My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified


by Sunny Hundal    
3:59 pm - May 1st 2010

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Gah! Because of the number of questions and comments this has generated on Twitter, let me clarify a few points.

1. In my last editorial I said I was going to vote Libdems on the basis that I no longer believe this Labour government stands for compassion and for the marginalised. That ideal is the main reason why I see myself on the Left. It’s not feasible for me to support a party who’s leadership does not believe in those principles.

2. I’m not saying everyone should vote Libdems everywhere. In a Tory-Labour fight, I would hope progressives would vote Labour to keep out the Tories. A massive Conservative landslide is the last thing I want.

I was leafleting for a Labour candidate earlier today. And in some local cases I’d gladly support the progressive Labour candidate. So if I were to offer voting advice then I’d say look at the local situation. The focus should be on stopping the Tories from a landslide.

3. On many top issues (ending income tax for the low-paid, investing in green tech, civil liberties, Trident, amnesty etc) I’m nearer to the Libdem position than I am with the Labour position. I suspect many Labourites are too.

4. Many Labourites are pushing the idea that Nick Clegg is almost certainly likely to jump in bed with the Conservatives. I think it’s highly unlikely but I could be proven wrong.

If it happens, then it would be catastrophically bad for the Libdems because it would destroy the idea that Libdems are the natural home for progressives and even liberals. Making these alliances locally is very different to making them nationally. In the long term, as long as Labour picks the right leader who can walk that liberal-left line well, the Labour party would benefit immensely from a Tory-LD coalition.

5. Will more votes for Libdems make it more likely that electoral reform would be delivered? It’s not certain but it is the most likely scenario. The stronger the Libdems, the more likely they’ll be able to demand reform as part of a coalition. As I’ve already said – ideally I want to see a Labour-Libdem coalition, though not under Brown.

A weak Libdem showing would make it less likely to bring about reform because they would be ignored by both parties again. The stronger the Libdems are, the more the inequities of the electoral system become clear.

6. No doubt a lot of Labourites will blame lefties if the Conservatives get a big majority. I’d advise against that. Lefties may switch their allegiances but they would never vote Conservative.

On the other hand, if the Conservatives win big, it will be because they attracted enough floating voters who saw nothing in what Gordon Brown was offering.

If Labour do badly there’s only one person to blame: Gordon Brown. A vote for the Libdems now is not like voting for Ralph Nader. By most polls they’re ahead of Labour in the popular vote.

7. I agree with Anthony Painter on his analysis of the difference betweeb liberalism and the left. And he’s right in saying Libdems are assuming that support for them goes deep and broad. It doesn’t, yet.

And so either we need a better electoral cleavage betweeb Labourism and Liberalism, or one party has to develop a tent that includes both. If Libdems have the aspiration to become the main opposition then it has to adopt elements of Labourism. If it won’t then Labour will come back and draw back that support as it has done in the past.

8. I said a few weeks ago the Left cannot abandon Labour. I still stick with that view because it was never about this election. That was about long-term strategy and thinking. New Labour is currently in doldrums because it’s lead by a leader with no vision and communication skills. He is surrounded by people who have had ideas and creativity beaten out of them.

Keeping them in power will only hasten the death of the Labour party and possibly the Labour Movement. I don’t want to see that happen. If it goes out of power – so be it; the party needs to earnestly start a renewal process by demanding that potential leaders lay out a vision for the future; not have more damn coronations.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Man.

Tories barely improving their position from 2005, Labour finally getting it’s just desserts for the Iraq War & their over a decade long banker suck up, almost inevitable electoral reform seemingly imminent…This election is turning out to be far better than I’d ever dreamed.

Sunny, it is your choice.

I live in a solid Tory constituency where the LibDems are a long way behind and Labour are a poor third. I was going to vote tactically: “anything but Tory”. But then I went to a hustings and I found that the LibDem was hopeless and clueless. He would be bad for the constituency. The Labour guy was young but showed promise (and actually expressed many of the values you say, above, that are your values). The Labour candidate will get my vote. Even tactically I could not waste my vote on someone who is as clueless as the LibDem candidate.

Anyway, the LibDems are planning to make the holier-than-thou argument about the national poll next week, so my vote will raise the Labour support just a little bit.

If Labour do badly there’s only one person to blame: Gordon Brown.

