The Liberal Democrats had their conference this week. They didn’t ditch their leader, and they moved slightly to the left. The heavens didn’t open, there weren’t any real moments of earth shattering political change or even mild political interest. Quelle surprise. It was the Liberal Democrat conference after all.
But the Moai asked some interesting, nay, pertinent questions – who are the Liberal Democrats? Who supports them? Does anyone know a real life Liberal Democrat (at least since leaving university)?
Ironically enough, I caught up with an old friend last weekend who told me her ambition in life (if she was forced to have one) was to become Liberal Democrat Prime Minister. She seemed genuinely surprised when I pointed out that the term was political nonsense – there has never been a Liberal Democrat Prime Minister. There has never been a Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition. The last time this timid excuse for a party got anywhere close to power was at the beginning of the last century, when it was called something different and was left of the current Labour party.
However my friend’s naiveté nicely sums up the Liberal Democrat mentality. They know how politics works in theory, however they have no idea of the reality of modern politics. The Liberal Democrats are a play party for those who want to appear to be politically aware without taking any of the responsibility for being politically aware. It is far easier for them to spout their shite when that shite will never really be exposed through the harsh glare of actually becoming public policy.
So who supports them? Trixy paints a nice image of pony tailed men and bearded women, which I do not doubt makes up the vast majority of those who attend the Liberal Democrat party. But I rather suspect those who support them are defiantly middle class – affluent, living in the suburbs or polite little commuter satellite towns. They are assuaging cliched middle class guilt by supporting a party who spouts the sort of policies they feel they should support – and, indeed, did support back in their student days – without actually running the danger of those policies coming into play and therefore hurting their middle class lives. This is not a class rant, but rather an observation that it is far easier for some to assuage their middle class guilt by supporting a high tax party when there is no danger of that high tax party actually getting their grubby hands on the keys to Number 10.
The Liberal Democrats are little more than a debating society for those who want to appear worthy and want to appear “right on”. The party is a talking shop for those who don’t want to make hard, realistic policy choices. It is telling that their most successful leader in recent memory had one great talent (other than alcohol consumption) – he was a shameless bandwagon jumper, attaching his party credentials to what ever appeared to be the latest “in” policy to be supporting. The Liberal Democrats are the political equivalent of tracing paper – they mimic whatever they are placed against.
And as a result the Liberal Democrats are a waste of time. They have all the structures and procedures of a political party, and even succeed in winning some seats. But they are nothing but an ersatz political party – they go through the motions, but the end result of everything they do is exactly the same as if they had done nothing. The party motto should be “why bother”?
So the truth is that it doesn’t matter who is the leader. It could be the ginger drunk, the doddering old fool or one of those young pretenders to the throne whose names you kind of know but you just can’t quite remember what they look like or indeed what they stand for (if anything). It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and the fact that no-one moved to depose Kennedy until the news of his chronic alcohol problem was about to made public – and the ongoing saga of Ming’s non-leadership of the party – shows that they kind of realise this. Of course Clegg is willing to wait until there is a vacancy: in his heart of hearts he knows that there it doesn’t matter who is leader.
And it also doesn’t matter what policies they come up with. They can talk about banning petrol powered cars in 33 years time, or about raising taxes for the rich, until they are blue in their pock marked, bearded faces, but it really doesn’t matter. Hell, they could say they are going to murder the rich, make the national religion the worship of Ming and then declare war on the Devil Goblins of Neptune and it still wouldn’t fucking matter. They will never get into a position where they can foist the arbitrary fucktarded shite that they consider to be workable policy on this nation. In the unlikely event that one of our parties has to go cap in hand to them to form a coalition then I have no doubt that the relevant party with ruthlessly and brutally cut away the more loopy parts of any Liberal Democrat manifesto, and only take the “let’s all try to be nice to people if we can” policy from the Lib Dems to make them feel a bit better.
So, given I think that the Liberal Democrat party is the very definition of a non-entity, why have I written this post? Because actually everyone (including myself) needs to accept that the Liberal Democrats talk irrelevant arse, and leave them to get on with it. The Liberal Democrats are so neutered politically that they are irrelevant. We need to concentrate on the real problems with our political ruling class. We need to be attacking the money grabbing dour bastard who is acting as Prime Minister, and also young Hug A Husky and his band of tree-hugging merry men. They have a chance of getting into power, and they will be the ones who will be spending our hard earned cash on half-baked schemes and down right corrupt plans.
Ming the Merciful and his band of bearded prigs, geography teachers and Euro-phile hippies should be treated with the respect they deserve. They should be utterly ignored.