Wednesday, 4 July 2012

We continue..... My Centrist View

Pete Tong used to present the Essential Mix on Radio 1. In fact I think he still does. There was a time when I would listen to it religiously, and I've always loved the way he would say "We continue...." quite happily as my favourite mixes moved through their two hour allocation...*

Invoking this, I'm thinking the words "we continue" as I reflect on these two posts:

Ellie Sharman warns against moving to the left:

Then Alex Marsh posts a more than adequate riposte here: 

In short, we've had both sides. Again - we had this erupt in the blogosphere when Liberal Left and Liberal Reform were formed a few short months ago.

And still we continue. We won't outlaw anyone. We don't do that sort of thing. But this does contribute to people not knowing what we stand for - we even have a lot of trouble convincing people we are about freedom tbh and for those of us wont to quote the preamble to the constitution at voters - that's all very nice for our rather intellectual selves but what does it mean to people in their daily lives? What can they rely on us for?

This liberal/libertarian  vs Social Democrat argument interests me but I'm not seeing any conclusions nor a desire to within the party. How about we put the almighty David Laws' ideas on the NHS for instance, to a debate, but rather more like a summit where we have to form a consensus and then vote? Wouldn't that give us more powerful policy that's been ratified by the party rather than arguments about who the Real Lib Dems  are ?

We're all smart people. I do think we are the smartest political party or I wouldn't be in it. Can we reconcile the apparently irreconcilable? And moreover, do we want to?

But I'm sure that we'll continue.... 

*My absolute favourite is Daft Punk, 1997, since you ask.


  1. I have said it many times before and I will say it again. The dividing lines are not between liberal/libertarians and social democrats.
    In the 1980s the Liberal party was to the left of the Social Democratic party.
    Liberalism does not equal libertarianism. The first signs of the modern libertarian movement in the UK were in the 1980s Federation of Conservative Students, who used to wear T shirts saying "Hang Mandela" on the grounds he was a communist.
    Things would be much less confusing if the libertarians had not decided to join the Liberal Democrats in the first place. I don't remember there being any in the 1980s. I do not have any personal grudges against any of them, but I do fear the consequences of where their ideology leads.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    I think there is value in working out what are the best points from either ideology and looking at how we can move forward. For instance, cutting tax for the lower paid rather than the higher paid - something neither Labour (left) nor Tories (right) have done or would have done without us.