...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Day 3411: Change of Face or Change for Good?


That’s the choice that faces you tomorrow. Will you vote for a superficial facelift on the Labservative in Number Ten, or will you vote to blow the doors right off the box?

For the Liberal Democrats, there are our four key principles; for Mr Balloon there’s his “big tent society”.

Look around for the kind of changes Mr Balloon thinks his “big tent society” will make, you see him squawking from posters everywhere: “let’s bring back national service”, “let’s cut benefits for the poor”, “let’s roll up the drawbridge”.

That sounds like a CHANGE all right. A change BACK to the era of privilege for the few and poverty for the rest.

What does “change” REALLY mean?

Do you want REAL CHANGE in education?

The Liberal Democrats will raise two-and-a-half billion pounds for a pupil premium, to ensure that the kids who are least well-off will get the same amount of investment as pupils in private schools, the investment that will let schools cut class sizes, invest in more one-to-one tuition, give everyone the best possible start.

Liberal Democrats believe that the opportunity to learn should be available to everyone; learning is a good in and of itself, as well as for the opportunities that it opens up. Only the Liberal Democrats will abolish tuition fees. We have a plan to phase them out over six years, starting with third year fees so everyone who is a student this September will benefit.

The Conservatories will… er… leave you to sort out the school yourself.

Do you want REAL CHANGE in your tax?

Only the Liberal Democrats are offering a radical redistribution of tax from the very well off to those on lower and middle incomes. Paying no tax on the first ten thousand pounds you earn will make a REAL difference to millions of workers. The rich will pay more, that’s only fair, in order that we can reduce the burden that most people have to pay. We know that it’s going to be difficult for EVERYONE as we try to rescue the country from all the debts that Mr Frown has run up, so we want to start off by sharing out the tax system a bit more fairly so that everyone feels that we ARE in this together.

The Conservatories will… er… cut your tax if you’re a dead millionaire.

Do you want REAL CHANGE for the economy?

The Liberal Democrats will invest for new green jobs, converting former shipyards to build the wind turbines that we will need for renewable green energy. Liberal Democrats will address the shocking shortage of affordable housing by paying to bring thousands of disused and abandoned homes back into use; and we want to make the tax system MORE FAIR to people renovating homes by shifting some of the VAT that they would otherwise pay to new build homes. And above all we want to make the banks start lending again, with tough action to cut down on the OBSCENE bonuses and new laws to split up your high street bank from the casino bankers in the City who caused so much damage.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for Mr Dr Vince as Chancellor, Britain’s most trusted politician, with years of experience as chief economist for Shell as well as his time as Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, he is the most honest of all the Parties’ economic spokespeople – yes, the IFS said that 75% of the cuts in our plans still had to be explained… but we SAID that up front, we admitted that until there has been a full Spending Review, we don’t KNOW how bad the situation is, no one does. That’s why we want ALL politicians to put aside differences in the National interest and work together to tackle the budget deficit.

There’s got to be a BETTER way of doing this than just shouting at each other across the House of Commons.

The Conservatories will…er… put Gideon Oboe in charge!

Do you want REAL CHANGE in the way we do politics?

The Liberal Democrats are the ONLY Party with a consistent and principled position on reform of voting, and parliament, and the House of Lords, and freedom of information, and free speech, and protesting outside Parliament, and…

You KNOW that the system is broken, you KNOW that the system leads to lazy MPs and corrupt MPs and rubbish MPs who do what the whips say not what their constituents want.

Patronage STARTS with safe seats. You do the right favour for the right people and you get a safe seat and a job for life. And “the right people” aren’t “the voters” but someone on the Party committee.

Get rid of the safe seats and we START to root out the patronage, the favours, the backroom deals and threats, that has poisoned our politics.

Mr Balloon warns against “voting tactically”, but ONLY the Liberal Democrats want to change the system so that you NEVER have to vote tactically again.

Mr Balloon says that the current voting system lets you throw out the government. Well tell that to a voter in Richmond (Conservatory majority: 17,807 – where 40% of the voters have NO SAY AT ALL

The Conservatories idea of “change” is to redraw the boundaries in their own favour, to cut the number of MPs who might hold their government to account. (Reducing the number of MPs without making the system more representative just makes more and bigger safer seats.)

Will the Liberal Democrats do better under a FAIRER voting system? Well YES, but that doesn’t make it WRONG.

Greens and Libertarians and Christian Democrats and Monster Raving Loonies and Animal Rights Campaigners and Pirates and Cornish Separatists and Socialists and yes even the fruitloops from UKIP will ALL do better under a fairer system.

And above all YOU will do better out of a fairer system, because whoever you vote for, you’ll have a better chance of having your voice heard in Parliament. You will do better from a system that doesn’t EXCLUDE voices, that doesn’t FORCE all the politicians to SOUND THE SAME just to appeal to the swing voters in the key marginals.

In fact the ONLY people who’ll do WORSE are the Old Labersvatives who’ve been COLLUDING to keep you out of power for SIXTY-FIVE YEARS.

Liberal Democrats do BADLY under this system because our support is EVERYWHERE, rather than concentrated in a few small areas. Doesn’t that mean we represent the WHOLE COUNTRY, rather than just the SPECIAL INTERESTS of Hard Labour’s inner city ghettos or the Conservatory’s hereditary squires of the shires?

Only the Liberal Democrats will put YOU back in charge: fair votes, no safe seats, the right to kick out your MP, more power local government, more power over your local health and education

The Conservatories will… er… NOT change the system.

That’s right, the Conservatories idea of “change” is NO CHANGE AT ALL.

Tomorrow is the General Election.

The Liberal Democrats are better placed than EVER BEFORE. Don’t let the polls put you off – if you look at the DETAIL, we are WAY WAY up on where we were in 2005. If you look at the crowds of people who turn up to hear Captain Clegg speak you can see that something has given HOPE back to people. Unlike the Labservatives the Lib Dems just don’t have enough staffers and party workers to fake this kind of thing – those are REAL PEOPLE turning out in HUGE numbers to hear a politician, a POLITICAN(!) tell them that they CAN make a difference. On the ground and online this is MASSIVE and it is REAL.

Hard Labour know that it’s all over. They can’t even agree on the strategy for damage limitation any more, is it vote Labservaitiev, or vote tactically? Who cares.

Vote for change, vote for REAL change, not a airbrushing of the old, vote for something really new.

Vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Thank you!


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