As I mentioned on Twitter:

So if Labour got rid of Brown but kept all those that supported & advised him that’d be ok?

So your original post was really more “let’s have a trial seperation, but I’ll have you back when you’ve kicked your vicious crypto-Thatcherite tendency” Sunny?

Good luck with that one, but forgive those of us who are somewhat less co-dependant! I actually have a lot of sympathy for much of what you say, but I think you are wrong, in fact way the hell wrong about a number of points.

First, Brown for all his manifest faults isn’t the reason Labour are going down next Thursday. Granted he is one of the chief lieutenants, but he had plenty of help both active and passive to turn the Labour movement into the moribund husk that is about to come 3rd in a national election. Attributing the defeat to one person is a simplistic cop out for those on the progressive left who ought to have known better all along.

Second, although you appear to have come to bury the Labour party, not to praise it, I’m still not convinced. Like many others I’ve come to the realisation that you just can’t reform something so totally politically bankrupt, so deeply illiberal, so absolutely bereft of principle and any sense of promoting, let alone implementing the radical, progresive agenda which this country needs.

Your need to “clarify” your “qualified” endorsement speaks volumes. Step away from the security blanket Sunny. Next Friday you won’t be needing it.

5. Chris Baldwin

I’m glad you clarified this Sunny, but you can’t really believe the following: “If Labour do badly there’s only one person to blame: Gordon Brown.”

And furthermore, it shouldn’t be about communication skills. Voters should make an informed decision based on policy – that’s our civic responsibility.

@5 Chris Baldwin

It would be good if more electors took their civic responsibility more seriously… but how then are we to account for Boris Johnson pray tell?!

7. Matt Munro

Lame

Looking at the latest polls at the top of the page it looks like the tory press is doing it’s job. The tories have got up to late 38% thanks to the free ride Cameron has been given and the nonestop attack against the other two parties.

Labour and the Lib Dems have got to start thinking about ways to use the anti tory vote to their advantage, otherwise we will back to the dark days of the 80s with nearly 60% of the people had to put up with a far right wing bunch of thugs lording it over us.

It is very difficult for either party to win in the face of such media attack. New Labour did not have the Murdoch press attacking them at election time.

You can’t blame it all on Brown. I hope all those Labour MPs who will lose their seats next week won’t try that one. They had the chance to remove him on more than one occasion, and they wimped out. The were cowardly and deserve everything they get.

10. Matt Munro

@ 8 So nothing to do with the economic crisis, a government that ran out of steam years ago, policies that amount to more of the same, an innefective and unpopular leader, or even the rise of nick clegg. It’s all down to the tabloid press, some of whom must ,by your argument, have also been responsible for Nu Labs last 3 victories.

Blaming Brown for Labour’s likely failure next week is nonsensical in my view.

No party lasts more than three or four terms in power no matter what the ideology driving them. The fact is the system of governance and Parliament means all parties lose eventually.

The era of three and four term governments maybe over. I’m not sure we’ll see much more than two terms from here on in. People are more politically sophisticated and lacking in deference than at any time in recent memory thus are more likely to switch rather than wait 15 years for things to play out.

We live in a globalised world which no one nation or government can influence let alone control: so they’re always going to be blamed for things outside their powers.

But back to Brown; he’s simply bearing the brunt of 13 years of expectations, bad decisions (have you forgotten the political price Blair made Labour pay with Iraq?) global financial chaos and political entropy.

Blaming him solely just makes no sense from what I can see…

Yes, I believe that the tory press does have a big effect on elections. There is this bizarre world that politicians and journalist live in where they keep claiming that the press has no effect. The politicians don’t like to admit how powerless they are, and the newspapers don’t like to boast how powerful they are. But they boast in private and sometimes they let their guard slip like in 1992 when the Sun boasted about how it won it for the tories. They soon backtracked mind, because they did not want the public to begin to see how pernicious they are. The best type of propaganda is when you don’t even know that it is being done.

The only time the tories were subjected to this was in 97 when the tory press turned on Major. By all accounts Mr Major is still bitter about the hounding the press gave him. The other point about the media is that the Tories take this weird position where they constantly say the media has no impact and yet they constantly attack the BBC for a so called anti tory bias. Why do they get so worked up about the BBC if the media has no effect?

