Home > Uncategorized > Why I joined the Liberal Democrats

Why I joined the Liberal Democrats


I joined the Liberal Democrat party less than a year ago & people i meet ask why i joined especially people who are angry at the government cuts.

I don’t agree with everything the government is doing but then with a coalition government I wouldn’t expect to.

So why did I join the Liberal Democrats, i hear you ask. I’ve always been a liberal democrat supporter ever since i learned about the parties when i was about 12 (2000).

I’ve always been a democrat & always believed that meant proportional representation although I’ve always been against party lists as that hands more power to the parties & not the people. I’ve always believed in house of Lords reform, power of recall, i’ve believed in devolution although i thought that the Labour government went about it wrong. Their biggest mistake was to do devolution in a nationalistic way instead of emphasising the union. Believed that we the people should be able to get something debated in parliament.

I’ve also always been a liberal. I’ve never liked being told what to do by anyone, whether it be a teacher, my parents or the state. I grew up in what can only be called a liberal democratic household. I was involved in deciding where I went to school, was involved in deciding what i believed when it came to religion despite my mother being roman catholic, she decided to almost go against her religions practices and allow my siblings & I to decide whether we wanted to be Christian or not.

The 5 days in May of 2010 sent me on an emotional rollercoaster, I like many who supported Liberal Democrats who looked at the possibility of the different options were torn. For me, it wasn’t between heart and head. Both my heart & head were torn between the options. I felt the Tories might be good for UK as a whole but bad for Scotland & if bad for Scotland possibly bad for the union. There was a moment in those 5 days, where i was wanting Scottish independence if the Tories formed the government (Still haven’t ruled it out). Whilst, I didn’t want the Tories in government, I really didn’t want Gordon Brown to stay as Prime Minister & i didn’t want another unelected Prime Minister (yes, i know we don’t vote for the PM). I didn’t want the authoritarian Labour party in office. For a liberal party to go into coalition with an authoritarian party is just as much selling out as a party of the left to go into coalition with the right, which for me was just adding to my confusion. I really do not envy Nick Clegg, the parliamentary party, the federal executive, the membership for the decision they had to make in May.

I have to admit, I did delve into the idea of being a Labour supporter but while I share their social aims, I can’t support their authoritarian stance. At the end of the day, I am not Labour, i’m far too liberal to be Labour.

Why did I join instead of sit on the sidelines? I wanted to be involved. I wanted to help shape the future. I’d had enough of sitting on the sidelines, watching but not involved. The reason that can be best described by the West Wing:

President Josiah Bartlet: There’s a promise that I ask everyone who works here to make: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?
Will Bailey: Because it’s the only thing that ever has.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Cat
    April 3, 2011 at 02:20

    “For a liberal party to go into coalition with an authoritarian party is just as much selling out as a party of the left to go into coalition with the right, which for me was just adding to my confusion.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Since when has the Conservative party been a bastion of liberalism? They were the party that introduced the six acts, ffs. Have you heard of Michael Howard? He was the right wing home secretary that said “prison works”, the bloke who on the advice of his then spad (David Cameron) started introducing CCTV in city centres.

    To say that Labour is an authoritarian party in the same way that the tories are a right wing party is more than a little stupid or delusional.

    • April 3, 2011 at 11:21

      Labour are more authoritarian than the Tories. You seem to be forgetting there is a big libertarian/liberal faction of the Tories. Saying “prison works” doesn’t mean your authoritarian. Liberalism is about individual freedom as long as you don’t harm others if you do you can be thrown in prison. If prison becomes a college of crime then clearly we need to do something else.
      CCTV in itself is not authoritarian as it is there to catch the people who harm others but if there is an excessive amount of CCTV cameras & is being used in the wrong way.
      Your forgetting that Labour introduced more & more CCTV, ID cards, all those databases & lets not forget that Scottish Labour have just introduced a policy that will ban people from drinking and create a behaviour contract. These things won’t work as i point out in this post
      Any party that can come up with this, i don’t want to be part of.

  2. Cat
    April 3, 2011 at 13:44

    “Labour are more authoritarian than the Tories.”

