The new Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell will today signal his determination to overhaul the party's economic and social policy and streamline its campaign machinery with the kind of US-style techniques imported by Labour and the Tories.
'Liberal Democrats are modernisers,' he will tell delegates to the party's spring conference in Harrogate, in his first major address since winning the leadership crown. He will pledge to 'play a key role' in producing updated policies on the economy, the environment, welfare reform, better government, education, crime and social issues' capable of withstanding 'new levels of aggressive scrutiny' by rival parties.
Setting the tone for an agenda in tune with the core of young economically liberal [emphasis added] MPs who backed him for the leadership, the 64-year-old Campbell yesterday secured an overwhelming conference endorsement for a plan to part-privatise the post office. The idea was thrown out at last autumn's Lib Dem conference by delegates who argued it was too right-wing.
So now the UK has three political parties, all espousing economic liberalism. Where are the dissenting voices? Who can represent my views in parliament? During the last election, we had one party--the Liberal Democrats--who championed society before the free market. Now there is none.
Tony Blair tells me that “God will judge whether he was right to send British troops to Iraq” but I say God did not elect him to office, the people of the United Kingdom did, and he needs to answer to that constituency.
We are witnessing the end of the democratic project. The Enlightenment is being rolled back by free marketeers who see everything as economic rationalism: people are excluded from their calculations. Listen to politicians in developed nations and they will talk about the security of property before the mention security of people.
There is nothing left to vote for. Time for a change