Last Saturday, on the Fair Votes street stall, one topic cropped up in a discussion with a passer by that must have been discussed countless times since the start of the coalition.
It was basically whether the Lib Dem’s had made the right choices about length of agreement and given away too much to the Tories.
My view, as friends on Twitter will know, is that there was no choice but to follow the line we did and we knew it would be painful.
On the subject of the Barnsley by-election there can be no hiding the disappointment of coming 6th, but does that mean I will change my point of view?
Not in the slightest…
Labour won a dead cert seat on a turnout of 36% (which as someone on Twitter today pointed out that this flies in the face of Labour Peers who wanted a 40% margin for AV!!). Hardly a resounding victory, more of an irrelevance. The people of Barnsley interviewed on BBC (hand chosen?) blamed everything on Lib Dem’s, not a mention that Labour got us into this mess, no surprise there. There was also no comment in the BBC report about the Tories coming third (a positive note that Libdem’s are more relevant than the Conservatives?).
This is no time for losing nerve, but a time to stick together, remember our identity and fight for our values. If the press and the people of Barnsley think we are out for the count (pun intended), they should think again!!
As I said to the gentleman last Saturday on the coalition, we will have to suffer some pain at first, but ultimately it WILL make us stronger.
If anything Barnsley has strengthened my resolve, not diminished it.
I am still a Liberal Democrat!!!!
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