In the real world the BBC is a bastion of neutrality against the frothing at the mouth bullshit of the Mail and Murdoch media. The tory press thought this election was going to be easy. All they had to do was attack Brown and all the swing voters would switch to Cameron. But what happened was that many started to switch to Clegg. The tory media was wrong footed for a few days but then the onslaught started on Clegg, and the result is Labour and Lib Dems pretty equal and the tories stretching their lead.

Mission accomplished and no doubt knighthoods already being stamped for the their duty to the tory party.

At local government level the majority of pacts are Lib/Con … but then Labour are so far right it doesnt really matter …

14. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Of course Brown is not solely to blame, although an English working class leader , like Johnston , of the Labour party would have given Cameron closer run.
Every hundred years or so their is a seismic shift in British politics Whigs to Liberals, Liberals to Labour. There was a chance that their would be one now but I doubt it.
Funny enough it is the tribalism of the Tories that prevent its. CjCjc , Matt and the rest are the real tribalists. Tory or nothing. A lib dem surge would break up not just labour but the Tories as well. A plethora of parties would be formed that the electorate can relate to . True, universal suffrage, real choice. Thank god for for Tim W’s and Sunny’s of the world because they want that choice.

The tories will never go away because they believe in their soul that they are born to lead. They view other parties as not only anti tory but anti British. And their core support agrees with them. They have had bad times before but they always return.

They have most money, and most support from the media. The British establishment from the Military, the judges, to the land owners are tory, That is why it takes such an effort to remove and keep them from power. But you are right they are the most tribal of all the parties.

There is a contradiction in this post.

First you say, “I’m not saying everyone should vote Libdems everywhere. In a Tory-Labour fight, I would hope progressives would vote Labour to keep out the Tories. A massive Conservative landslide is the last thing I want.”

However, then you say, “A vote for the Libdems now is not like voting for Ralph Nader.”

Which is it? If it’s not like Nader, then surely those stuck in Tory-Labour fights should vote Lib Dem if that’s the party they agree with most.

In fact, you’d be right to say it’s not like Nader in my opinion. Because the idea that there is a Conservative landslide on the cards is laughable. Every poll shows a hung parliament, so no Conservative majority, let alone a landslide. There are no Conservatives hiding under the bed. So leave the hysteria about the Conservatives getting in by the back door to Polly Toynbee.

Which is it? If it’s not like Nader, then surely those stuck in Tory-Labour fights should vote Lib Dem if that’s the party they agree with most.

I’d say if it’s a close Tory/Lab seat than obviously LDs should support Labour candidate. If a three way, then choose whoever you feel your policies chime with.

Because the idea that there is a Conservative landslide on the cards is laughable.

Problem is, while a landslide is not on the cards, a majority still is. I’d prefer a Hung PArliament. Think Polly is arguing against a Tory majority, not a landslide

I see some are taking exception with me blaming Brown. Let me lay this out.

First, Brown makes the big decisions. The PLP has been split on civil liberties, has been split on electoral reform and various other issues. At the end the final decision came down to Brown and other ministers had to toe the line. When you’re in government you have to toe the official line: that is the law of the land.

People around him can make their case and advise him (Alan Johnson for example has been a long-time supporter of voting reform) but ultimately Gordon Brown makes the decision and is responsible for them.

Secondly, I don’t know how many times I have to keep repeating this but Gordon Brown is actually very unpopular! And this isn’t me just talking to Labourites.

In fact with Labourites he is popular (it remains a loyal vehicle after all) but Brown is polling below what Labour should be at the moment.

A higher percentage of people have a positive view of the Labour Party, and his personal standing is in the deep negatives. This is also why he never does well in the debates: people just don’t connect with him. This isn’t my opinion – these are the facts, and the reason why support for the party now cannot rise above a certain percentage.

So yes, Brown is to blame. Jesus guys, how many times do I have to keep saying this? Michael Howard was a shit leader – the Tories sensibly saw that and got rid of him. I find it deeply frustrating that lefties and Labourites hate to blame him… because that has only helped him hang on to power and bring the party down further.

Brown has to take responsibility for the mess. No ifs and buts about it.

Sunny, agreed. Brown has been a disaster for three years. Everyone I’ve spoken to, other than bizarre fuckwit Labour supporters, cannot wait for him to go: everyone is convinced that whatever other change needs to happen, Brown needs to go before any of it can happen.

