Friday, October 22, 2010

The future is Not orange, but ...

I would like to take a moment to defend the Liberal Democrats.

No, I am not about to cross the floor.  I am entirely comfortable in the Conservative party.  However …

Every day I listen to Today on Radio4 driving into the office and PM driving home.  On several occasions I have heard interviewers score cheap points off LibDem MPs, asking how they can possibly be trusted as they have broken so many of their manifesto promises since they set up the coalition government with the Tories.

Yes, they have.  Here’s why.

The unspoken assumption behind any election manifesto is that the party issuing it will win the election, but no party did so this time.  For the Liberal Democrats, the choice was either to sit on the outside looking in while the Tories ran a minority government or to form a coalition and get some of their policies implemented, while others would have to be abandoned.

By the way, it was no different for the Conservatives.  The coalition government will be doing things that simply wouldn’t have happened if the Tories had won an overall majority. 

What’s most important is that this makes good sense for the country.  Both parties have put their tribalism to one side, if only for the moment, so they could get on with fixing so much that is broken.  By working together the two parties are getting more done than would otherwise have been achieved.

This is something that their supporters must remember, despite the frustration that the coalition sometimes brings.

More important, it’s something that must be made clear to mischievous radio interviewers.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

And those same interviewers don't ask the Tories the same question...

That's News said...

The interviewers ask the Tories some equally asinine but different stupid questions, whilst giving Labour politicians a free ride.

Sean Haffey said...

>That's News

I really do try to put aside my own political feelings when I listen to news. And I wouldn't listen to Radio4 if I thought there was a better source of news. That said, I agree with you that often when questioning Labour politicians the interviewers frequently ask "patsy" questions.

Ralph said...

I've just come to this post from the Coffee House blog.

I concede your point about manifesto pledges. I trust however you recognise the difference between manifesto pledges and personal pledges.

Nick Clegg's, and others' personal pledge was to vote against any attempt to increase tuition fees. This is the pledge he was asked to sign by the NUS and he readily agreed. This had no bearing on who won the election.