Lib-Con deal: support but also real anger among Lib Dem grassroots

Some Liberal Democrats have voiced concern, over the eagerness with which their leaders gave life to a Tory government and the consequences for themselves.

Though the establishment Lib Dem bloggers have fallen into line with the parliamentary party and the Federal Executive – only one member of which dissented – some Liberal Democrats have voiced concern, over the eagerness with which their leaders propelled David Cameron into Downing Street and the potential consequences for their electoral future.

Both Liberal Democrat Voice and Liberal Vision have given enthusiastic support to the coalition deal, as has leading Lib Dem blogger and Left Foot Forward contributor Mark Thompson, who felt it was “realistically the best outcome for the party and the country”.

The reaction of Lib Dem councillor Nich Starling, however, was one of anger and disgust:

Do I want to remain in a party that goes in to a full coalition with the Tories?… So much of me wants to just give up on the party, but in many ways, that is what our parliamentary party has done… Someone has to carry the torch for the Lib Dems, so I will, in all probably stay on.”

Cllr Starling, aka “Norfolk Blogger”, also asks “How many reasons do we need not to sit with the Tories? How many good reason do we need to know the Tories are not the people we want to sit with?”:

1) Homophobia – The Tories have consistently had problems with homophobia amongst their ranks. Chris Grayling started it all off again recently by claiming that B&B owners ought to be able to refuse to have gay peoiple staying in their establishments. Then we had the Tory PPC who set up a prayer group to use the power of religion to stop people geing gay. Need I go on and list all the others?…

2) Nadine Dorries – The twitter account deletion does not hide the fact that she calls people who are pro choice “Dr Death” and has numerous other issues that are totally incompatible with anyone who sees “fairness” as a core principles of their beliefs.

3) Voting reform – AV is not PR. Can I repeat that, AV IS NOT PR!

4) Murdoch – I always see it as a good rule of thumb that if Murdoch supports it, we ought to be against it.

5) Iraq – Let’s not forget, the Tories were more supportive of the idea of invading Iraq than Labour were.

6) The NHS – In leaflets distributed by the Lib Dems in the general election, we were apparently to be very afraid of the Tories gettinh their hands on the NHS as they would wreck it. Not my words, but those of the Lib Dems.

7) Non Doms – MPs who are Non-Doms, multi millionaire backers who are Non-Doms. Should I go on?

8) Flippers – Remember how many Tory MPs and Tory front benchers flipped their mortgages in order to gain the maximum amount from their expenses ? No Lib Dems did it. We were proud of that, but we’ll sit with those who do.

9) Cleaning up parliament – How many of Cameron’s front bench supported plans to reform parliamentary expenses before the expenses scandal broke? Would it surprise people that a majhority didn’t support reform?

10) Trident – Apparently we need a cold war weapons system?

He also tweeted:

“So all the lib dem negotiation team get cabinet posts. No wonder they were keen to support a deal. Ministerial cars seem so appealing!”


“It’s electoral suicide and in the long term the death of the party. We won’t get PR as murdoch will see to that.”

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