18 December 2005

Cracks appear in the Lib Dems.

It's quite ironic to think that the one policy the Lib Dems do all agree about - Proportional Representation; is the one policy guaranteed to fracture their party.

The Lib Dems alliance stretches from disaffected Tories to their grass roots who think they are left of Labour.

Bring on Proportional Representation like Labour promised in their manifesto and watch the Lib Dems disintegrate and all hope of a Tory victory evaporate. Come on Gordon, it's common sense. Trust the people, the majority will always want progressive policies. PR will benefit Labour here like it has in New Zealand.


  1. Polly Toynbee wrote in the Guardian recently the necessity for Labour to introduce PR before we end up with a Tory minority government. The example of Scotland's Lib-Lab coalition is often brought up over this issue.

    As you said, though, the national leadership of the LibDems includes many right-libertarians more interested in a Tory-Liberal coalition than their members' fondness for Scotland. The introduction of PR would truly be decision time for them.

    Either way, the situation seems so precarious for the LibDems - FPTP or PR - that I truly doubt the supposed advent of three-party politics will be sustained after the next elections... especially if Brown finished off the electoral reform task.

    God - if Brown actually made my vote worth a damn (Tory/LibDem constituency), I'd support him until the grave. I imagine that I'm not alone in that.

  2. why are you so worried about the lib dems?

    they seemed to do well under pr in scotland and wales, and even under the flawed euro votes?

    it'll be labour who fall apart under pr (as they have in scotland), and the first signs are showing. and the lib dems are the real threat to labour not the tories.

  3. The LibDems were a thread, yes, and rightly so. What were the issues they campaigned on in May? Anti-war (supposedly), anti-tuition fees, new top rate of income tax, anti-council tax, anti-ID cards, and new social services measures for children and the elderly.

    Most of which are proposals I can sympathise with. But how does any of that meet with Oaten et al seemingly determined to abandon their vaguely modern liberal image, and embrace a US-style libertarianism?

    Look at their conference this year, and the response of many grassroots members to the leadership's initiatives. For all the divisions in the main two parties, the LibDems are hardly unified on the purpose of their own party.

    As soon as they are given a taste of power - whether in an FPTP minority regime, or via some form of PR - the LibDems will have to make a choice. And either way, half of their members just left in disgust.

  4. You lot are running scared of the Liberal Democrats, and rightly so, especially here in Regency where Labour have failed totally.

  5. Labour would benefit from PR, but so would minor parties, the electorate and democracy.

    However, a country only really succeeds when it has leadership and the tendency of PR to bring about coalitions means that nothing radical ever gets done. Not only would Thatcher have not been elected as a single-party leader, neither would Blair.

    There's also the accountability issue. Currently, if I want to express an opinion on a subject I speak to my MP - there would be no such thing under PR just as there are more than one Tory MEP for our EU constituency...

  6. Anon: "You lot are running scared of the Liberal Democrats, and rightly so, especially here in Regency where Labour have failed totally."

    Where is Dawn Davidson? Nobody ever sees her in Regency. She doesn't attend any residents issues that I know of, whereas everybody round here knows Roy Pennington and the hard work he puts into the area.

    The Lib Dems are going to be wiped out here because nobody knows what they do. This Ward is between Labour and the Greens.

  7. Gavin: I hardly think that Thatcher is a good example of FPTP in action. You are right - under PR, the Tories would never have been able to introduce anything as radical as they did. That is a GOOD thing: 1) that programme never received a public mandate of more than 43.9% of votes, and 2) throughout the '80s, together Labour and the Alliance consistently received 50% or more of the vote.

    Had the British electoral system been proportional, this country wouldn't have been torn apart for 18 years. Governments (all of them, not just the Tories!!) need a public mandate. That doesn't change just because I'm a member of the Labour Party.

    As for the issue of a proportional alternative, I understand your point. However (and check Neil Hardin's post, "John Maples and rotten boroughs" for a good example of this) while you have an MP that represents your locality and that you may contact directly, in most constituencies MPs cannot effectively be held accountable!

    For instance, I live on the Isle of Wight, which is a rock-solid Tory constituency. Andrew Turner MP has a majority of 13,000 votes. The LibDems are slowly collapsing due to their incompetence on the unitary council, and Labour comes third! In effect, because of FPTP, half of people's votes here don't matter.

    How is my Tory MP accountable to anyone but fellow Tories?

  8. Actually, they were on my doorstep this very weekend. I get a monthly newsletter from them, I've also got a christmas card from them and they are the only party asking for my views on the parking review which Labour is imposing on us - and you will lose the seta over. The same question can be asked about Roy Pennington. He does almost nothing in the ward and won't stand up for us on the big issues, such as communal bins. He is absolutely hopeless. Labour have failed us on the parking review, they ignored us on communal bins and Roy Pennington wants us all to have mobile phone mast on our homes. Residents won't forget this.

  9. you want residents to believe that its against labour and the greens in regency. only voting lib dem in regency will keep blair's new labour out - and with it stop id cards, stop the privatisation of our schools and stop an incinerator.

  10. Typical Lib Dem, you should check your facts.

    Roy Pennington lives in Regency, where the hell does Dawn live?

    The rumour I have heard is that she isn't interested in being a councillor any more, she wants the national stage and probably isn't going to stand in May. Fine attitude that is to Regency residents. Your lot might send out a few xmas cards to Lib Dem members, so what?

    Roy actually bothers to have a surgery every month in Regency unlike Dawn.

    Roy actually turns up at resident meetings in the area.

    He has advised on petitions against the new parking rules and regularly organises meetings on re-development in the area.

