The Liberal Democrats spent five years betraying the UK. Why should they EVER be forgiven?

Lib Dem candidate Liz Leffman (with large rosette) and supporters at the Witney byelection count [Image: Chris Radburn/PA].

Lib Dem candidate Liz Leffman (with large rosette) and supporters at the Witney byelection count [Image: Chris Radburn/PA].

How soon the public forget.

The Liberal Democrats propped up the most right-wing UK government in living memory for five years, allowing the Tories to ride roughshod over the honest, hard-working people.

They oversaw the most oppressive clampdown on British citizens’ civil liberties for decades. Your telephone calls and Internet messages are monitored. You can be arrested, charged, tried and imprisoned without ever knowing why or seeing any evidence.

They supported Tory economic austerity measures that failed to revive the UK economy but instead more than doubled the national debt. Meanwhile public services were cut to the bone.

They launched the largest ever reorganisation of the NHS after promising to end such changes. They promised annual real-terms increases in NHS spending – they lied. They promised to stop Accident and Emergency ward closures – they lied. They promised more choice for patients and GPs – they lied. They introduced private healthcare provider companies into the NHS when nobody wanted them or supported the move. They blocked a meagre one per cent pay rise for NHS workers while voting themselves an 11 per cent rise (on higher salaries).

They supported the Bedroom Tax, and falsely accused working Housing Benefit claimants of fraud.

They supported harmful changes to the assessment of benefit claims that have led to countless deaths – and when I say countless, I mean the Tories and Liberal Democrats simply didn’t bother to count the number of people who have died.

They supported ‘Free Schools’ which underperform in reading, writing and mathematics, where teachers often had fewer qualifications than their students.

They broke their promise to reform the UK’s banking system – that caused the financial crash that nearly ruined the economies of the western world; they implemented only half the measures – and these proved almost entirely ineffective.

Their policy on immigration was to include foreign students in their policy of reducing net migration into the UK, meaning the number of international students coming to the UK fell dramatically – at a time when government policy was also to increase their numbers. It was an act of internationally-renowned stupidity – both attracting and rejecting foreign students; turning away the talent they wanted to import.

The list goes on and on.

But it seems they can make you forget all that, simply by bussing a load of activists into your area and talking at you until you give in.

Allow me to reiterate what I said before the 2015 general election:

Anybody voting Liberal Democrat is like a turkey voting for Christmas.

The Liberal Democrats enjoyed their biggest swing in two decades in a surprise upset at the Witney by-election, leapfrogging Labour and Ukip to take second place.

The result in David Cameron’s former seat was still a comfortable win for the Conservative candidate, Robert Courts, a barrister and local councillor, but he won fewer than half of the 35,201 votes chalked up by the former prime minister in last year’s general election.

In a constituency where the highest prize for the Lib Dems was likely to be second place, the party threw extensive resources into the fight, shipping down more than 1,000 activists one weekend and the Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, visiting the constituency five times.

Source: Witney byelection: Lib Dems resurgent as Tories hold on with slashed majority | Politics | The Guardian

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29 thoughts on “The Liberal Democrats spent five years betraying the UK. Why should they EVER be forgiven?

  1. Lin Wren

    I don’t trust or believe in them at all. They did absolutely nothing that they promised & was certainly Camerons boy. Greens would be far more honourable

  2. joanna

    It is not about forgetting, it is about forgiving! I know it is very difficult to think about, but. how can we moved forward to a better future if we are holding on to what has happened in the past?
    I know this can’t compare with the suffering people have gone through, but my mother badly abused me to the point of death, and my stepfather raped me on Xmas day when I was 14yrs. Finally This year 31 years later I have found it in myself to forgive them!

    I feel like I am a different person in some ways (the important way)! Holding in all that past baggage was turning me into something I couldn’t possibly live with.

    You and your readers will never forget, and you shouldn’t, but we need the strength we have left to fight in any way we can, forgiving will also create more strength.

    I am not and never have been religious, but I feel some sort of lightness in my soul, because I found the strength and the courage to forgive, and I still have a lot more forgiving to do.

    The past can never be changed, but we, at least have the control over how it changes us.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re comparing two different things, I’m sorry to say.
      The Liberal Democrats have not changed and will betray the country again if they get the chance.

