Hooray for Tim: Why I'm (slightly) for the Liberal Democrats
Share This Article:
When it comes to politicians, we Britons are not especially forgiving. After a certain time may forget about the U-turns and broken promises which once enraged us, but if reminded of them the anger will soon come flooding back. It is why on 8th June voters will re-elect a Conservative party that did enormous damage to the country the last time it was this strong. It is also why the Liberal Democrats may be on the brink of a modest revival, just two years after the public vowed never to forgive the decisions they took in government. Many students did not notice Nick Clegg's pledge to vote against any rise in university tuition fees, although it certainly turned a few heads when he went on to break it. Their fury at this volte-face intensified an already-brewing contempt for his decision to take the Liberal Democrats into coalition with the Tories in 2010. In the years that followed, the LibDems were made to pay the price, first at the calamitous election of 2015 and in the referendum the following year, in which their key policy of enthusiastic EU membership was rejected by the voters. Just as we do not hold former politicians in high esteem, Britons also respond poorly to those who try to defy the cultish attitude of political parties. Sharing a platform or a government office with someone does not in fact mean you agree with them on everything. And there is a lot of ugly piety about those, such Jeremy Corbyn, refusing to do EU campaigning with either Blair or Cameron, who argue that it does. The LibDems may have 'sided' with Cameron in government but for some of the time at least we should be grateful they were there. Clegg prevented an EU referendum while in office and would have continued to do so had the coalition remained.
- Article continues below...
- More stories you may like...
- The BBC has betrayed over-75 year olds by scrapping free TV licences
- Why I have a problem with Chris Lilley's comedy
- What it means to be proud in 2019