The Thick of It


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lib Dems: the indefensible

Poor Warren Bradley has been here before. His outburst at Nick Clegg suggests a man clearly worried about his own future. He is apparently sick of "defending the indefensible" with the latter being the Lib Dem coalition with the Tories.

Is it the VAT rise his party campaigned against? Is it the rise in tuition fees his party campaigned against? Is it the public sector cuts his party campaigned against?

For some time the Tories have had no presence in the north of England, which his Lib Dems profited from. People won't vote Tory there but when Labour has deserved a bloody nose the nice little yellow party has been there to step in. Bradley ended up as leader of Liverpool council, while the party was also victorious in other traditionally Labour strongholds such as Sheffield and Leeds. Now that many voters see the Lib Dems and Tories as a single entity it is highly probable that the pockets of northern support for the Lib Dems will go the same way as that for the Tories.

At least Bradley has been consistent. He might care about his party or he might only care about his own future. Which doesn't really matter at this time. He was one of the first and more high profile members of his party to warn about the effect doing a deal with the Tories nationally might have on the party's future. Speaking in July, just after the coalition was formed he said "we’re in a weak coalition, that will deliver nothing to the Lib-Dems except total electoral decimation. I give you that absolute guarantee, we will be wiped out by Labour in the North and the Tories in the South." In three weeks we'll find out.

Bradleys's current analysis may be robust but he misses a key point that many voters who were fooled into thinking Bradley's Lib Dems were a left wing party. Across England they have repeatedly gone into coalition with the Tories whenever it has suited their ends, as Bradley's email to Clegg points out, to get power

Highlights of Tory-Lib Dem coalition include:

Bradley needs to look back a bit further into his party's recent history. Perhaps then he'd realise that the "indefensible" has been party policy for some time. Time for a new job Bradley?

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