electoral chances would not feel right!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be "Vive la Différence!"?

Linda Jack said...

arwen, yes.........what is that saying about a prophet being without honour in his(her)own country?

anonymous....yes I am sure you are right - French - my third language - was never my strong point......but I hope you got my drift?!