Wednesday, February 29, 2012
What's Liberal about this coalition ?
Don't tell me the usual shopping list which begins with increasing the personal allowance. So far in government we have abandoned Keynesian economics, our opposition to nuclear power, our commitment to higher education available on merit not wealth, our historic identification with Beveridge's welfare state and our long-held support for a united Europe but we're still the party that loves liberty, aren't we ? Well, actually, no. Today the coalition government publishes its plan, the draft Brighton declaration, to "reform" the European Convention of Human Rights or rather to re-nationalise it and undermine its ability to protect human rights. The BBC says "There is also the question of the Liberal Democrats. Many are very reluctant to question the role of the Strasbourg court and some may find these proposals hard to stomach."
Let's measure the government's performance against the declaration on my membership card.
The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of
liberty (see ECHR above),
equality (err, really ?)
and community ( The Localism Bill perhaps, the Big Society maybe ?)
and in which none shall be enslaved
by poverty (welfare cuts, public service cuts),
ignorance (tuition fees)
or conformity (Any ideas ? Anybody ?)
I am a Liberal so where else should I go ?