    Hardly, you seem to forget the authoritarian laws passed by the tory government before 97 restricting the freedom of movement and freedom of expression. If the tories had been in power while 9/11 and 7/7 had happened they would have passed equally authoritarian anti-terrorism laws. The tories supported many of the illiberal anti-terror powers Labour introduced. And for all Cleggs crowing about his freedom bill, what is actually in it? Before the election Clegg repeatedly stated his opposition to control orders, saying only total repeal would do and what’s happened? Bugger all, control orders have been re-named TPIMs with over night curfews being replaced with over night residency requirements.

    Which party finally integrated the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law? Which party wants to repeal the ECHR and replace with a much watered down bill of rights?

    “You seem to be forgetting there is a big libertarian/liberal faction of the Tories”

    No, I’m not forgetting because there isn’t one. You’re imagining the “big” liberal wing of the tories, there are a few such as David Davis but his conversion to civil liberties is more to do with his loathing of Cameron than anything else. The tories are all for economic liberalism, allowing business to do what it wants, reducing employment regulations, etc.

    What about the liberal wing of the Labour Party? Why was 90 days detention defeated in the HoC, because enough Labour MPs voted against it. Why was 42 days defeated, because enough Labour peers voted against it.

    “Saying “prison works” doesn’t mean your authoritarian.”

    LOL! What is more authoritarian than depriving an individual of their liberty, other than executing them? It is particularly illiberal since prison doesn’t work.

    “CCTV in itself is not authoritarian as it is there to catch the people who harm others but if there is an excessive amount of CCTV cameras & is being used in the wrong way.”

    So, basically you’re all for big brother only you think he should behave in a slightly different way.

    “Your forgetting that Labour introduced more & more CCTV, ID cards, all those databases ”

    But you just said CCTV was okay, make your mind up. Do you have an ID card? I don’t they were never introduced and would have been dropped or cut back severely if they’d ever really got close to implementation.

    ” lets not forget that Scottish Labour have just introduced a policy that will ban people from drinking and create a behaviour contract. These things won’t work as i point out in this post”

    From your rather childish blog post the plan doesn’t seem all bad. Take the behaviour contracts, it seems from cursory examination that these are meant to help deal with problem neighbours. You said previously that “Liberalism is about individual freedom as long as you don’t harm others” well having experienced it, problem neighbours can be extremely harmful both physically and emotionally. Have you ever experienced a neighbour who repeatedly slams their front door at all hours? That when asked politely to stop just increases the frequency of the slamming, that immediately after the council are involved starts phoning you at all hours then plays extremely loud music all night. Your childish and uncaring response is “In fact, I would probably act up and be even more anti-social if anyone tried to force me to sign a behaviour contract.” – Basically you need to grow up, this isn’t something that every citizen is going to have to sign but it meant for the hardcore bullies that think only about themselves. That think it is their god given right to do as they wish and ignore everyone else.

    • April 3, 2011 at 14:11

      First of all your twisting my words. Saying prison works is like saying the naughty step works, they are effectively the same thing on a different scale. I did say it was illiberal because they didn’t work because they had become colleges of crime. Lots of prisons these days have better standards of life than people outside so it isn’t really taking away much.

      I don’t want big brother, no but the CCTV cameras are there to catch criminals, so CCTV cameras should be restricted.

      I have experienced neighbours who slam front doors at all hours. I live in Halls of residence on the second floor near the security gate so I have metal banging on metal at every possible hour. I have drunken & sometimes screeching students when i’m trying to sleep. The reason I would act up, is not because i don’t care but because it would be funny & that the neighbour is being annoying & ridiculous by making me sign a behaviour contract. I don’t think i’ll ever sign a behaviour contract, coz i do take into account other people’s feelings & i’m not anti-social. If they had come to me personally, i would have stopped or tried to reduce the problem.

      I recognise its only for those types of people but slapping them with a behaviour contract won’t help, in fact it will only aggravate the problem.

  3. Cat
    April 3, 2011 at 16:29

    @Nicola

    “First of all your twisting my words.”

    No I’m pointing out the total inconsistencies and incoherence of your argument. Basically, your only opinion is the anti-Labour opinion.

    “Saying prison works is like saying the naughty step works, they are effectively the same thing on a different scale.”

