Monday, 1 June 2009

Whilst I've been away.....

A Bootle councillor has 'crossed the floor' to join us, the Lib Dems have crossed over Labour in the recent opinion polls and Cameron has allied himself with a bunch of extremely socially conservative catholics.
One at a time. Paul Larkin is a good guy. I was around when there was a steady stream of Labour switchers in the early 80's. Some like Shirley Williams, David Marquand etc were very welcome. Others were not. Indeed ridding ourselves of them became a precondition of forming a coherent party. If they had hung around we would not have had a clear position on the Iraq war and our campaign on Europe would have been compromised by their instinctive 'dock yard' nationalism.
Next the opinion polls which show that Labour are in third place. Again I was around last time this happened-indeed I was preparing to fight a General Election in Southport. So my advice is not to get too excited. Mind you on this occasion I feel a level of confidence in the party leadership that I did not have back then. Clegg and Cable are managing to keep us in the news and are providing a rallying point for those who want a reformed political system. A few months back i attended a NW Lib Dem summit of Lib Dem Leaders with Nick Clegg and Norman Baker. It was very forward looking and I was impressed how Lib Dems were leading the way on the economy. I fought my first General Election in Warrington in 1979. Clegg asked what the campaign was focused on. Constitutional reform I replied. There was a general agreement that it was not surprising that we didn't win. I agree. But the truth is until we complete the work of Reform-election of the House of Lords , strengthening the parliament against the executive, more freedom of information, devolution within England, electoral reform etc, we will not have a system of government fit for the 21st Century.
For those of you who have not discovered Mark Reckons excellent blog it is well work exploring his article on the result of a general election based on the Telegraph poll. Despite Labour being in third place when translated into seats they land up in second place as the official opposition with around a hundred more seats that the Lib Dems. People's dissolution with the system will only multiply if they vote for change and still get stuck with the old system.

Mark's earlier post showing that the safer the seat the stronger the chance of being embroiled in the expenses scandal also strengthens the case for reform/ Good to have a statistician on board.

As to Cameron's nasty new little friends Johnathon Fryer has written well about this. One hopeful signs about the Euro elections is that both he (Johnathon) and Chris Davis look like getting elected.