I don’t understand when Labour supporters, and I mean the dumb-ass hardcore ones who supported the party despite all its illiberal laws, illegal wars, and so on – and they supported the govt over tuition fees and ID cards and immigration – say “Brown did really well in that speech” or “excellent points made by Gordon”. Can’t they see how cut off they are from the rest of the country? Blinkered idiots. They are scum. Scum for allowing him to become Leader in the first place, and twice scum for letting him stay in the job despite the fact that he has spent three years leading Labour to an electoral abyss.

I don’t care if he thinks that old woman was bigoted, as he has bloody cheek – after all the shit that Labour have done to immigrants and the children of asylum seekers, and “British jobs for British workers”, etc etc. If the Lib Dems go into a coalition with whatever shower of fools that remains of Labour, and Gordon Brown remains PM, it will be the political death of both parties.

I just hope Labourite scum will, this time, have the ounce of courage and common sense required to demand Brown stands down. No doubt the old man will cling to the trappings of power for dear life, but you must prise his fingers off and shove him off the plane.

I’m not even sure it is in the Lib Dems’ interest to support Labour if the latter come third. That would not be change. Who would want to align themselves with the malignant cancer of imcompetence and illiberal nonsense that is the PLP? I would rather they did a confidence and supply agreement with the Tories, if the main condition is electoral reform, then sound the death knell for the Lib Dems by helping prop up Labour.

And if the Lib Dems do align with Labour, Nick Clegg has to be PM. Absolutely no way can a Labour MP be the PM after this election. Sorry, you had 13 years. Fuck off now. Thanks.

20. Strategist

@2 Richard Blogger – just to be clear, in a safe Tory seat (which at this election means practically every seat they currently hold, I can’t see them losing many, or any), then tactical voting is a waste of time*.

So just vote for whoever you think is the best candidate, or who represents the party with the best policies – “vote expressively”.

But don’t think your vote will count in any meaningful sense in terms of getting you & your views represented in parliament. You live in a safe Tory seat: your views are worthless and, after a cursory examination, the returning officer will plonk your ballot paper straight in the bin.

And if this makes you angry, then join an organisation campaigning for electoral reform.

[*unless you are tactical voting to help establish a strong single leading challenger to the Tories in the seat]

@18 Sunny

“So yes, Brown is to blame. Jesus guys, how many times do I have to keep saying this?”

Constantly repeating yourself doesn’t make the case any more convincing Sunny. I have no time for Brown or New Labour, never have and never will. The fact you keep harping on about how it’s all (or mostly) his fault makes you look increasingly desperate and ill-informed about what is actually going on. So what if he IS less popular than the party as a whole?

Perhaps the reason you are protesting too much is just a lazy way to avoid personal and collective responsibility for 13 wasted years? Of course the Brownites and the Blairites (.. remember them, or do you think they have disappeared?) and all the clueless fellow travellers who swallowed down the sick feeling in their throats that something was very, very wrong…. they all share the blame. YOU share the blame.

If you want Brown to fall on his sword next Friday, there will be a long queue after him. Lest you forget, if Brown had had the guts to hold an election 2 years ago, he’d probably have won. If that had happened, I’m sure the sycophants would even now be crowing about how wonderful Gordon was: never mind the inequality of the illiberal policies, feel the width of that majority!

Brown may be the organ grinder Sunny, but pretending that the Labour party was just his helpless monkey is a breathtaking attempt to rewrite history.

22. Mike Killingworth

[20] The Tories will lose some seats to the Lib Dems.

More generally, I still await the reasons why Sunny thinks that the way forward is to detox the Labour brand. I don’t, and I wonder if the reason why he is willing to work for one party and vote for another is because, deep in his heart, he doesn’t, either.

One little story, drawn from Chris Mullin’s excellent diaries. His agent joined the Sunderland South Labour Party when he was 19. He was then its youngest member. Mullin writes: “he says he’s now 42, and still its youngest member.” (My italics.) Sounds right to me – a few years back my daughter pretty much was the Hackney Labour Party Young Socialists.

But whether we revive the corpse or start from scratch, the major problem is going to be with the “Duffy effect”. In a global economy most Brits simply aren’t competitive. Wages would have to fall by at least two-thirds before we were. And that would turn us into a Central Asian Republic. In the meantime Labour’s bedrock starts voting racially, rather than in terms of class solidarity. (A parallel would be India, where people voted Congress up to the 1990s because what mattered was the expression of nationalism – once this was no longer in question, people began to vote their caste so that India no longer has elections, it just has extra censuses, like Northern Ireland.)

