Reflections following the first day of Lib/Dem conference

I generally try to avoid putting in too many comments on political parties other than my own into this blog - indeed, when I quote a politician from another party it is often one of the rare occasions when I agree with him or her.

So this is my first mention of the Lib/Dems for weeks and frankly, this one will probably last me for the rest of the year.

All political parties get accused of facing both ways at once, and because grown-up politics is often a compromise between competing priorities, there is often a bit of justice in it.

But few parties are capable of being as comprehensively two-faced as the Liberal Democrats and in the first two days of their conference they are set to excel themselves.

The Liberal Democrat conference could almost be an attempt to prove that their leader Ed Davey and his team cannot be trusted.

They will say anything to try to get elected – I learned this a long time ago when in Cumbria they were saying that Trident subs should be built and maintained in Barrow while at the same time they were saying in the West Country that Trident subs should be built and maintained there and in Westminster they were voting that Trident subs should not be built and maintained at all. In this if in nothing else the Lib/Dem leopards have not changed their spots.

  • The Liberal Democrats say one thing nationally and another locally, and deceptively campaign against their own positions in elections.
  • Liberal Democrats in Cumbria have joined in an undemocratic, Labour administration which has been a block on the county's progress. A vote for the Lib/Dems has been a vote for Labour.

On the first day of their conference we heard from:

  • Ed Davey – who admitted that the Liberal Democrats were planning to increase borrowing, showing why the Liberal Democrats cannot be trusted with the public finances.
  • Layla Moran – who reaffirmed the Liberal Democrats plan to rejoin the European Union, taking us back to the divisions of the past. I write this as someone who voted Remain - do we really want to fight that "in or out" battle which consumed British politics for four years all over again?

Over the next few days, the Liberal Democrats are set to pass a number of new policy motions which show just how out of touch the party is:

  • Today they are due to debate plans to give councils the power to seize land for housing development as they call for higher housing targets – despite campaigning against housebuilding in the Chesham and Amersham by-election and many localities including here in Cumbria.  They run with the NIMBY hare and hunt with the Housebuilders Federation hounds.
  • Liberal Democrats are also set to discuss motions calling for taxes to be raised on electricity bills, hitting hard-working families.
  • And their Deputy Leader, Daisy Cooper, (MP for St Albans - God help St Albans) will set out the Liberal Democrat policy on education, which includes making media studies a mandatory part of the primary school curriculum.



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