    WTF? Trying desperately not to be too insulting but are you a simpleton? By saying “prison works” Howard moved the debate on crime and punishment further to the authoritarian right, appealed to the vindictive base instincts of voters. Rather than taking the liberal approach and

    “Lots of prisons these days have better standards of life than people outside so it isn’t really taking away much.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! WHAT?! So, prison is all loafing about playing xbox all day in your view. You don’t clue to be honest, I doubt you’d say that if you’d ever been locked in 3m by 2m cell with a paranoid schizophrenic who had grown his finger nails to about 2cm in length then filed them to a dagger sharp point. That is a true story, it took 5 prison officers in riot gear to get the schizo under control and even then he managed to get his hand under an officer’s visor and slash him just above his eyelid.

    “I live in Halls of residence”

    In that case you’ve already signed a behaviour contract with the university. Look at the terms of your tenancy agreement there will be clauses outlawing certain things – running a business, smoking in rooms, having people stay over for more than 3 nights, subletting.

    “The reason I would act up, is not because i don’t care but because it would be funny & that the neighbour is being annoying & ridiculous by making me sign a behaviour contract… If they had come to me personally, i would have stopped or tried to reduce the problem.”

    Its not that you don’t care but you think it would be funny if you became even more anti-social once you’ve been challenged about anti-social behaviour – WTF?!

    It may well be that you’re very approachable and a lovely warm person and nobody would have any issue with asking you to politely to stop whatever anti-social behaviour you’re committing. But what about when it isn’t you whose the anti-social neighbour? What if the anti-social neighbour is a 6ft drug addict and the neighbour is a dear old lady, would you be okay if your kindly old grandma had to ask the druggie to stop selling crack in the early hours?

    I think, hopefully, when you’ve lived outside of the cotton wool world of the family home or halls of residence you’ll realise the world isn’t full of fluffy bunny rabbits. These behaviour contracts are meant as a sanction for problem neighbours who live in council owned accommodation. If you lived in a council house, were repeatedly anti-social and were asked to sign a behaviour contract and threaten with eviction if you broke the contract you probably wouldn’t start acting up just annoy the council.

    • April 3, 2011 at 17:07

      You are twisting my words, your truncating them to suit you.

      At the moment, Labour are more authoritarian than the Tories. The Tories aren’t completely liberal. Story you quote is absolutely terrible & probably made the schizophrenic even worse. There’s a difference between behaviour contract as a condition & a pure behaviour contract.

      First of all, i don’t have a grandma, all my grandparents are dead. The dear old lady though with a druggie neighbour is a problem but you don’t give the druggie a behaviour contract – you get him into rehab, find out where he sources his drugs from. You find out who he sells to & get them into rehab as well.

      The problem is the people, Labour intend to give the behaviour contract to, won’t respond to a behaviour contract, will either be more anti-social problems or do nothing. You need to get the people into rehab or counciling.

  4. Cat
    April 3, 2011 at 17:52

    “You are twisting my words, your truncating them to suit you.”

    No, I’m quoting sections for brevity the inconsistency and intellectual incoherence is all your own.

    “The Tories aren’t completely liberal.”

    LOL!!! You do realise that the great bastion of liberal thought the Daily Mail is the tories in house magazine?

    ” The dear old lady though with a druggie neighbour is a problem but you don’t give the druggie a behaviour contract – you get him into rehab, find out where he sources his drugs from. You find out who he sells to & get them into rehab as well.”

    Yawn, pie in the sky, fluffy bunnies and in an even more ideal world we wouldn’t have drug addicts at all. Meanwhile back in the real world what does the old lady do in the mean time?

    Actually, your solution is more illiberal than Labour’s, you want to force a drug user into re-hab thus taking away their liberty, you want to track his movements and place his acquaintances under surveillance in an effort to find out his supplier. All Labour want to do is re-enforce some concept of personal responsibility, to try and make certain problem people aware of the bounds of good behaviour.

    And what do you do if his drug of choice is alcohol? What do you do if they aren’t a drug addict just somebody who likes to annoy their neighbours, doesn’t want to control their children, etc.

    “The problem is the people, Labour intend to give the behaviour contract to, won’t respond to a behaviour contract, will either be more anti-social problems or do nothing.”

    Okay, how do you know this? Other than your belief in what your own childish and selfish reaction would be. If the person breaks their behaviour contract then there will be some punishment. If you were threatened with eviction it would probably focus your mind and stop you from being anti-social.

    ” You need to get the people into rehab or counciling.”

    What if they don’t want rehab or counselling? Like I said above your own solutions are more illiberal than Labours. Never mind that re-hab and counselling aren’t actually infallible and won’t, like behaviour contracts, work in all cases.