One possibility might be to infiltrate UKIP (our average age is probably younger than theirs :lol:) and commit it to a New Economic Policy of Socialism in One Country, complete with Siege Economy. Mrs Duffy might well like that.

Sunny: “In my last editorial I said I was going to vote Libdems on the basis that I no longer believe this Labour government stands for compassion and for the marginalised. That ideal is the main reason why I see myself on the Left. It’s not feasible for me to support a party who’s leadership does not believe in those principles.”

I fully agree that Labour does not stand for the marginalised (except in special “support for the marginalised” legislation which is compartmentalised away from the rest of its work and inadequate).

I don’t think the Lib Dems are really for the marginalised either, though. Much less pro-choice than Labour, appallingly ableist behaviour regarding Charles Kennedy, and their candidates are overwhelmingly white and male – especially in winnable seats. Like Labour, their equality/fairness/anti-oppression policies seem largely compartmentalised.

Lot of silly (and possibly unintentional) waffle. Politics is not just about individuals. There’s a reason, for example, that Brown – this man lacking vision or the natural instincts of a leader – hasn’t been removed from office, and there’s a reason that the leadership of Labour has been allowed to surround itself with Yes-men. None of this is addressed by the OP, in favour of a focus on Brown’s personality.

The other major strand of waffle is about the death of the labour movement. This is seeing things upside down. First there was the labour movement, then there was the Labour Party. If you’re suggesting that the way for the Lib-Dems to cement their position is to undo their categorical mistake of the early 20th Century and win over the labour movement, that’s accurate, but it’ll never happen.

Yet whatever happens, the labour movement cannot die. It is an intrinsic part of the production and reproduction of our way of life. It may for a while find itself so lacking in self-confidence that it is won back to the liberals, but anyone can see that this is simply to stoke up a new 1920′s for the future, when labour must inevitably assert its independent interest, if only to stave off outright revolution.

25. Chris Gilbert

I think people should evaluate where they stand in political opinion this election, rather believing the old repeated mantras of ‘Labour is, left Tory is right’ and so on. I respect Sunny’s thoughts on this, because I was forced to do it a few years ago when I was ardently against the Iraq war. I couldn’t understand why a Labour party I had had so much faith in could do something so reckless. I think the old idiom ‘power corrupts’ applies to most governments, and is probably what has helped Labour’s surge to the right, and authoritarianism.

Try this test here, it’s a really good way to see where you stand in politics, and doesn’t just use the simplistic dogma of right/left:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

Or:

http://apps.facebook.com/thepoliticalcompass

@24 Dave Semple

“Yet whatever happens, the labour movement cannot die.”

You really think?! History is littered with the corpses of defunct political movements, just as we are haunted with the husks of undead ones which just don’t seem to want to die.

If, as many of us ardently hope, we are seeing the fracturing of the moribund and deeply flawed political system in this country, there is everything to play for. A reformed voting system may well usher in a parliament where neither the “classical” right or left in this country will ever hold an outright majority again. Given our recent past, I’d say that is no bad thing.

The current political elites are not capable of radical decision making, and are therefore doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution – and I’m not excluding the LD’s from that: if we wake up with a hung parliament on Friday, the sky will not fall, the world will still turn. There will still be taxes to pay, a gloabl recession, climate change.

Anyone who thinks the big issues are going to be addressed by either the Tories or Labour alone hasn’t been paying attention for the past 30 years.

So what if he IS less popular than the party as a whole?

It means he is losing them support. That is what leaders are NOT for. Cameron polls higher than his party – so he brings over voters who trust him more than they trust the party behind him. And so the Tories can’t afford to get rid of him.

Brown does the opposite. Getting rid of him would actually increase Labour support. Simple as that.

Perhaps the reason you are protesting too much is just a lazy way to avoid personal and collective responsibility for 13 wasted years?

I’m not saying others have no responsibility. In fact I’ve said before (read the mission series) that we are Lefties are also to blame for not organising properly and forcing the Labour govt to listen. Where are the fresh ideas and campaigns on the left? All I see is lots of people whining but not doing anything much. There are brilliant left-wing campaigns out there (London citizens) who are getting stuff done. But you’re implying there’s all this work and energy being done outside the Labour party. There isn’t: and that’s partly why Labour is also in doldrums.

