Thursday, 11 February 2010

That's a Harder Question Than "Which Way do Your Joists Run?"!

How much honesty and integrity would you have as a politician-would you "toe the party line"? Name three policies of the Libdems/things that any Libdems stand for that you disagree with?

I really can't foresee any great desire to be 'a politician'. I have far more fun being a gobshite party member. That said, I'm not going to skirt the serious question..

Honesty is paramount to me. If I can't look myself in the face and know I'm ok with everything I've done and said, then I feel ill. If the party ever wanted me to lie or cover something up, I'd be the first to refuse, and to walk if I had to. I might look like a 'cheerleader', as one LDV commentor recently put it, but that's really not the case. To me, the preamble to the party constitution chimes so precisely with the way I feel politics should be, that it's a gut thing. And if policies and ideas don't match with that gut feeling, I'm very uncomfortable with them.

You want me to get out my controversial side for the lads, is it? Well, I've not got much dissent to voice, but here are your three examples, such as they are:

In common with Lembit and several others within the Lib Dems, I was against the ban on hunting. The party at the time, including then leader Charles Kennedy, was for it and I was pretty disappointed in them. They did at least allow a free vote on the issue, but I think we may be due a new debate on this one. I'd like to see it overturned. Put simply, it's illiberal.

A little further down the awkward almost-libertarian niche in my instincts, we find the voice in my head that every time I reread that policy of spending the money saved by ditching ID cards on 10,000 extra police officers responds by saying "really? REALLY?!" -- I think there's better ways to spend it. I know there are in fact. Taking away one way of recording and monitoring people and replacing it with more people to watch people and collar them for any perceived wrongdoing is um.. nonsensical in my view. But then I do come from Pembrokeshire, where the police we've got are already so bored from a lack of much to do that they seem to fill their time playing a game of "stop and search every young person in a car". Give me the evidence that 10,000 extra police officers will enrich the lives of UK citizens and make the country a better place to live, and I'll be behind it. But for now I'll stick to my view that people are a lot more likely to behave like criminals if they're treated like they're guilty until proven innocent. I'd like to scrap some of the 20% of the world's CCTV cameras that record our every daily move in this country, too. How much would that save? Can we spend it on preserving biodiversity and improving the maintenance of urban green spaces, please?

As for things individual Lib Dems stand for that make my hackles rise - here's one solid example that highlights a recurrent problem. Tom Brake and his Early Day Motion of 2008 to ban cannabis seeds (still highlighted on his own website here: http://snipurl.com/uc956). Banning things is not high on any liberal agenda, frankly. And this kind of bandwagon-jumping is what makes doorstep campaigning tough going at times for those of us who don't indulge in it. It's all very well Tom making himself more popular with his constituents in the moment, but when he's doing it by signing up to some Daily Mail worthy, kneejerk conservative action, I am not impressed. There's far more integrity in sticking to liberal principles and giving the counterarguments, even if it's hard. Even if it costs you votes. I would never want the banning brigade to vote for me anyway.

Lifted wholesale from here.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

Hmm. I wonder whether many of us will be tagged with that particular hard question. I'd better work on phrasing my answer just in case.