Sunday, May 09, 2010

Liberalism's Moment?

If you've listened to the Left over the past few days you've probably heard talk about how the election result produced a progressive majority between Labour and the Lib Dems. Do not be fooled it. What it produced was a liberal majority of Tory and Lib Dems.

Clegg may have talked of the two old parties, but he, along with people like Cable, Huhne, Laws, Davey and Kennedy have shown their views and ideas for us all in The Orange Book, and they're not natural Labour bedfellows because they're Liberals. It is only the desperate to cling on to power like Ben Bradshaw who wish to create this idea that the Lib Dems are closer to Labour than the Tories, and it is bollocks.

The authors of The Orange Book no doubt have a fight on their hands internally, but take a look at their ideas, which include, reform of the NHS to a National Health Insurance model; transfer of powers back from the EU to nation states; a rebirth of local democracy and local accountability; a liberal agenda for the economy that brings down trade barriers; support for the family to reduce breakdown; and a new pension settlement based on personal responsibilty.

The Orange Bookers have, quite rightly, rejected the old statist approach of the 20th Century. Put bluntly,  a coalition of the Cameroons and Orange Bookers may not be smooth because of the awkward squads on both sides, but it does represent the best chance for sorting the mess Labour have left us all with.

A coalition represent the moment to reclaim liberalism from the left. The idea that it can happen through a deal with an illiberal authoritarian Labour loser is, frankly, risible.

No comments: