Lord Adonis (presumably he keeps a portrait in his attic of the twisted, scarred and unlovely Lord Hephaestus) has descended from Mount Olympus, since he's not allowed to sully his lily-white hands by actually voting for Hard Labour himself, to beg the Liberal Democrats to do his dirty work for him.
Receiving today's papers in my office in Party Headquarters (all right, sat on a desk in the press office) I heard, how can I put it, a small amount of SCORN expressed.
So I have two words for His Divine Lordship.
And the second of them is STUFFED.
A BIG BIG reason for people to vote Liberal Democrat is because they want someone to FREE THEM from the huge burdens of state bureaucracy and intrusive laws that this Hard Labour Government has imposed on them in a futile (but depressingly heavy-handed) attempt to micro-manage the lives of every single free citizen from Mr Frown's desk in Downing Street.
Think about just SOME of those 4300+ dangerously intrusive and illiberal and unnecessary new laws that Hard Labour has forced through Parliament:
- The Terrorism Act, imprisonment without trial, Section 44 orders, police harassing people – which they have NO AUTHORITY to do – just for taking photographs;
- The Criminally Unjust Act, allowing the seizing people's DNA and keeping it forever even if they're never charged or proved totally innocent
- The I.D.iot Cards Act, imposing checkups on people for just walking the streets;
- The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, snooping and spying on innocent citizens;
- and now the Digital Economy Act (cutting off people's internet connections).
It is a CENTRAL PLANK of Liberal policy to ABOLISH a large chunk of these laws.
It is, I would say, a central tenant of the EXISTENCE of the Liberal Democrats to stand up against a bullying, overmighty, centralising Government that imposes these things.
Lord A hangs his entire thesis on one sentence:
"Unsurprisingly, given their similar values, the two parties share largely similar policies. Apart from the issue of proportional representation for elections to the Commons, where the Lib Dems have an obvious vested interest, and Iraq (a bitter disagreement but now largely behind us), the Lib Dems have not set out fundamental differences of principle with New Labour."Well, FIRST, I think not ILLEGALLY INVADING other countries is a fairly major difference between us, and not one that we will "put behind us" until Hard Labour puts the people responsible behind bars. (That would be Lord Blairimort and his Cabinet... oh that would include the current Prime Monster... ho hum!)
But secondly there are SUBSTANTIAL areas of policy where we FUNDAMENTALLY disagree.
Let's take, oh, TRANSPORT – Hard Labour want a third runway at Heathrow. It's a shame that Labour's Transport Secretary seems to be ignoring opposition to this potential environmental disaster or he'd have noticed that we have opposed this for longer than any other Party.
Continuing with the Green theme, we OPPOSE Labour's decision to reinvest in atomic power station while all but abandoning Britain's abundant opportunities to create new jobs by harnessing clean, renewable wind energy. (They let our only manufacturer of wind turbines go BUST; Liberal Democrats would invest to re-engineer former shipyards as new wind turbine builders!)
And we have Mr Dr Vince "the Power" Cable who wants to sweep away many of Mr Frown's ridiculously, incomprehensibly complicated taxes and tax credits for his favourite causes and tax loopholes for his rich friends in order to make tax SIMPLER and FAIRER.
So that's the Home Office, the Foreign Office, Transport, Environment, Energy, Trade & Industry, and of course the Treasury (just off the top of my fluffy head) where we COMPLETELY and UTTERLY disagree with Hard Labour's policy and, more importantly their PHILOSOPHY.
We have (repeatedly) laid out the FOUR KEY AREAS for us.
A Fair Start – a pupil premium to invest in education
Fair Taxes – cut income tax by £700 paid for by taxing the rich and polluters
Green jobs – invest in the new economy to boost the recovery
Fair Politics – clean up the corruption, fair votes, get rid of unnecessary laws
So while it seems that we MAY be able to agree with Hard Labour on "A Fair Start for Kids" and "Green Jobs", I think it will be MUCH HARDER for them to agree with us on "Fair Politics" when they have blocked reform for so long.
Remember, Hard Labour colluded with the Conservatories to get the Parliamentary Reform Bill dropped AGAIN!
Re-announcing old broken promises on referendums on voting reform means NOTHING: they've had huge majorities and thirteen years in power
IF THEY MEANT IT, THEY'D HAVE DONE SOMETHING BY NOW!
They don't REALLY want to reform the system, because a system that puts all power in the middle with as little scrutiny as possible is WHAT THEY LIKE BEST.
Hard Labour believe that THEY know what's best for people. Liberals believe that PEOPLE know what's best for PEOPLE.
It is NOT our job to tell them, cajole them, bully them or force them to do what WE think – our ONLY job is to enable them to make their own choices as freely as possible.
Liberals believe that freedom means freedom from ignorance – hence our commitment to the best education – AND freedom from poverty – hence our commitment to fair taxes – AND freedom from OTHER people telling them what to do – which means protection from powerful vested interests whether they are big business or big unions or a big Government.
Gods who descend from Olympus are EXACTLY the sort of people we exist to oppose!