Lord Adonis is one of my favourite Labour Ministers. No doubt about it, being a train loving young fogey I think he's been a good Transport Secretary.
But his comments today in the Independent are a bit much. Basically they are a plea not to let the Tories back in and to vote Labour to support "progressive" politics.
Now I have no idea if Lord Adonis has been paying attention but the Tory party and New Labour have moved very close together on a lot of issues that separate the Lib Dems from them both. When New Labour made it's voter winning shift to the right it leap frogged us Liberal Democrats, whose own changes had moved us only very slightly to the left after the merger between the Liberals and the SDP. We are now the opposition party, in contrast to the, only slightly different, agendas offered by the two big parties.
Sure, both Labour and the Lib Dems want to reform Parliament and the voting system. But the difference is one only wants to go so far and has a history of backsliding on said reform and the other is famous the country over for it's single minded devotion to the cause of PR. It might not be clear blue water between our policies but it's at the very least an English Channel between us.
And both parties support GLBT rights, but the difference is one felt the need to compromise to conservative elements and fall at the last hurdle (gay marriage) and the other has come out loudly and proudly in favour of real equality.
Or the Iraq War? You know, the one that probably shouldn't really have happened because it was just a tad illegal? Well one party continues to support it wholeheartedly (alright two, the Tories might not like reform or GLBT rights but hey they love war!) and the other has come to it's senses and makes it quite clear it stands for those who were opposed to it, even if we weren't against it at the start.
A vote for the Tories is distasteful for any progressive person. But a vote for Labour is almost as bad. Labour are the faux progressive party who offer tidbits to both sides just to gain power. That might be practical but it leads to muddled policies like PFI. And it's not exactly honest.
Vote Liberal Democrat, even if we stand "no chance" in your area, if you truly believe in the Lib Dem agenda. Don't sell out your soul just to placate your fear of the Tories. Don't give in to a compromise too far. This is the election to follow your heart, not your head. This is the election where we stand against TWO rather unpopular parties. If we stay true and hold our course, and hopefully convince people to join us, we stand to gain so much.
This is not 1997. Whether Labour or the Tories win, little will change. So don't be afraid to be different. The Lib Dems are the party who really want fundamental change across the board.... all you need do is vote for them!
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist