Thursday, September 13, 2007


LIB DEMS FACE TWO WAYS AT ONCE - AGAIN

Guess what, once again the the Liberal Democrats are demonstrating hypocrisy of the highest order, this time over the European Constitution; a law that would give a great deal more power to the EU, and reduce our right to make our own laws and foreign policy.
Pro-European Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell has now formally sided with Gordon Brown in refusing to allow the British public a say on the Constitution. “My judgment is a referendum is not necessary on this document,” he says in an interview ahead of next week’s Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton.

With the backing of the Lib Dems Gordon is now certain of enough votes to ensure that this treaty will get through Parliament without the British public having a say, in spite of having made a clear manifesto pledge that we would be given a vote.

These are the ve
ry same Liberal Democrats who make a living complaining endlessly about a lack of democracy and who demand referendums of everything from road pricing to the Monarchy.
Our local MP has himself made desperate attempts to force our directly elected mayor hold a referendum of the vital question of, er, whether Torbay has one casino or two; yet it would appear he will calmly vote to deny you or I a say in one of the most fundamental changes to our constitution since the Act of Union in 1707.

I eagerly await a logical excuse from any Lib Dem as to how they can reconcile these two opposing ideals of what is 'democratic'.. .

14 comments:

Pete (WestBrom Blogger) said...

Good points. And of course this is bad news for the Tories as many of the younger Lib Dem MPs want a referendum. With Ming, already unpopular, it seems even more likely that someone will challenge him for the leadership. And a competent Lib Dem leader at the helm could spark disaster for Cameron.

Anonymous said...

There will be no challenge as long as Lib Dem MP's think that Kennedy will stand for the leadership again.

They are petrified of him coming back and if there was a leadership election right now he is the only serious player the membership would recognise; and he would probably win.

Their best bet is to leave Ming there for long enough for David Laws to come through, like the Tories did with Michael Howard leading the way for Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Hand on … you and the Tory for Newton Abbot are facing in different directions on the Kingskerswell bypass. Kettle pot?

What was it you said about disagreements in the Tory ranks “But I didn't go into politics to agree with everyone all the time, did I?”

sameoldtories said...

Anon,

David Laws has no chance of leading the Lib Dems - he's a polarising figure too strongly associated with the [economic liberal] 'Orange Book' section of the party.

It'll be Huhne or Clegg, with the latter a Lib Dem 'Blairite' type figure - he'll be the media favourite.

BTW, lots of Lib Dem members disagree with their leader. Their is a plurality of opinion within Labour and Tory ranks too on the referendum issue. Debates within and across parties on Europe is a good thing. For your lot it is a issue of endless friction, **permanent division** and a test of Tory virility - not so for the other two parties - that's the difference !

Anonymous said...

sameoldtories
I agree with you about Clegg but I think Laws will give him a good run for his money.

Huhne is the Lib Dem equivalent of David Davis, effective enough 'behind the scenes' but just not enough of a front man to win.

You say 'lots of LD's disagree with their leader' I agree; lots of Tories clearly disagree with Cameron; but it is a dangerous place to go when your party is falling behind and your leadership is already in trouble and in that regard Ming is where IDS was.

I am not a tory by the way, at the moment I am politicaly agnostic although in the past I have voted both tory and Lib Dem.

Ming is a huge turn off to people like me; Kennedy managed equidistant well, Ming is clearly a left winger.

Marcus Wood said...

Anonymous, there is a world of difference between two neighbouring constituency activists having an honest disagreement about the exact plans for a road to your inconsistent postitioning over a referendum.

For one thing there is a principle, either you do believe in consulting the public in important matters or you don't.

Gordon Brown has a more defensible position on this because he can at least legitimately say 'this is a matter for Parliament, that is what we are elected for'.

But Lib dems endlessly demand referendums - Adrian himself is keen to ask us all whether Torbay has one or two casino's, but whether Britain signs away powers over her foreign policy and veto powers over EU law isn't a matter that qualifies?.

That is an utterly ludicrous position to be in and you know it.

Barrie Wood said...

Lib Dem Voice - www.libdemvoice.org points out the plurality of activist opinion on any EU Reform Treaty referendum. Such divergent views can be found in the Labour and Tory parties too.

As Marcus knows I've blogged my own personal opinion on this issue - in favour of a referendum.

In accusing others of being hypocritical can you explain why after Maastrict and the SEA the Tories offered no referendum when as the party in power they had the chance to do so ? Pot Kettle and Black - again ?!

Lib Dem leadership ? No vacancy, so no comment needed !

Barrie Wood said...

Pete,

If I were you I'd worry about the Tories' leadership more - a collection of reports, headline seeking media performances and still not yet a coherent and consistent Tory narrative.

A bit of faux greenery here, a bit of Redwood [and Thatcherism] there and a dash of liberal conservatism do not give one any real idea what the Tories would do if in office. Looking at ConservativeHome.com and comments from activists shows even your own side is confused and in large measure unimpressed !

Are you happy with 'Dave' ?

Anonymous said...

I see that nobody has answered Marcus' question; how do you square not giving us a say on the EU constitution with demanding a referendum on a new Casino?

usual Lib dem technique - when a difficult question is asked, change the subject!!

Barrie Wood said...

Anon,

How explicit do I have to be ? Speaking personally, as a LD, I personally am in favour of a Referendum on the proposed EU Reform Treaty.

And, no response from Marcus and his fellow Tories on why his party after Maastricht and the SEA didn't put that before the British people, as many in your party wanted. Tory hypocracy ?

martin pell said...

Why has everybody jumped on the US bandwagon and ceaselessly deploy the word "narrative" in the wrong context? It's depressing. For our murdering of the English language we deserve the Eurocrats. After all French was the language of diplomats.

As for the referendum business, why bother to ask the public? Lets face it politicians have never trusted the public, secretly they abhor the horrid business of getting elected and would rather adopt the Chavez/Mubarek/Mugabe "election" model. After all they get to vote their own pay levels, exempt themselves from Freedom of Information scrutiny and get to employ spouses/family/cronies. Why not take it a stage further and just stage their own elections.

It's for our own good, after all we don't really see the whole picture, we're not informed and able to make an informed choice. Yes, indeed, there ARE Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Trust me, I'm the PM.

Marcus Wood said...

Barry, Maastricht was not a new constitution and although it extended the powers of majority voting and one or two other major areas of policy it didn't as radically alter the status of the EU as this one does.

Having said that I think we should have offered a referendum on the issue and so do most modern Conservatives.

I don't think it is fair to compare our differing position now to our party view fifteen years ago as regards this anyway, time has moved on and so have Conservatives; if we didn't we would still be arguing with you Liberal Whigs about whether the Sovereign was empowered by divine intervention or by the will of her subjects.

Barrie Wood said...

Unfortunately for you Sir Menzies Campbell has offered a far more radical referendum on our relationship with Europe.

Is the in or out question explicit enough for UKIP and anti EU Tories ?

Are you in favour of such a debate and vote Marcus ?

Marcus Wood said...

Barry,

It's not 'unfortunate' at all; I rather welcome Mings idea; I would welcome it more if he was serious.

The problem is he has come up with it as a diversion tactic to get himself off the hook over the EU constitution question.