      1. joanna

        I wouldn’t be able to go on, if I made a mistake, and wasn’t allowed a chance to put it right.
        Giving chances is risky, and might not work out, but wouldn’t it be worth the risk for something positive to happen? We all know the lib dems will never have any power, but we have to give other generations a chance, over the years people, generations and policies always change. The next generation of Lib-dems might be a lot better than the current generation, but how could we know, if they are not given any chance?
        The Tories on the other hand, have been given chance after chance and they have caused devastation,with every chance they have been given!
        I’m not saying give the lib-dems a chance at power, because they are still hanging on the coat-tails to whatever party is stronger, they will never be leaders, until they go it alone and believe in their own ideas and be willing to fight for their policies which will make thing better.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Are you suggesting that parties change over the years? That they become something other than what was originally intended?
        Then why not start a new party instead of hanging on to the old name?
        Look at Labour – infiltrated by right-wing entryists in the 1980s and 1990s, who then – like cuckoos – proceeded to push anybody with classic Labour values out of the party, or at least to its fringes. Now that those original Labour ideals are coming back, they are protesting wildly that their policies represent real Labour values, even though a cursory glance through the history books proves they aren’t.
        No. I don’t think the LDs should ever get a chance to influence national politics again. They have shown their true colours. Their policies will not help people in the numbers that are necessary. They can only end up shoring up someone else – and we all know how that goes, after five years of the Coalition.

      3. Alan Crerar

        Mike is correct. Sadly (or not) a once great party is on the ropes. They never recovered from their merger with the Labour rejects of the SDP. “Return to your constituencies and prepare for oblivion” as David Steel might have said.

    2. pompousfruit

      Tim Farron was against the coalition with the Tories as was Kirsty Williams the Welsh Lib Dem leader and now sole Lib Dem Assembly Member. There were junior ministers, who unlike Government backbenchers, had to vote with the Government while having little say in it. Some didn’t want to remain junior ministers when they saw how treacherous the Coalition Government was. But never ever forgive any of the Orange Book Lib Dem MP’s.

  3. Barry Davies

    Clegg killed the lib dems first by taking a handful of pottage to be deputy prime minister, a complete no role that meant he got to pour the tea at cabinet meetings, then by trying to be leader of the remain campaign and getting himself crucified time after time for being found out to be doing nothing other than spreading project fear propaganda, when he finally got the message and stepped down the poor version of Clegg that replaced him drove the final nail in the coffin.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It isn’t ‘Project Fear propaganda’ when it turns out to be accurate.
      All the Leave campaigners dropped their promises like hot coals when they realised they would be asked to make them happen. Meanwhile this ‘Project Fear propaganda’ is becoming real at a frightening pace.

    2. nvelope2003

      Why do you like living in cloud cuckoo land ? With enemies like you the Lib Dems have nothing to fear.

  4. NMac

    The only good thing about the Witney by-election was seeing the Tories lose a great deal of support. I do know some people who live in Witney, who normally vote for the Greens, who voted for the Lib-Dems as the best hope of unseating a Tory. Under FPTP strategic voting is always going to be an option.

  5. casalealex

    In 2002, a secret Liberal Democrat document came to light – produced by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors – in which local activists were urged to “be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly” in order to win elections.

    In fact, ask anyone who’s been involved in local politics and they’ll tell you Liberal Democrat activists are the most infamous for playing dirty, using underhand methods and being utterly ruthless.

    Exactly as they turned out to be nationally in their coalition with the Tories.

  6. Brian

    Bless their hearts, the liberals really needed to show the world they exist, the chance to jump into bed with ‘anyone’ prepared to ‘use’ them was just to much of a temptation. They could not have otherwise achieved their aim of office alone. Are we to cast them out into the political wilderness from whence they came, or accept they were well intentioned, though unpersuasive. Problem is, like their bed-mates, they turned out to be pathological liers. Who has any evidence to support a change of stance, let alone desperation.

  7. yarmouthboy

    The person to blame is Paddy Ashdown. When Clegg addressed the Lib Dems in 2010 to determine whether they should support Labour or the Tories in a coalition Govt., they turned to Paddy Ashdown for a direction. Ashdown chose the Tories. The rest is history.

  8. Alan Crerar

    Great list. You missed the one where Alistair Carmichael (MP for Orkney and Shetland Isles) issued a bogus memo to try and smear a political opponent. he was then defended on TV by Malcolm Bruce, a Liberal Party grandee, with the line “All politicians lie” as though that made it all ok. Carmichael was found guilty in 4 of 5 counts by the Electoral Court of lying. I believe he is the only MP in Parliament who can be called a liar on the floor of the House without the person using the term being excluded for using unparliamentary language!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      This will be ‘MemoGate’.
      Trouble is, I still believe that Ms Sturgeon was lying when she claimed not to have said she supported David Cameron. I checked the evidence, weighed it up and understood that she had more to gain by saying the civil servant who recorded her conversation was wrong. The government employee, of course, could not speak up in his own defence.

  9. Dez

    Apart from some treacherous co-decisions, or poor value trade off political decisions, the only positive outcome, on their term, was the fact they watered down/delayed some of the Cons more radical political ideas. Unfortunately as soon as the dark side Cons surprisingly found themselves behind the driving wheel, with their own majority, the libs wishy washy ideas were long gone…. like their leader. Their short lived spell in the back seat should have warned everyone that they were an untrustworthy non-event party not worth wasting a vote on.

