Confession, it is said, is good for the soul. So in seeking a moderate benefit in that area, I have a confession to make, and it is this: I have in the past, on occasion, voted Liberal Democrat.
I made this choice for a variety of reasons, and one of these was that in voting Lib Dem I was not voting for the Tories. A vote for the Lib Dems was not a vote for the party that had brought us Milton Friedman’s quack doctory, crippling unemployment, decimation of much of the country’s manufacturing base, the Poll Tax, bus deregulation, the railway sell-offs, a worsening of the NHS, and the latest in an historic series of misguided attempts to use Sterling as a national virility symbol.
The Tories, moreover, were a party not untainted by bad behaviour: this was the home of Cecil “von Porkinson” Parkinson, “Shagger” Major, Tim “The Dishonourable Member” Smith, Mostyn Neil “A Liar And A Cheat” Hamilton, Jonathan Aitken, Tim Yeo, Graham Riddick, David Tredinnick, Shirley “Gerrymanders’R’Us” Porter, “Shagger” Mellor, Jeffrey bloody Archer, and the permanent stench emanating from the Al Yamamah arms deal.
And in this view I am not alone: the Labour party has put on thousands of new members since Corporal Clegg and his motley platoon went in with Young Dave and his jolly good chaps. Many of them, I suspect, are former Lib Dem supporters or even activists. Of course, Labour has also had its moments of sleaze over the past thirteen years – which demonstrates just how strongly some now disillusioned Lib Dems feel.So can Labour build on that reaction to the new and improved two-headed donkey? I’ll give that some thought later.