It would have been so easy this week to write a blog about the CSR’s rights and wrongs, or how it may affect people around me.
Rather than concentrate on whether the CSR was progressive, or regressive, whether it benefits families, men over women, rich over poor, whether the BBC bias was wrong for only featuring negative points etc. etc. I have decided to look at CSR from a different view.
The view I have chosen is how to approach from a Lib Dem point of view.
I don’t really need to say, but Lib Dem’s are part of the Coalition Government, and as such have to bear a part of the outcome of the CSR and its ramifications. I am sure that had the Lib Dem’s not had a hand in the CSR, it would not have been the same one as we heard from the Chancellor this week. I’ll leave you to cogitate on the sort of CSR we would have had.
There appears to be some sort of divide in the Liberal Democrat Party over some announcements, which I for one regret. I also think that questioning Nick Clegg’s leadership is for another day. The Parliament term is yet young, at the end of the five years is when to judge, let’s see how Lib Dem’s can influence the Coalition over that period.
My main thoughts then are, how would Lib Dem’s have approached the CSR if looking at it from opposition, purely hypothetical, of course. Would some members of the Party be calling Nick Clegg a Tory? Would Nick Clegg agree with ALL the Coalition’s policies?
The answer to both those questions is NO.
It is no because he would be following the Lib Dem Manifesto and not the Coalition Agreement and thereby lies the problem. I am sure that in Opposition he would have stuck to promises made in and around the manifesto, which would have appeased all/most sides of the Party. Unfortunately that option is not open to him.
The ‘grassroots’ of the Party can and should follow ‘tradition’. Yes there should be multiple wings of any Party and I make no secret of the fact that I am closer to the OB’s than the left. I do NOT however consider myself a Tory puppet. My support is for the Lib Dem’s in the Coalition as I consider that the best outcome for the Country, at this time. Yes, remind the leadership of Lib Dem roots and core beliefs, yes hold the leadership to task, but there is only so much than can give, within the Agreement.
So think again, what would the CSR have been like if Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Vince Cable et al had NOT been involved in the Coalition process?
I think we know!! Liberal Democrats would have opposed it, vigourously, but then it’s easy to criticise from Opposition…
So although we probably don’t agree with all of the CSR (although reports I have read the majority of public see it as necessary) at least it has a Lib Dem influence in it.