Andrew Adonis wrote an opinion piece for The Independent a couple of days ago in which he claimed that it is "madness" for the centre-left vote to be split between the Lib-Dems and Labour.
The Lib Dems have no realistic chance to implement their programme without a Labour government. In Labour-Tory marginals, a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote which helps the Tories against progressive policies. And in Labour-Lib Dem marginals every Labour MP returned is a seat in the Commons more likely to put Labour ahead of the Tories and therefore better placed to form a government.
So he is essentially saying that Lib-Dem voters in Lib-Dem/Labour marginals are more likely to get what they want in terms of policies by voting Labour.
What absolute unmitigated bullshit. Here are just a few policies off the top of my head that have been pursued and actions that have been performed in the last few years by this Labour government that me as a liberal and progressive have been utterly disgusted by:
- Detention without trial for 28 days (and attempts to up this to respectively 90 days and then 42 days).
- Anti-terror legislation that is so wide-ranging that it leads to people regularly being stopped from taking photographs in public places and for an elderly man to be ejected from a Labour Party conference for voicing his opinion on policy.
- Sacking Professor David Nutt for giving his honest opinion about drug harms, and the entire completely non-evidence based and tabloid headline led policy on drugs.
- Complete failure to reform the voting system for Westminster. They've had 13 years and all we now have is a vague commitment to something which isn't even proportional. In the next parliament.
- The Digitial Economy Bill or Act as we now have to call it. A travesty of a bill that rides roughshod over all sort of rights and progressive principles and includes measures that amount to "group punishment", i.e. terminating an internet connection that may be used and needed by many because of the actions of one.
- Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.
The idea that all this and much, much more can just be ignored by liberal minded voters is laughable. If voters are deserting Labour it is because they have forfeited the right to their votes. The truth is, in Lib-Dem/Labour marginals it is the duty of liberal minded voters to ensure that a Labour MP who will likely blindly vote for whatever illiberal policies his/her party leadership decide to pursue to make sure that this does not happen. The way to do that is to vote Lib Dem.
It would be madness to do anything else.