Mike: More generally, I still await the reasons why Sunny thinks that the way forward is to detox the Labour brand.

and cim: I don’t think the Lib Dems are really for the marginalised either

I’m willing to give them more benefit of the doubt for now, but some resolution needs to come about that incorporates Labourism and Liberalism – as discussed in Anthony Painter’s article (linked above) – for me to say that is the only party worth supporting.

ha ha Sunnys got Cleggmania! Me too actually, after the first debate anyway though on priciple I am not voting for any of them as none of them represent my interests. After the next two debates, listening to them all say the same thing ad nauseum my enthusiasm tempered somewhat. Its pretty obvious none of them have a “big vision” and all of them pretend to really badly.

The Left cannot abandon Labour? Labour abandoned the left mate from Kinnock onwards. Many would say they had to. Maybe they did.

The main reason I’d like to see a strong Lib Dem victory is because I’d be mildly heartened to find that The Sun didn’t actually elect this countrys government.

In my constituency The Greens actually started some dirty politics, shitting it about the Lib Dems which I was dissapointed by. We got refuse on our doorstep saying

“Lib dems can’t win here!”

followed by refuse from the Lib dems saying

“Yes we can!”

They are all a bit silly aren’t they, and they are managers, not leaders, though I must admit a liking for our (pro ID card) sitting MP (Auntie) Joan Ruddock because she has taken an active interest in the community in which I live and what we are trying to do.

As for Gordon Brown, people with negative charisma can’t win elections in a TV age. Being too vain to admit you have negative charisma and need to step aside to take a role which better suits you is Browns failing.

30. The Common Humanist

People should vote with their heads, whatever the situation.

I hope there is not a Tory Govt.

But this is maybe how Cameron gets a majority – Lots of seats where there is a significant ‘Not Tory’ majority in a seat, but due to the LibDem surge and weak Labour turnout, the Tories sneak a string of seats with wafer thin majorities and where the combined Lab and LibDem vote size means a small swing between either unseats the Tory. But it gives him a majority. For the moment.

Given the cuts any Govt will have to make whoever is in Govt will have a tricky sell to the electorate in 2014/2015. The electorate is unlikely to have seen much meaningful reform under David Cameron and so the anti politics tendency may well be much in evidence still and thus punish the incumbent is likely to be a strong theme.

David Cameron is likely to be a one term PM, if he makes it, and it is still a very big if.

Of course Brown is to blame, but don’t forget Mandelson who took over and kept him in power in the great crisis last year at the time of the Euro elections and who became deputy Prime Minister, Lord high everything. His is the guiding hand. Despite his immense popularity. (You were too awed by the slavish performance of the media in the 3rd debate spin chamber, but it’s too late to go into why.)

Altruism is enlightened self-interest, not “compassion for the marginalised.”

Done with realism it offers mutual benefit, but done on purely ideological grounds it only lowers standards. This compares with the opposite, which is entrenching and increasing inequality

I don’t believe any party represents a unique claim to any side of the argument as politics is about parties, candidates and members and the point is that there will always be disagreement on what that objective reality is and where we should go with it.

Which means simlpe endorsements are never enough.

I am supporting a parliament which accurately reflects the views of the population and will provide an effective balance of our varied concerns. As the electoral system has been the block preventing balance and devaluing my choices I am looking at the policies regarding electoral reform.

So I have tentatively decided to join a political party after the result of the election (and any coalition discussions) precisely to campaign for greater balance. At the moment it looks like the LibDems will gain a subscription, though that doesn’t mean they have my vote where I am.

Politics is not just about individuals

Trot troll, it often is though, isn’t it?

the labour movement cannot die

Hahahahahahahaha!! It is dying, and will die off completely before any of us do. You are pathetically deluded.

if only to stave off outright revolution

Oh yeah, because that will happen! Ever!

Sad, sad man. Please, pick up your toys, stop throwing them out of your pram, then realise that this is not Russia, and the year is not 1918.

