I’ve been quiet about all things political lately…I’m not sure why, other than I’ve been writing a lot, working a lot, and my mind has really been on other things.
But I have to vent my feelings about something that’s really annoying me. Okay…I’m biased. But it’s with good reason. I choose to be a member of the Liberal Democrats. I CHOOSE. And I don’t feel let down, betrayed or compromised by Nick Clegg’s decisions since he’s been Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition government. I am now completely fed up with the sympathetic expressions when I tell people of my political affiliation. I am also sick of people who make up their minds without listening or trying to understand.
We have a coalition government. That means no one won. The Lib Dems actually came third. A very long way from winning indeed. If Labour or the Tories had won clearly, the Lib Dems would still be the third party, the one no one ever thought would be in power. Instead, they’re in a coaltion government. In power and able to implement some of their policies. But they didn’t win. So when you ask Nick Clegg why he went back on his pledge over university tuition fees, or why the policy on Trident is closer to that of the Tories than the Lib Dems, he’s going to tell you that he has to compromise because he’s in a coaltion government, and as the “junior” partner in the coalition at that. So stop asking him. Ask him what the Lib Dems are actually doing in goverment. Ask him on what issues they’ve made the Tories compromise. Ask him about the campaign for the Alternative Vote and his reasons for supporting it. Don’t keep going on about what the Lib Dems haven’t done. Don’t perpetuate the idea that somehow our Deputy Prime Minister simply bends over backwards for David Cameron and breaks all of his promises in the process.
Politics is not a perfect science. I’m not sure there’s ever been a politician or a political party that didn’t let someone down, somewhere. But I don’t understand why the mass media and so many of the people I talk to are so dreadfully condemning of the Lib Dems. As Mr Clegg pointed out when I saw him interviewed this morning on Sky News, they haven’t merged with the Tories. They will still fight them in elections, they will still oppose them on electoral reform. Yes, they’re working with them. And many of us with liberal sensibilites hate the Tories. However, I’m no more a supporter of Labour than I am the Conservatives. If the Lib Dems were in a coaltion with Labour, there would still be compromises to make and disappointed voters.
So I wish people who ask me why I still support the Lib Dems would listen to what Nick and others are actually saying. If you listen and don’t agree, then fair enough. But don’t get so caught up in the idea of politicians betraying their voters that you just get angry with the situation. Because then logic goes out of the window.
The irony is that it’s being said that Mr Clegg himself will be the reason people vote “No” to electoral reform–as a vote against his leadership of the Lib Dems and role in the government. Yet the reason his hands are tied and that the Lib Dems have always been consigned to being the third party–and therefore with the least influence in any coalition–is that our electoral system hasn’t worked properly for years. By supporting AV and voting “Yes” in the referendum, we’d actually give the Lib Dems a chance in future elections–to show us what they’d really like to do if they were in power.
I still believe the Lib Dems are the party of fairness, equality, tolerance and progress. I’m still proud to carry my membership card. So, will people please stop the sympthetic looks. I’ve made my political choices by listening and reading…not by gut reactions. Is it really too much to wish other people could do the same?
Okay, political ranting over…I’ll go back to being an author now…I’m currently eagerly anticipating the release of my second novel Ghosts of Winter from Bold Strokes Books in April, and very excited to hear that my short story ‘She Knows I am Watching’ will be in the Cleis Press anthology Girls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica in September. I guess I’ll focus on that when the politics gets annoying…
More about vampires soon! 🙂