I talked about this some time ago on an old blog but thought about it again this week as I was thinking about what I believe in. When I reflect on where I stand on many issues I see that in the main my beliefs are liberal. Liberals believe in democracy, they believe in civil rights, they believe in freedom of religion and freedom of the press and believe in free trade. I would add that most liberals would also believe in freedom of expression and freedom to be whatever sexuality you are.
When I think about Liberals I tend to think of good people, of honest people, of decent people. I tend to think that liberals are open to new ideas and in the main care about society and the most vulnerable within it. The main political party for Liberals in the UK are the Liberal Democrats. If you look at the party they say they
” exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.”
This statement had me thinking that how can a party with Nick Clegg as Leader, with Danny Alexander in the treasury, with Michael Moore in the Scottish office, with Willie Rennie as Scottish Leader ever actually aspire to that statement when their record in Government shows they don’t care. Danny Alexander for example has voted against MPs pay rise being capped at 2.3%, voted for the sale of the Royal Mail, voted for the increase in VAT, voted for tuition fees. Not exactly the record of a decent liberal let alone human being. Nick Clegg also voted for the VAT rise and tuition fees. Willie Rennie, Scottish Leader, when an MP voted for raising VAT. These are just not the actions of honourable people, or people who care.
So my point I guess is, there are no real liberals at the heart of the Liberal Democrats and someone like myself, a liberal nationalist, has nowhere to go. Our politics have been captured by the right and by the privileged, what a sad sorry state of affairs.