    The communal bins issue is more complex than just good/evil like you are making out.

    As you know the area has a unique problem with bins because of limited space. Leaving plastic bags on the street means rubbish strewn everywhere by the birds and rats.

    Communal bins are appropriate for some areas. This varies from street to street, even house to house. There is street by street consultation going on.

    Brighton has the most expensive rubbish collection in the country because of these problems. Yes the council have made mistakes, but it is not as simple an issue as the Lib Dems make out. Where are their solutions? It is easy to criticise everything but offer no alternative.

    Same with mobile phone masts. There is a balance. Of course all reasonable measures should be done to prevent any possible harm.

    It is easy to criticise every single planing application from a nimby point of view like the Lib Dems have been doing, but your lot would be the first to complain if people couldn't use their mobile phones.

    ID cards and the education white paper are dealt with at the national level not the local. Voting for local candidates makes no difference on these issues. I haven't discussed ID cards with Roy, so I don't know his views on that.

    David Lepper supported by Brighton CLP, has joined the 58 Labour rebels in proposing an alternative white paper on education that rules out any possibility of a return to selection.

    Local incinerators like the one proposed for Newhaven, if done in a green way to produce energy can be beneficial to the environment.

    Just opposing them from a nimby point of view is counter-productive to everyone. While recycling has increased massively in Regency, we can't continue to just throw the waste into landfills.

  11. Typical labour lies...

    so where EXACTLY does Roy Pennington live?

    where exactly is this petition on parking? point me exactly to where this was presented?

    where exactly is labour's opposition then to their own incinerator?

    where exactly is Labour's opposition to their own id cards?

    where exactly is the most
    expensive rubbish in the country? it isn't here mate

    and you say that local labour counillors don't have a view on either id cards and the schools white paper? are you sure about that?

    and most laughable of all, the elections aren't this May, and if you don't know that why on earth do you feel you can spout your views in the way you do

    check your facts! you don't have a clue what you are taling about

  12. There is something else 'know-all' Harding clearly doesn't know. He is busy annoucing that other councillors are not standing (make sure you have your facts right there as there are suhc things as libel laws you know), but he clearly is not aware that Roy Pennington isn't standing.

  13. What I would like to know is does the Labour Leadership on the CityCouncil share these views on the Lib Dems?

  14. The Communal Bin issue is not more complex. We have been badly let down by Labour who ignored public opinion and imposed these dirty filthy skips on us, and ruining our conservation area. Our first chance to get our own back on this will be the next local election. You have not got away with it, and if you think you have you are mistaken.

  15. There seem to be a lot of anonymously-posting, Labour-hating, electoral earthquake threat-making bin obsessives in Brighton & Hove. It can't be a healthy lifestyle.

    Another recurring theme is their unsettling need to know *exactly* where local Labour figures live.

  16. Anon; May 2007 the election, I was getting ahead of myself.

    Roy lives a few hundred yards from me in Regency. That is all you need to know. Dawn lives miles outside the area and doesn't bother with surgeries.

    I don't know whether Dawn is standing or not. Like I say the rumour is she won't be. We will find out soon no doubt. If she doesn't stand, it looks like the rumour is right. Nobody ever sees her around here except for her few photo-shoots once or twice a year, so it's not surprising people are wondering about her.

    Roy if selected will be standing. As he is such a hard working and effective councillor, it is inconceivable he won't be selected by the party.

    This is the next meeting that Roy has organised.

    "and you say that local labour counillors don't have a view on either id cards and the schools white paper? are you sure about that?"

    I didn't say that at all. I said I hadn't asked his views yet, so can't comment. These are national issues. David Lepper Labour MP has opposed the white paper.

    The CMPCA residents association has worded a response on behalf of residents to the council outlining why changing the parking zones (and some yellow line issues) is a bad idea. It is instructing street representatives to collect signatures. Roy has offered his support for this petition and advice on how best to word the petition to influence the Council. Roy attends all the resident meetings, Dawn has never turned up at any of the meetings.

    "What I would like to know is does the Labour Leadership on the CityCouncil share these views on the Lib Dems?"

    I don't know and I suspect they would be more polite than me about the Lib Dems. I, however don't have to be so diplomatic.

    "We have been badly let down by Labour who ignored public opinion and imposed these dirty filthy skips on us, and ruining our conservation area."

    Go and have a look at these 'filthy skips' you are on about. They have generally been a big help and are usually very clean. In the street where we are, we don't have the communal bins and rubbish is regularly strewn across the street. That is a health hazard, not the communal bins. It is easy to criticise, but where are the alternative Lib Dem proposals? This is not a black and white issue. The council have come up with a number of inovative schemes (binvelopes etc.)and yes they have made some errors, but for an urban area, Brighton has some of the most expensive collection, it is a difficult issue.


    I've been away over the christmas period. I've been informed that ROY does live slightly outside of the ward. He's around so often and I've seen him walk home from ward meetings that I assumed he lived within a few hundred yards of me.

    My mistake and I apologise. Just to reaffirm I am totally independent and unofficial and I don't represent the views of the Labour party. I'm just a foot soldier.

    I apologise for this error. I still stand by the fact that I never see Dawn around here. She seems a very poor representative for regency in my opinion.

  18. Indeed, Pennington does live outside of the ward, and you were incorrect in what you said, and the way you falsely defended your position. But the world is use to that with you New Labour types. I would spend more time sorting out your own hopeless ward member rather than slagging off others.

  19. I was defending Labour from your attacks.

    I just pointed out that Dawn is never around. No surgeries, never attends residents meetings. If you prefer a councillor like that then vote Lib Dem. I prefer one that is hard working like Roy.