Sunday, 12 December 2010

It's Like Being Told There's No Santa

This is a snippet of the conversation that took place between LibDem MP John Hemming and Radio 4’s always brilliant Eddie Mair on Tuesday’s PM. Mr Hemming’s constituency office had been occupied by student protesters who where more than a little pissy about his party’s U-turn over their definite pledge not to increase tuition fee,

EM: How are you going to vote on Thursday?
JH: At the moment I’m very likely to vote for the increase simply because we cannot reward the bad behaviour from today. I have … [interrupted]
EM: Just a second. Part of your thinking might be to punish protesters?
JH: The problem you’ve got is this. If you reward this form of behaviour, if it has any effect which is a positive effect, you’re encouraging the behaviour in the future.
EM: Part of the reason you’re going to reach your decision is based on the protests?
JH: Part of the reason has to be based on the protests because I cannot allow that to influence me in any favourable manner whatsoever.

And that was it; if you’d have listened very carefully you could have hear my heart breaking.
I have hung on as long as I could and have tried to understand their role within the coalition but I just couldn’t do it any more. I am no longer a Liberal Democrat.
Well, in spirit I am I suppose but in a direct, financial, card carrying way I am not. I have cancelled my membership of the party.  I still share many of the goals and ideas that the grass roots members hold dear but I feel that we all have been let down/betrayed by the leadership.
 I did not vote for and give money to a party that wanted raise tuition fees, part privatise vast sections of the NHS, make massive cuts in public spending (including welfare cuts, cuts in local council budgets, rise in state pension age and, oddly for Tories, cuts in Defence spending), constantly attack, undermine and take money from the BBC, sell off forests and not punish bankers who got us into this position in the first place (I mean a 0.05% levy is nothing, 0.75% would pay off the deficit) yet that is what they are enabling the Tories to do.
  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the party is a collection of people with different ideas and points of view and that it is not there just for me and it’s not as if I signed up to all of their ideas 100% but I definitively did not vote for the Conservative party which is what we have. I struggle to find any LibDem influence on the policies of the coalition.
 I want to make it clear that this is not just a childish, knee jerk or petulant reaction to the situation but it is a consider action, the tuition fees debacle was just the cherry on top of a less than tasty looking cake and Mr Hemming was the straw that broke this mixed metaphor’s back.
 This brings a new problem, who to vote for next time? Suggestions on a postcard please.

To cheer myself up, let’s do some awards,

The Award for Worst Short Cut of the Week,

This has to go to who ever decided that it might be a good idea to take Charles and Camilla home from the Royal Verity Performance through the middle of a riot.


They didn’t look happy, although they had just seen Michael McIntyre and Cheryl Cole so what can you expect?

The Award for Best Use of Police Time of the Week,

We keep being told that we face multiple terror treats from absolutely everywhere but, as usual, we look without rather than within. Thank the Lord then for the police of Oxfordshire. These dedicated officers are never taking their collective eyes off of the metaphoric ball.
 What dedicated cell of terrorist fundamentalists have they broken? Was it Al-Qaida, the Real IRA or ETA? Umm, no, it is the type that advertises it’s self on Facebook and is organised by a 12 year old of course.
 Nicky Wishart, a pupil at Bartholomew School, Eynsham was interviewed by Thames Valley police and the school was contacted anti-terrorism after he was planning to picket David Cameron's constituency office.
 He was taken out of his lessons and, speaking to the Guardian, said: "In my lesson, [a school secretary] came and said my head of year wanted to talk to me. She was in her office with a police officer who wanted to talk to me about the protest. He said, 'if a riot breaks out we will arrest people and if anything happens you will get arrested because you are the organiser'."He said even if I didn't turn up I would be arrested and he also said that if David Cameron was in, his armed officers will be there 'so if anything out of line happens ...' and then he stopped."
Scaring 12 year olds, nice, you must be very proud of yourselves. Sleep soundly in your beds British citizens of the UK because your Police force is here to protect you (by abusing their power, illegally, possibly, interviewing a child and insinuating threats of violence).

In the run up to Christmas time is precious (my mince pie production line takes up a lot of time) and this is true for nearly all of us so not much blogging or podcasting for a little while. There will definitely be no blog next Sunday because we will be in that London. We are seeing Robin Ince’s 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People on Saturday evening and are very much looking forward to it.
Have a lovely week.

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