Tuesday, 13 July 2010

more on The Liberal Democrat Journey

I see that I'm not the only person to have read Richard Grayson's pamphlet for COMPASS. Liberal England and Liberal Dem Voice have both since commented. I am grateful to Lord Bonkers amanuensis for drawing my attention to David Boyle's review which is not dis-similar to my own in so much as it agrees with the conclusion but does not fully accept the analysis:

I completely agreed with Richard about the future direction of the social liberal wing of the party – “arguing for a new political economy that puts issues of power in the workplace and the ownership of assets back onto the political agenda as the old Liberal Party once did.”

That is absolutely bang on. So why didn’t I quite buy the narrative he presented: a slightly sinister drift to the right going back to the Orange Book and accelerating with the Clegg leadership? That isn’t what happened.

I am not saying that there is no threat to Liberal values in the coalition with the Conservatives. Of course there is, but we knew that when we agreed to it. But Richard seems to me to misread the symbolic issues, especially when he claims that “the Orange Book tendency has whittled away at broadly centre-left policies on, for example, public spending, income-tax rates and the role of local government in education”.

The Liberal Democrat Journey to a Lib-Con Coalition - Richard Grayson

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