Brecon and Radnorshire seems to be disappearing into a weird consensus reality in which the Liberal Democrats are actually being considered a serious alternative to the Conservatives, capable of standing up to them in Parliament. Has everybody here gone mad?
No. They are just falling prey to a well-oiled propaganda machine that the party known as the Fib Dems is using to steamroller all opposition.
But it may well run out of steam before we reach polling day on August 1 – especially as some of us are getting very good at debunking the falsehoods.
Yesterday (July 7), This Writer received a letter from Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds, asking me to sign her petition to improve access to dentists in Llandrindod Wells. This is actually a genuine issue here.
But it is a devolved issue. Ms Dodds states: “My colleague Kirsty Williams AM has been working with Powys Teaching Health Board to tackle access to dentists and I will work with her and all parties to help resolve these issues” but it is nothing to do with her. If she becomes MP and the issue is resolved, it seems likely that she will try to take credit for something she won’t have done.
This seems to be the pattern with all of the policies so far announced by this charlatan. I have already detailed reasons why we should doubt her claims about bringing improved broadband and more investment into the constituency.
Elsewhere on the social media, This Writer has become involved in several discussions about Liberal Democrat policy positions. As readers of This Site will know, I characterise the Liberal Democrats as a right-wing, authoritarian, neoliberal, austerity-supporting, privatising party – based on their record – and it infuriates me when their supporters describe them as centrist or even as a party of the left.
I eventually had to dig out the voting record of LD leadership candidate Jo Swinson to demonstrate the facts of the matter.
Ms Swinson is a dedicated Liberal Democrat and has supported her party in the vast majority of votes.
She has supported the Bedroom Tax, benefit cuts, the persecution of the sick and disabled, and cuts to local authority support for council taxpayers, among other things:
She voted to increase tuition fees to £9,000 per year after the Liberal Democrats promised to abolish them, to bring schools into private ownership, and to cut financial support for students.
Her environmental credentials are similarly appalling: She voted to sell our state-owned forests into the hands of developers and commercial profiteers, in support of the badger cull, against green energy, and for fracking. On climate change, her position is ambiguous – and we should take heed of that when Jane Dodds makes wild claims about wanting to fight climate change as Brecon and Radnorshire’s MP.
Finally, I pointed out that Ms Swinson voted to privatise the Royal Mail, to cut legal aid – putting court action beyond the reach of most people, and to create secret courts – at which defendants were not to be told the charges against them or even any of the evidence.
These are all right-wing policies that would make many Conservatives proud – and may even be too extreme for some.
If Ms Swinson becomes Liberal Democrat leader, these will be her policy positions – or she’ll be a hypocrite. And the bad news is that the other leadership candidate, Ed Davey, differs only in that he has a better record on climate change (but not on fracking).
We also touched on another policy issue – the Liberal Democrats’ opposition to the Iraq War. This came about in an extremely bizarre manner, from a comment by a person who, told that Labour was “negative”, said they wanted “to stop seeing children going to school hungry and coming home to parents exhausted by irregular work or ridiculous DWP requirement and either homeless or terrified of becoming so… Its negativity to want children not to starve?”
The response was to claim that Labour was responsible for the deaths of children. Under challenge, this was justified by reference to the Iraq War.
My response: “That is a war against another country, not a policy enacted here. If you’re determined to invoke it, how many children died in Libya, due to the Coalition government’s intervention there? You might also consider the fact that airstrikes against Syria were only called off – famously – because of intervention from the Labour Party, supported by rebel Tories. The Liberal Democrats voted to support them, including current leader candidates Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.”
It seems the Liberal Democrats’ anti-war credentials aren’t all that they’re said to be, either!
So we came to the fall-back that has been the basis of the entire Liberal Democrat campaign in Brecon and Radnorshire – and across the UK: That it’s a “two-horse race” and they are the only party capable of beating the Conservatives.
This is a lie.
I can demonstrate that it is a lie with reference to just one sentence by a Lib Dem supporter: “How are you going to convince Tory voters to vote Labour? It is unrealistic to think that they will.”
My answer is that there is no need to get hardcore Tories to vote for Labour.
No less than six candidates are standing in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, of which four are right-wing.
Leaving aside the Liberal Democrats for a moment, that means the right-wing vote will be split between Conservative Chris Davies, the Brexit Party’s Desmond Parkinson and UKIP’s Liz Phillips. It won’t be an even split but, considering the core Tory vote is around 9,000, it should be enough to stop any of them from winning.
The Monster Raving Loony Party will have a representative in Lady Lily the Pink, and she’ll pick up the votes protesting at the lunacy of politics in the UK at the moment.
That leaves Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems are trying hard to convince people that giving them a 13th MP will make them a formidable force to convince Parliament to revoke Article 50 so we can all remain in the European Union. That is not going to happen.
Take a look at the graph at the top of this article. Liberal Democrats have just 1.8 per cent of the MPs in the House of Commons. That’s 12 MPs. A 13th will give them exactly two per cent of sitting MPs. That isn’t enough to achieve any such radical change of policy.
Alternatively, the Liberal Democrats are trying to convince people that giving them another MP will stop a Brexiteer from taking the seat and steering us towards a disastrous departure from the EU. That is not going to happen either. Not only will the vote be split between three Brexiteer parties but there wasn’t enough consensus on Brexit to make it happen when Brexiteer Chris Davies was the MP here, so having another Brexiteer won’t make any difference.
So what is this really about?
I’ll tell you. It’s about stealing votes from Labour.
The Liberal Democrats have traditionally pressganged Lavbour supporters into supporting them in Brecon and Radnorshire, with the threat that – if they don’t – a Tory will take the seat.
Their infamous “two-horse race” block graph is set at false levels to make it seem the distance between the Labour and Liberal Democrat votes is greater than it is, precisely to encourage this belief. A friend of This Writer has created a more accurate graph and it is damning for the Lib Dems:
Put it all together and you’ll see that the best place for floating voters who want to defeat the Conservatives, and the other right-wingers, is Labour.
It’s a genuinely left-wing party, with policies that most people support, as I stated in a previous article. But for the benefit of those who missed it, a vote for Labour would be a vote to:
- Ensure that at least 60 per cent of the UK’s heat and electricity will come from low-carbon or renewable sources by 2030 (polling suggests this was supported by 79 per cent of the electorate);
- Cap rents at the rate of inflation (74 per cent);
- Increase income tax for the top five per cent of earners (68 per cent);
- Require businesses to reserve a proportion of seats on their boards for workers (63 per cent);
- Re-nationalise the railways (60 per cent);
- Re-nationalise utility companies like the energy and water firms (57 per cent);
- Provide free university tuition for all students (55 per cent);
- Prevent the UK from participating in military interventions in other countries (52 per cent).
And the party’s policy on Brexit is to let the people decide between ‘no deal’, any deal agreed by Parliament, and the possibility of remaining in the EU – which is more than anybody else is willing to offer, including the Liberal Democrats!
Labour’s 247 MPs totals only 38 per cent of the Commons, and another will increase that total only slightly. But 248 is a lot more than 13, and may attract support from other parties and even – in the case of Brexit/remain – from Conservatives.
And Labour’s Tom Davies isn’t misrepresenting himself, his party or his policies.
Put all these elements together and there’s a chance to make a genuine change for the better in Brecon and Radnorshire – and send a meaningful message back to Westminster.
That will be by returning a Labour MP to Parliament.
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