Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I have to disagree....

.. with my colleagues.

Today's Daily Post carries a story about an e mail sent by some members of the Liverpool Lib Dems to Nick Clegg about negotiations with other parties.

The e mail comes from a meeting of Executive Board members - a meeting I couldn't get to.

The thrust of the story is that we are asking Nick Clegg not to deal with the Conservatives because of the possible electoral consequences for council seats in Liverpool.

Now I hold no brief for the Tories or Labour. I dislike both. They both have policies which in my view are extremely harmful. Labour for example has persisted with the appalling ID card scheme. And the Conservatives seem to want to make cuts before the economy has had a chance to recover (putting us at potential risk of a deeper recession)

However I believe that what Nick Clegg and his team decide to do should be based on what is best for the country and what delivers the best deal in terms of our Lib Dem policies. This isn't about whether people like Paula Keaveney are put at electoral risk, it's about getting as many of our core policies and principles into Government while preventing as many wrong headed policies as possible from being implemented.

Our four key points in our manifesto for the General Election were

* fair taxes (including raising the tax threshold to £10,000)
* job creation through a Greener economy (including breaking up banks and investing in green growth)
* smaller class sizes in schools and a Pupil Premium for schools where pupils are struggling
* cleaner politics including fair votes, a freedom bill and the right to sack corrupt MPs

Now we won't get all of that. But we can get some. And that is what Nick and his team should be and are negotiating on.

And before anyone asks - no that doesn't mean I am supporting a deal with the Conservatives. It simply means that given the huge issues at stake I think electoral considerations should not be the basis on which a decision is made.

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