Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Centre points

This isn't a very funny blog... you might want to go and make a cup of tea instead of reading to be honest. I'm just going to say some things that are my views and not necessarily of those who have, do or will (I hope) employ me.

I'm a centrist. I'm not a leftie, nor do I belong on the right wing. Also, as someone who believes in proportional representation, I believe in consensus politics.

Today we saw something new in modern British politics - a coalition Government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. As someone who supports the Liberal Democrats this is something that I find both challenging and exciting.

Many Lib Dems feel that Labour would be our natural bed-fellows. I understand how they might feel this way but I've always felt an equal distance between the two old parties. I've never felt either represented me well. Some on the left of our party feel that Labour is more "progressive" but as a liberal, I see nothing progressive about identity cards, an illegal war in Iraq or the gradual erosion of civil liberties.

Equally, as a social liberal I find little that's lovely and sweet about the homophobia within the Conservative party or their desire to cut taxes for the rich whilst putting them up on the poor.

So, for me, a partnership Government with either of the old parties would be difficult but, for the sake of economic stability and for the advancement of a liberal agenda, I could never rule out working with either. The time for working with one of them has now arrived.

Looking at the initial details of the partnership I think there is much about which to be optimistic. The tax cuts for the richest seem to have been abandoned in favour of our £10k tax rate. If this is true, this is a wonderful progressive move. It also looks like we will have around five cabinet posts and the post of Deputy Prime Minister for Nick Clegg. This is the first time Liberal Democrats have been around the cabinet table since 1945.

I'm not a Conservative. I do not want a Conservative Government. Thanks to Nick Clegg and his team, we do not have one. We have a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition. It's now up to the party which I support to come together behind it, to work hard for the AV referendum and scrapping of the planned ID card scheme and to make this thing work - not just for our party's sake but for the sake of the country we want to improve. My fingers and toes are fully crossed.