  10. Claire

    You may have forgotten Mike, but wealthy Whitney has not had to endure the effects of Tory austerity so it’s very easy for them to forget what a bunch of power hungry waste of space they are.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They have felt a few of the effects. Remember when Cameron’s own family members started campaigning, notably to save children’s services, I believe?
      But yes, I do take your point that the PM’s own constituency always gets a cushion that the rest of us don’t.

  11. hilary772013

    Mike as a lifelong Liberal/LibDem supporter & at the age of 65 that is a lot of General Elections I voted for them in 2010, only to be sold down the river when they got into bed with the Tories & they went against everything I believed in. Then in 2015 I had the dilemma of who to vote for & because we had a Tory MP I decided to vote Labour as they were the best option to get the Tory out. I did not support or believe in Labour because they were only just slightly better than the Tories and unfortunately the Tory won the seat. Then along came Jeremy Corbyn and I joined the Labour Party and Momentum, only to be told I couldn’t vote in the leadership and paid £25 to vote for JC, I am on a pension & £25 is a LOT of money to me, that is how much I believe in Jeremy’s Labour Party.. The LibDems will never ever get my vote again as they proved to be snakes in the grass & cannot understand how they are managing a comeback. My friend also used to vote LibDem and is now a member of Jeremy’s Labour Party & same as myself will never vote Liberal again,

  12. Wamda Lozinska

    Turnout was only 46.8% which probably means that people who could benefit from having a Labour MP / Government stayed at home.

    It’s hard for died in the wool Tory voters to vote Labour, so voting Liberal is perhaps more palatable to them. Labour’s best chance is to target non-voters – but how to get them to go out and vote? It wasn’t even raining on polling day!!

    One of the problems might be that they believe all the rubbish that’s being said in the papers about Jeremy Corbyn. Labour voters in my area have told canvassers they won’t vote for him. So what’s to be done? He’d be the best PM ever!

  13. Tim

    The current Lib Dem leader, Mr Farron, consistently voted AGAINST the bedroom tax, Mike. Personally I fear that a sanitised Liberal Democrat party may well revive as a sink for the protest vote. People who fell unable to vote for Labour, under Corbyn, or Conservative, under May, might well cast their support towards the Liberal Democrats because “they’re different now” and “have learned their lesson”. This is especially likely to happen in parts of the country, e.g., Southwest England, where for years the Lib Dems were the main rivals to the Tories until the coalition was formed.

    It isn’t a case of forgiving and forgetting as much as who represents the person most likely to deny a Conservative PPC a seat in the House of Commons. People who want to undermine a Conservative candidate’s electoral chances but haven’t got sufficient confidence in Corbyn’s competence or strident internally riven Labour party might well vote Liberal Democrat, tactically, hoping to avoid having a Tory MP representing them in London.

    This IS a real danger that shouldn’t be glossed over.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, Farron is probably the leader now precisely because he voted against the Bedroom Tax, and most likely other Coalition measures. That does not absolve his party of responsibility for pushing them through Parliament.
      I fear your analysis of why people might be voting LD is probably right – even though they are not different now and have not learned any lesson.
      You go on to talk about tactical voting – but tactical voting is what got us into the mess that we recall as the Coalition Parliament.
      The concerns you suggest about Labour are real, I know. The only way to overcome them is for Mr Corbyn to demonstrate his skill – he managed that very well internally in Labour over the summer, so nobody can deny he has it, and for Labour to resolve its internal differences; the latter will be far more difficult as the ongoing saga of Angela Eagle and Wallasey CLP demonstrates.

  14. Simon Lodge

    Mike.

    In Whitney the Labour party has more than doubled its local membership and worked overtime, locally, to try to get the Labour vote out. (Imagine how good it would have been for Labour if our vote has increased in Cameron’s own stomping ground and we came a much better second in Whitney.) Despite all this effort Labour went from runner up (last time) to third place (this time) and the Liberal Democrats, despite being tainted by their participation in coalition government with the Tories, rocketed upward a whole two places, from forth placed to second placed, in the recent by-election.

    This is very worrying.

    If you feel no concern you should, every one of us really really should.

      1. Brian

        Labour never had, nor will have a chance in a location like this. The fact they slipped to third matters not a jot. Previous position was only attained by protest voting in an overwhelmingly Right Wing constituency, now the Lib’s have resurfaced, they are the protesters choice. Labour can happily wipe it’s feet on the way out of Whitney.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Nowhere is off-limits to any political party.
        Okay, Witney might require a lot of hard persuasion, but there is plenty of ammunition to use against Tory/LD arguments.

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