I’m not deliberately avoiding the subjects of the Mansion Tax or the quiet dropping of the commitment to the EU Referendum. I’m not trying to hide our Lib Dem Policies ’404′ shame. I just think… I think I’m about to crack. I may have reached the point of ‘had enough’.
Perhaps it’s the weather – it’s dark at 4:30 now, and it’s freezing outside. Tends to drag one down a little. Or maybe its the cumulative effects of things like this, taken from the ‘Pocket Guide to Lib Dem Policies’:
We are the only party who will put money into people’s pockets with fair tax cuts, the only party to offer universal chidcare [sic] and smaller classes in our primary schools, the only party who would use Gordon Brown’s wasted billions to create thousands of jobs today by investing in homes, hospitals, schools and public transport to build the green economy of tomorrow, the only party that will rebuild the jobs, homes and hopes this recession has destroyed.
All I see when I read something like that is an ambitious platform of economic planning, which I utterly deplore, attempting to nurture the economy back to growth through ‘good’ public spending (as opposed to Labour’s ‘bad’ public spending, obviously).
It’s the exact opposite of what I believe – in fact, in tone at least, I find it hard to believe there’s any social democratic or democratic socialist party in Europe that wouldn’t happily subscribe to that manifesto or something very similar. The inescapable reality is that the liberal movement to which I am truly loyal exists in name only (or, sadly, in the bars and pubs surrounding Lib Dem party conferences.)
The adventurous, insatiable hungering drive for liberty, for free trade and free minds, to allow society to become whatever the individuals within make of it? As far as mainstream politics goes that idea is dead. Reds, Red Tories or Red Liberal – take your pick.
It’s not just the Lib Dems that need sorting out. It’s the whole political system and, sadly, the emphasis on voting systems and financial propriety don’t impress me much at all when on the other hand Lib Dems seem to seek the power to dictate the destiny of the British economy for our own good.
So can I keep doing what I’ve been doing, trying to change the party from the inside? The short answer is no. I can’t keep on like this. See, the ‘Lib Dem’ badge I carry on this blog is more than just a label. It’s a community to which I belong – a community that I’m actually rather fond of – actual friends and things. People I respect, admire and like. And the problem with that is the closer you get, the more you build these friendships, the harder and harder it becomes to remain objective and honest. I’ve fallen into the same trap politicians everywhere seem to fall into.
I have, very quietly and almost without realising, been smothered with love. It’s caused me to hold my tongue and pull my punches and I’m starting to feel like a fraud, like I’ve lost the thing that made this blog worth writing – not being a tribal loyalist.
It’s choking my blogging – the ratio of ‘drafts’ to ‘published’ is getting worse as I abandon post after post. I’ve started worrying about what people think which, for me, is the most unforgivable crime in blogging of them all. What is blogging for if it’s not honest?
So the sad, miserable truth is that my time as a Lib Dem blogger is coming to an end. I don’t know if this means leaving the party or just pulling out of libdemblogs.co.uk and changing the graphics but I’ll figure it out.