    I just want to go back to this quote from your previous comment.

    “Lots of prisons these days have better standards of life than people outside so it isn’t really taking away much.”

    If you are a liberal, you believe surely in individual liberty above all else yet here you basically say liberty is worth nothing and that is it better to locked up 23 hours a day and have a slightly higher standard of living than to live in shit and be free. Basically you’re arguing in favour of fascism, yet attacking Labour as authoritarian…can’t you see the inconsistency in that?

    • April 3, 2011 at 18:31

      i never said i wanted to place anyone under surveillance – you just assumed. I meant questioning the druggie to find out who his suppliers and who buys his stuff. I never once mentioned placing anyone under surveillance. If he’s an alcoholic then AA or alcohol management. A behaviour contract still won’t work on people who just annoy their neighbours or can’t control their kids perhaps if parents can’t control their kids, then point them towards sessions that teaches parents to be effective parents.

      You can’t force anyone to go to rehab or counselling but then again you can’t force anyone to change their behaviour unless they want to but you’ve got to get across to people that we’re not trying to force them into anything, we just want to help them. We have to look after each other, don’t do that by making people sign behaviour contracts. You do that by helping them.

      How do i know, people won’t respond well to it is because the people who are generally anti-social think the world is against them, behaviour contract will just prove that. At the end of the day people don’t like being told what to do. How do you know that people who are issued a behaviour contract will be in social housing so that the council can evict them? If they own the house, or aren’t in social housing, they can’t be evicted by the council.

      Behaviour contracts will never work and if you adapt re-hab, counselling for the individual person they will work most cases unlike behaviour contracts which will never work.

      Some people will choose to go to prison instead of living free.

  5. Cat
    April 4, 2011 at 00:59

    @Nicola

    ” I meant questioning the druggie to find out who his suppliers and who buys his stuff.”

    HAHAHA WTF? So what happens if the addict doesn’t want to tell you? You’re living in cloud cuckoo land with extra fluffy bunny rabbits if you believe any of your above comment.

    “You can’t force anyone to go to rehab or counselling ”

    Yes you can. Courts do it all the time, drug addicts often get ordered to provide regular samples to show they’re drug free. Same goes for counselling, mentalists can and are sectioned and forced to under go treatment.

    “but then again you can’t force anyone to change their behaviour unless they want to”

    We have these places called prisons, we spoke about them earlier, you likened to the naughty step, remember? Nasty people who are anti-social by murdering, raping, robbing other people get sent there for punishment.

    ” but you’ve got to get across to people that we’re not trying to force them into anything, we just want to help them.”

    What about victim of the anti-social behaviour? Don’t you want to help them?

    “How do you know that people who are issued a behaviour contract will be in social housing so that the council can evict them? If they own the house, or aren’t in social housing, they can’t be evicted by the council.”

    Well, if you’d actually read a little further about the plan you’d realise that the behaviour contracts are meant to be used solely by councils/housing associations, i.e. only council housing tenants will be subject to them. This is because council estates suffer badly from anti-social behaviour that turns them into sink estates.

    “adapt re-hab, counselling for the individual person they will work most cases unlike behaviour contracts which will never work.”

    HAHAHA WTF? Care to actually provide actual evidence of this, other than your own personal opinion.

    Like I said, your only opinion is anti-Labour. If Clegg came out tomorrow and said his big idea was behaviour contracts for anti-social council housing tenants you’d be convinced they’re the best thing since sliced bread. But because Labour said it you’re totally opposed.

    • April 4, 2011 at 01:13

      Now you just look like an eejit to me.

      You build the trust of the druggie that you help them & you’ll help their friends too.

      Courts can sentence you, doesn’t mean they’ll go. Plus prisons don’t change people’s behaviour. It sets them in, not for the better. If someone doesn’t want counselling or doesn’t think they need it, they will find a way to make it appear like they are changing when they aren’t. The mind is a powerful object, if people’s minds believe they are right & don’t need to change, they will see it like that.

      I care about the victim but sometimes in order to help the victim, you have to help the person who commits the crime & get them on the right path in order to not create any more victims. Its a shame Labour can’t see that.

      I’m not anti-Labour, there are Labour people I like & respect. If Clegg came out with behaviour contracts, well i’d think he was leader of the wrong party for starters & i would still hate them.

