The day after the night before — May 8, 2015

The day after the night before

So, where do we go from here? Nobody saw that coming, nobody! A shock, Tory Majority victory that confounded pollsters and commentators alike, David Cameron must have been the happiest man on the planet yesterday. But, I was left confused, confused as to where to go next.

For those who know me and for those that don’t, I would describe myself as a “classic liberal.” I believe in a small state, low taxes, competition, the free market and hold individual freedom and choice paramount.

Over the last Parliament the country took significant steps forward introducing a raft of progressive, liberal policies, including (but not limited to), a higher personal allowance and equal marriage.

As a country, we are the most socially liberal we have ever been and Generation Y is set to continue this trend. Young people have abandoned the traditional/religious constraints of our parents, but now where do we turn? Let’s consider the options.

The Conservatives will piggy-back on key Liberal Democrat pledges, such as the personal allowance and the pupil premium and call themselves liberals. But there are key Conservative policies that are fundamentally illiberal – the so called “Snooper’s Charter” would allow the Government too much access to private communications, the repeal of the Human Rights Act in favour of a British version to suit public opinion again, illiberal. Core Tory voters were opposed to equal marriage, introducing plain-cigarette packets and entertaining minimum pricing on alcohol, all are an affront of individual choice – this isn’t a Party that can declare itself “the natural home of the liberal.”

The Labour Party remains in denial it spent too much. A Party addicted to spending and borrowing, its economic illiteracy had to play a part in the 2015 General Election. With an addiction to spending comes an addiction to public expenditure and a bloated public service. A large state, must mean higher taxes.

UKIP who famously declared they were a “libertarian party”, unless you were gay, Eastern European or voted Labour is again another Party in ruin. Nigel Farage played a significant role in the rise of UKIP, to some extent he is/was a cult of personality. They aren’t a liberal party, but again, where to do they go now?

I’m not ashamed to admit yesterday I voted for the Liberal Democrats. In a reality where you should vote for the Party nearest your own views, the Liberal Democrats won my vote for valuing and promoting liberalism over the past 5 years. But what now for the Liberal Democrats? In Blackley they secured a pithy 874 votes, they were wiped out in my new constituency and they were wiped out in terms of seats across the nation. The Liberal Democrats lost some of their best including Jeremy Browne (who had already resigned) and David Laws. With Tim Farron likely to take over from Nick Clegg, the left-of-centre will claim the Liberal Democrat voice once again. With 8 MP’s they have lost their platform and now they risk losing their liberal voice.

With no major party representing the classical liberals voice, what do I do now?

Unimportant. Unelectable. Uncertain? — March 6, 2012

Unimportant. Unelectable. Uncertain?

Today’s car crash interview on BBC Radio 5 Live was just the latest domino in a sequence of embarrassing, cringe-worthy moments for Ed Miliband’s leadership. How long does this floundering leader realistically have left, if Labour truly want to contest the General Election in 2015?

Charles from Wakefield hits the nail on the head. He calls Ed “unelectable” and says he “lacks gravitas and importance”, as well as suggesting that the country needs “a credible Opposition.”

Today’s speech entitled Made in Britain that he made sums Ed Miliband up. It’s an old, useless, feel good rhetoric that politicians of all creeds have been spouting out for years.

Ed sadly lacks any real innovation. He is weak, opportunistic and out of touch with the gravity of the situation that the economic crisis has left us in. He consistently polls badly, falling behind Nick Clegg in many areas. He is seen as the worst leader and  the person least likely to make tough decisions. People mock him, but even worse, they feel sorry for him.

So, who do they turn to? Unsurprisingly, Labour should turn to David Miliband. They should have elected him leader in the first place, but such is the perverse nature of the Labour Party, the Unions vote ultimately swung the election narrowly Ed’s way. David received more nominations from his fellow MPs (81-63) and then received over 10,000 more votes from Labour Party members.

David is seen as the anti-Christ by the Left of the Labour Party, because he is a Blairite. He would move the Party even nearer to a new centre, consensus that is forming in British Politics. Personally I don’t see a problem with this, people come to a consensus if they agree, if people agree in politics, it’s usually because they are doing something right. I’m not suggesting that David would roll over and let the Government do what it wants, far from it. He clearly had his own ideas in his campaign for Leader of the Labour Party. To me, it seems that he would offer more constructive criticism and engage in real politics, not opportunistic point scoring.

Now I know they’ll be Labour/Ed Miliband supporters who will tell me all Opposition leaders do the same. If that’s the best you can come up with, you need to take a hard look at yourself.