Today a friend shared a link to a Facebook page from 'Vote of No Confidence in the UK Coalition'. I have read the link but initially I didn't get past the first sentence as it began with 'why is our unelected government...?' I replied to him on my Facebook page that this is the first government since WWII in which the majority of votes have gone to the MPs in power. The reply came back that if this is the case then we need full electoral reform - we agreed immediately! He did go on to write that constituents in the neighbouring Westmorland and Lonsdale 'got a Tory government they didn't vote for'. I am sure that Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP in that constituency, would disagree and so do I (and so does the Facebook group if the title is anything to go by).
I did check the Facebook site for the vote of no confidence group and I suppose they were bound to respond to my comment about the 'unelected government' as it strikes at the heart of their raison d'etre. They wrote 'Michael,
it is a coalition in name only, and as for them being elected, they
weren't. Neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems won enough seats to govern,
so the Tories did a dodgy deal with the Lib Dems and took power without
the permission of the people, the majority of whom would have rather
seen the election voided and another taken...'
If this Facebook group has no confidence in the coalition and wish to undermine the government then where do they place their confidence? Is it that they are Labour supporters but feel they have more gravitas without a direct link? Are they supporters of Russell Brand's revolution? Are they simply trying to stir things up? If they are Labour supporters then wouldn't it be more honest (that's an adjective not often associated with politicians) to own up to it? Whoever they are they certainly haven't grasped the idea of full electoral reform.
I am sure that the Liberal Democrats are playing a large part in Government - too large for many Tories. David Cameron told us that we couldn't raise the tax threshold. Would anyone deny that this is a Liberal Democrat policy? We have the steady hand of Vince Cable in the Treasury. The Secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change is the Liberal Democrat Ed Davey. Haven't the Tories given up on the green agenda so Liberal Democrats can lay claim to these policies too.If you want to know how many Tory policies have been scuppered then I believe that David Cameron has a little black book of them. No O' Levels or two-tier education system. No profit-making schools. No inheritance tax cuts for millionaires. No ditching of the human rights act. No 'go home' poster vans...
As much as the Facebook group would like to support Labour, they can't claim success on these and many other issues because they are the opposition. Labour has no power. It is quite refreshing to write that after years of having this criticism labelled at the Liberal Democrats but I write this not with a sense of hubris but because of unfounded criticism. If this Facebook group really want to undermine the government then they have to tell us about a better alternative and if they want to do so objectively then they have to list the successes too and how the coalition had to deal with an economy which was profoundly unbalanced. My friend got it right immediately. We need full electoral reform.Why am I thinking that this is not on the agenda for the Facebook group?
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