34. Nick Cohen is a Tory

I thought the channel 4 programe last night “What they won’t tell us ” was superb. The 3 politicians gave succinct answers , especially Portillo. Compared to the right wing rantings of the press, especially individuals like nasty Nick and the over the top hype about duffygate it actually was a very British event
A number of points.
1. The lib dems idea of a cross fiscal committee was a good idea.
2. Public sector unions have to accept a pay freeze to save jobs.
3. Job cuts will cause more problems than solve them.
4. National insurance and tax payments, especially high earners have to go up.
5. The Defence budget has to be cut, pull out of Afghanistan or scrap trident. Stop this equipment to the troops nonsense Tories because it will come back to bite you.
6. Child credits to be mean tested and aimed at co0uples with a combined income under £30, 000
7. Bring back pre 1980 banking and credit regulations

@blanco – the Russian Revolution was in 1917, you twit. At least if you’re going to throw around poor excuses for insults, get your dates right.

36. Truth Talker

The Lib Dems want to break up the NHS. Heck, I may vote for them!

It might take a few months, but I’m just wondering with everyone fighting for the centre ground whether a hung parliament will encourage politicians who talk sense to the foreground and leave politicians who thrive on fake hair splitting in the past. I hope so.

Brown has to take responsibility for the mess. No ifs and buts about it.

Slight misrepresentation of what I said…

Brown has to take responsibility but it isn’t all his fault, that’s just a fact. Solely blaming the leader is overtly simplistic. You mentioned the Tories which just proved the point, they kept changing leaders and yet failed to get anywhere. This just shows it’s more than who’s leader, it’s about the party, the grass-roots and the climate they operate in.

I’m not advocating defending Brown, I’m asking for a bit more intelligence in the analysis of why Labour is on course for a serious defeat.

Expecting a new leader to change everything is not only naive it’s an odd form of elitism which I’m not convinced does ‘the left’ any favours.

39. Matt Munro

@ 38 “I’m not advocating defending Brown, I’m asking for a bit more intelligence in the analysis of why Labour is on course for a serious defeat.”

My starters for 10.

They pissed off too many groups – it didn’t seem to occur to them that smokers, motorists, working families etc are also voters. I blame a lot of this on giving various pressure groups too much influence over policy, and failing to recognise that the Westminster village is unrepresentative of anything except itself.

Big government. The arguments against big government are well rehearesed on LC and I’m not going to repeat them. The problem in electoral terms is that big government can only get bigger, it has no where else to go. Practically all Nu Labs manifesto policies involved it getting even bigger. They became incapable of thinking in any terms other than “more government”

Personalities. Brown, Mandleson, Harman, Balls. This is quite possibly the most obnoxious collection of individuals assembled in one cabinet since the early days of Thatcher. You can get away with being obnnoxious only if you are also talented. Personally I would withold voting for them on this one alone.

Brown himself. Someone (Napoleon ?) said “Bring me lucky Generals”. Brown had none whatsoever, and quite obviously got stiched up by his Tonyness, so that Blair will forever be associated with the party, and Brown with the hangover. That, coupled with an eccentric leadership style, less than polished social skills, and a shaky grasp of economics meant he was doomed from about day 30.

Right. You gotta laugh though.. :-)

41. Nick Cohen is a Tory

As I have been blocked on Nick Cohens and Martin Bright’s sites and as Bright as signposted this post.
Rubbish about Cohen coming out to vote Labour.
Cohen isn’t going to vote Labour. Just read his articles. He hates labour and most of his articles are pro Cameron.
This is just a case of marginalising the lib dems , the Tories biggest rivals.
There is as much chance, Nick Cohen and Martin brights voting Labour as Norman Tebbit and James Delingpole.
Read his articles and show me one pro Labour sentiment.

42. Nick Cohen is a Tory

They pissed off too many groups – it didn’t seem to occur to them that smokers, motorists, working families etc are also voters.
Are the Tories going to get rid of the smokers ban, reduce fuel VAT. They are going to get rid of working families family credit

Big government. The arguments against big government are well rehearsed on LC and I’m not going to repeat them. The problem in electoral terms is that big government can only get bigger, it has no where else to go. Practically all Nu Labs manifesto policies involved it getting even bigger. They became incapable of thinking in any terms other than “more government”
This is nonsense, Labour is no more or less big government than any other administration.

Personalities. Brown, Mandleson, Harman, Balls. This is quite possibly the most obnoxious collection of individuals assembled in one cabinet since the early days of Thatcher. You can get away with being obnoxious only if you are also talented. Personally I would withhold voting for them on this one alone.
I agree with you on that. A Johnston/Cruddas ticket would have been better but are the Tories any better. Grayling and Osbourne are been hidden by the Tories

Brown himself. Someone (Napoleon ?) said “Bring me lucky Generals.
It was Napoleon talking to Marshal Ney I think. Your right on that, he has the look of a loser.
Shame that now appearance is everything. I doubt Churchill or Atlee would be elected now
Matt I doubt you would ever vote for any left of centre party, so why the concern.

