Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Coalition: Not In My Name

This time last month, I delivered a pretty positive piece on why I was, broadly, supportive of the Coalition. It's only been a month, but I've downgrading my status to "neutral". I'm not AGAINST the Coalition as such, but I certainly can't treat the Coalition like I would a Lib Dem Government. I'd be happy to defend a Lib Dem's Government's mistakes because I'd trust they were just that. However I find myself unable to defend the Coalition's and must thus say I'm not a supporter. Here's why:

Well firstly, it's not because of cuts! Since the General Election my liberal beliefs have solidified and I am even more in favour of a small Government and a sensible Government. Sure, some cuts I disagree with, and some others will disagree with others. That's the nature of the task. We all need to accept that. And it's not about the Coalitions LGBT policy. It's disappointing but I'm generally resigned to not being an equal citizen any time before I retire. There's just no appetite for the LGBT equality agenda.

So... with that out of the way...

1) Niggly issues from the agreement have become more and more annoying to me as I've found my beliefs firming up. The marriage tax break, though small, is symbolic of the sort of interfering, social engineering type of Government I despise. The cap on immigration is an illiberal measure that helps only to make our country less competitive even as other countries continue to pull ahead of us in the manufacturing sector (and they had already lapped us several times). These would be defensible but...

2) This is not a grown up Government. The moment David Cameron announced the St. George's flag was going up over Downing Street, I knew he really was just a Blair clone. The day John Barrowman was invited to the LGBT "Inequality" Reception, I knew David Cameron and Nick Clegg were media whores and political lightweights.

I had hoped, naively I suppose, that this new type of Government would have the balls not to make stupid, headline grabbing gestures. That this would be a mature, sensible administration. We have a monarchy, who's sole job is to represent this country, to shake hands, wave flags and meet celebrities. They do this very well, and do not need our politicians to try and steal their last remaining roles. I want our politicians to be intelligent, reserved, inventive. Not loud, brash and stupid. Alas.

Worse are the idiotic decisions, that at face value seem good. The idea of ministers not using ministerial cars for financial and environmental reasons is a good one. Certainly appears to show them taking an austere approach to things. Unfortunately for security reasons, understandable ones at that, it was felt the Red Boxes needed to be transported that way. So we have a ludicrous situation of paying for ministerial cars that our ministers can't use!!! They just drive around Red Boxes!! RIDICULOUS!

3) This is an illiberal, inconsistent administration. Banning a "hate preacher" from entering the country because we don't like what he says about other religions would be fine if we were also banning the Pope from visiting because we don't like what he says about families. Alas it seems it's okay to support institutional paedophilia and homophobia but not for one religious person to criticise other religions. Oh wait, the Pope does that too!!

I can see the writing on the wall with the drip, drop feed of stories starting to come out: this administration is a "two parent family", Christian, immigrant hating, army loving one. I.e. this IS a Tory administration.

And thus I declare, I'm out, I do not see Lib Dem ministers defending a liberal agenda and see them floundering around as Tory spokespeople instead. Sorry to be harsh, I love this party, but there's no other way to put it.

Thankfully Labour is so much worse than the Tories, slipping back into the hard left, immigrant hating, socialist model, that I have no other choice than to continue to support the Liberal Democrats.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist


rockitboy said...

"Thankfully Labour is so much worse than the Tories, slipping back into the hard left, immigrant hating, socialist model" - eh? Both socialist AND immigrant hating? You're not serious, are you? I am a Liberal Democrat party member, but right now I'm glad I'm a social democrat. Clegg's version of liberalism is clearly rightwing.

alan said...

Your blogs during the election helped me, a previous Labour supporter, in the decision to vote Lib Dem. So it is ironic that I now want to comment and support the coalition against your criticisms. Your points are all well-made but I think it is far too early to be disappointed in the social leanings of the coalition. I believe that the Lib Dems must, in the early days, show collective 100% support for the coalition policies and deal with mainly economic matters first. I hope and trust that the Lib Dems will, in time, at least marginalise the Christian, 2-parent family Tories. I retain my trust in them.

Jae said...

rockitboy, have you been following the leadership debates? Labour have lost the plot, and are becoming increasingly populist and anti-immigration. I use the term socialist in the British sense, not in the true sense of the word. Socialism in Europe during the Cold War showed quite clearly an internationalist bent. Labour does not.

Sorry Alan! I would agree, but I'm seeing the Lib Dems showing 100% support across the board not just where collective agreement is necessary for the good of the country. That sets a dangerous precedent and leaves them in a weak position for questioning these things later on. (Something collective Cabinet responsibility and the Coalition agreement probably stops them from doing anyway).