Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs

So on one hand we have a party where 28 MPs, including the leader, did exactly the opposite of a direct personal promise, and another 6 broke the promise by abstaining (2 broke it by having duties that meant they didn't turn up, but that's more understandable).

On the other hand, what else is there?

I'm not likely to quickly forgive Labour for 13 years of wrecking civil liberties, joining an unnecessary (and likely illegal) war, and introducing tuition fees in the first place, even after some of their MPs gave a personal promise not to. I also note that they're making no promises to reverse yesterday's tuition fees increase should they gain power.

The Greens still have what Julian Glover beautifully termed (w.r.t. the pre-coalition Lib Dems) the "perfection of irrelevance" that used to make the Lib Dems an ideal protest party. They don't have to compromise other than with various factions of their own party, or have their policies stand against real finances, foreign policy realpolitik, press campaigning or popular sentiment. However, the real reasons I couldn't support them are their policies. I deeply admire the Greens for having detailed and well indexed policies on their website, but it does give a lot of ammunition to disagree with them, and I find myself fundamentally disagreeing with their policies on the regulation of trade and private business, defence, the EU, and scientific research.

As for the Conservatives; if it's the tuition fees, then are obviously right out, they weren't even particularly split over the issue, 296 of them voted for the measures, 6 against. Beyond that, although I've some respect for their anti-ID cards, anti-database state liberalism, there's still the simmering resentment for policies from the 1980s and 1990s (which maybe I should get over, but the Poll Tax and Criminal Justice Act 1994 were important to me at an impressionable age), leading to a general impression of lack of compassion, hypocrisy and mismanagement of societal change. The current round of cuts isn't doing anything to change those impressions, with regressive benefits cuts and means testing targeting the young, and protecting universal services for middle-age and elderly. I'm also still very much in favour of the EU, which obviously is the product of compromise and needs deep reform, but despite that remains a very positive institution for peace, equality and prosperity in Europe.

So, that leaves me with the Lib Dems or nobody, and the Lib Dems still have a lot going for them.
They've got an increase in personal income tax allowance, and a roadmap to increase that to £10,000. They've got an end to child detention in immigration and the Pupil Premium is another good Lib Dem policy that's been passed. The AV referendum isn't what I hoped for, but may be better than nothing. The "Freedom Bill" will be the big test for me. I think I can forgive them an awful lot if it passes in decent shape and repeals the worst of Labour's excesses.

I'm disappointed with the Lib Dems, but they're still the best match for my views, still doing good things along with the bad, and I think have a chance to redeem themselves in my eyes over the next 4 years.
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