43. Nick Cohen is a Tory

sorry brights
I sound like one of those bloody meerkats

Re 4: Cowley St may be thinking that it would hurt the party to prop up an unpopular Labour party rather than see it decline. I suspect you could see a confidence and supply agreement with either party at this stage, though I suspect it would be easier to come to an agreement with the Labour party somewhat decapitated (Brown voluntarily, Balls on 6/5). Labour would then spend the next few years insinuating that all cuts should be blamed on the LibDems.

You can be sure however in that the single constant of the last two decades, that Cowley Street are incredibly bad at making strategic decisions and offering sound positioning advice to the leader (for example see the General elections of 1992, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010 and damn near all by-elections in the same period). It would be nice to finish an election, or a by-election campaign, without having lost all confidence in the integrity or competence of LibDem HQ,

@42 – I current put the value of Johann Hari at 48 Nick Cohens; Cohen has endorsed Labour, Hari the LibDems. Cohen is, as you say, neo-Tory yet both the Times and the FT endorsed Cameron so it’s a crazy election.

Every credible popular science writer appears to be endorsing Evan Harris, which worryingly suggests to me he might need it.

46. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Duncan true.
I don’t believe word Cohen says.
The reason he is saying he is voting Labour is when he spews his neo Thatcherite nonsense , he will blurt out ” I say this from a labour perspective”
The man is giant fibber and his X will be next to the Tory candidate.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. paulstpancras

    RT @sunny_hundal: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  2. Mark

    RT @clairee_french: RT @libcon My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  3. Leon Green

    RT @sunny_hundal My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk #ge2010

  4. Jonathan Lintern

    RT @sunny_hundal: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk < The man makes sense, makes several excellent points

  5. Jose Aguiar

    RT @libcon: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/9TJB0V

  6. Lee Griffin

    RT @sunny_hundal: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  7. Liberal Conspiracy

    My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  8. Claire Louise French

    RT @libcon

    My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk – totally agree

  9. sunny hundal

    My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  10. Jon Harvey

    RT @sunny_hundal: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  11. Alex Collins

    @hblefanu RT @libcon My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  12. Leon Green

    RT @libcon My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk #ge2010

  13. superbrutal

    RT @libcon: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk < some excellent points, and I agree fully

  14. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liberal Conspiracy, Leon Green, Leon Green, Jon Harvey, Lee Griffin and others. Lee Griffin said: RT @sunny_hundal: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk [...]

  15. Dil Nawaz

    RT @libcon: My endorsement of the Libdems further clarified http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  16. Vanessa Hearnden

    Good guide for any left wing voter… http://bit.ly/b2Naz5 it's not about Lib or Lab it's about keeping the Tories out and electoral reform

  17. Choices choices……. « Too Much To Say For Myself

    [...] during the by-election over being undecided as to who to vote for, and neither do I have to worry about having to vote tactically for the Lib Dems in order to keep the Tories out. In fact, voting for any party other than Labour [...]

  18. Liberal Conspiracy » Majority Government – or tabloid rule?

    [...] the background, as Sunny says, Labour needs a months-long conversation, a real contest, and new foundations. Go back to the roots with humility, listen, and think [...]

  19. sunny hundal

    @amancalledprak I voted Libdem then because of the stances Lab took – http://bit.ly/bry0Vk

  20. Pickled Politics » The political dilemma on immigration and welfare

    [...] want Labour to triangulate on welfare or immigration any more either. This is specifically why I didn’t vote for them in 2010. But I also recognise I was more to the left of the public on the issue, and it’s difficult [...]

  21. sunny hundal

    @krissie_r hey I didn't even vote Labour at the last election! http://t.co/YMVJo87H

  22. Henry G Manson

    .@DPJHodges When did Sunny Hundal become voice of the Labour Party? What with his record (point 4 esp): http://t.co/XtFH3hzv

  23. Matthew Little

    .@DPJHodges When did Sunny Hundal become voice of the Labour Party? What with his record (point 4 esp): http://t.co/XtFH3hzv





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