I read with interest Vince Cable’s analysis of the Lib Dems’ performance in the General Election (Voices, 14 December) as both a life long liberal and party member. I think he should have looked back at the party’s history since its formation in 1988 to understand why the electorate don’t support this centrist party. Both Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy helped to take this party from 19 MPs to 62 MPs with 22 per cent of the vote. They did this by sticking to their Liberal principles always.
Nick Clegg hungry for power went into coalition with the Conservatives without drawing enough red lines or even sticking to them. The electorate would have respected the party if they had supported a minority Conservative government when they could. For me the electorate has not forgiven the party for ditching principles for power.
How much more evidence do the hard left of the Labour Party need. Their purist stance amounts to naked idealism. The British electorate will never endorse extreme policies of whatever shade. If they are so confident why not be honest.
Let Jon Lansman bravely take his Momentum cult out of the Labour Party and form his own party. I think even he is pragmatic enough to have learned from this nostalgic flirtation with extreme left wing politics.
A united kingdom
For all the hoop-la that accompanied the election result in Scotland, it’s quite clear most Scots voted for parties that favour remaining in the UK and it’s only the first-past-the-post system that has empowered the minority group of nationalists.
Whatever Nicola Sturgeon may care to claim, the result confirms there’s been little change since 2014.
The fact is, many SNP candidates mostly omitted her central policy from their campaign literature and it’s hard to see the results as a green light for breaking up the UK when so many distanced themselves from the idea when appealing to voters.
Rev Dr John Cameron
Intransigence and vacillation
Many who were undecided about how to vote in the general election chose what they saw as the least bad option. They weren’t so much pro-Boris Johnson as anti the others.
Jo Swinson was foolhardy in allowing Boris Johnson’s demand for an election, Her claim that if she were to become prime minister she would immediately revoke Article 50 incurred accusations that she was undemocratic. Her refusal to accept Jeremy Corbyn as PM under any circumstances closed the door on cross-party cooperation to unite the Remain vote. She insisted on putting forward a candidate to oppose Labour’s Rosie Duffield, even when the local Lib Dem candidate stood down.
Jeremy Corbyn’s far-left leanings frightened people. He tried to please Leave and Remain, and persistently declined to express his true views. Her intransigence and his vacillation must have made significant contributions to the large Tory majority.
Last Thursday around 44 per cent per cent of voters supported Boris Johnson’s party. He has more than 56 per cent of the seats in parliament, but more than 56 per cent of us voted against him.
In the 2016 referendum the ratio of Leavers to Remainers was about 52:48. It seems that we, the people, have changed our mind since 2016 and have spoken rather more loudly than we did then.
But now, with his 80-seat majority, courtesy of our undemocratic first-past-the-post voting system the narcissistic Mr Johnson can now do whatever he will.
We should be very afraid.
It’s a volte farce. The Conservatives are now the party of the working man while Labour is the party of the metropolitan middle class.
It could have been a lot worse, at least we still have a thin red line and a sturdy yellow gate against the blue hordes of populism. I wonder if Workington man will still love Boris tomorrow after his mortgage and tax increases, his hospitals and schools crumble and his heating, food bills, fuel and transport costs rise on a daily basis.
Finally we got what a majority were persuaded to vote for.
Brexit, with a better deal than we would have had as a member of the EU. Plus a big increase in expenditure on all public services but with tax cuts.
I’m off to the golf club to resign, but am sure I can negotiate a deal where they will let me play when I want without paying much. Also might go part time and buy a bigger house.
Wish me luck – and just to think, Labour’s promises were considered obviously unrealistic.
I hope I’m wrong.