  6. Judith Brooksbank
    April 4, 2011 at 14:33

    Oh dear, Cat! You are coming across as an authoritarian and a bit of a bully. I guess you just aren’t a Liberal.

  7. Cat
    April 5, 2011 at 01:02

    @Nicola

    “Now you just look like an eejit to me.”

    Yawn. I’ve thought you were simple from the word go.

    “You build the trust of the druggie that you help them & you’ll help their friends too.”

    Cloud cuckoo land again.

    “Courts can sentence you, doesn’t mean they’ll go”

    Ermmmm courts aren’t like an over indulgent parent if a court orders you to do something, you do it or you receive some further sanction. We have this thing called the criminal justice system, its been around for a while now I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of it.

    “Plus prisons don’t change people’s behaviour. It sets them in, not for the better.”

    You said prison works earlier now they don’t, more inconsistency. In reality, to decide if prison works or not you have to first decide what you think prison is for.

    ” If someone doesn’t want counselling or doesn’t think they need it, they will find a way to make it appear like they are changing when they aren’t.”

    That’s untrue, experienced psychiatrists can usually tell when somebody is pretending or not. I don’t understand why you think problem neighbours need counselling, if they think its socially acceptable to play loud music, etc to annoy their neighbours then arbitration through a behaviour contract seems like a good tool to use before going to the stress of prosecution.

    “The mind is a powerful object, if people’s minds believe they are right & don’t need to change, they will see it like that.”

    Yes, you prove this point perfectly with your absolute belief that every you say is fact. Despite in the case of behaviour contracts not having a clue about what they actually are.

    “I care about the victim but sometimes in order to help the victim, you have to help the person who commits the crime & get them on the right path in order to not create any more victims.”

    That is exactly what behaviour contracts are about, they are showing the perpetrator the bounds of socially acceptable behaviour.

    “Its a shame Labour can’t see that.”

    LOL again anti-Labour drivel.

    “I’m not anti-Labour, there are Labour people I like & respect. If Clegg came out with behaviour contracts, well i’d think he was leader of the wrong party for starters & i would still hate them.”

    I’m glad you said that because if you look at this libdem policy briefing note ( http://bit.ly/fjvFlo ) on page 3 you will see the fourth bullet point from the top says

    “Make wider use of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts to tackle the problems that drive anti-social behaviour and resolve conflict within the community.”

    So, actually Nick Clegg has already come out with behaviour contracts, oh no don’t tell me that extra adjective ‘acceptable’ makes all the difference. But is he in the wrong party or are you?

    @Judith

    “Oh dear, Cat! You are coming across as an authoritarian and a bit of a bully. I guess you just aren’t a Liberal.”

    Yawn.

    • April 5, 2011 at 09:40

      Why am I simple for using the word eejit? Eejit is a cultural word from Ireland & used widely in Glasgow as well. My mother is Irish & i went to school in Glasgow for 5 years so how am i simple for using the cultural language that i grew up in & around. No language is superior to any other but then again liberals believe everyone is equal unlike Labour & the Tories.

      Your showing you don’t believe in equality which is one supposed foundations of the Labour party which i assume your a member of.

      • Cat
        April 5, 2011 at 15:03

        “Why am I simple for using the word eejit?”

        You’re not, I called you simple because of the naivety and childish nature of your arguments. But I humbly apologise for any offence.

        Putting personal insults aside I notice you haven’t come back on Nick Clegg and the LibDem’s support of the behaviour contract policy. Have you got anything further to say on the matter? Are you in the wrong party?

      • April 5, 2011 at 15:11

        In case you hadn’t noticed i have just published a new post on behaviour contracts which is fully in line with LibDem party policy & what Nick Clegg said in 1st Leader’s debate.
        Also the liberal democrat party is democratic party & members disagree on policies. Don’t have to agree on every policy maybe as a Labour member you don’t understand that.

  8. Cat
    April 5, 2011 at 15:37

    @nic

    No I hadn’t noticed your latest blog post.

    “Also the liberal democrat party is democratic party & members disagree on policies. Don’t have to agree on every policy maybe as a Labour member you don’t understand that.”

    Well, obviously you don’t have to agree with every policy the party has in either libdem or labour. But when you attack another parties policy without knowing 1. anything about said policy and 2. realising your own party supports said policy you look kinda stupid.

  1. April 3, 2011 at 19:03

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