Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Liberal Democide posted by Richard SeymourI suppose I should stick my article trolling the Liberals up here:
...There are parties and party leaders across Europe who are willingly immolating themselves in order to implement austerity measures and appease the gods of finance. For Nick Clegg, to collapse in the polls is a relatively minor loss. He expects economic growth to resume at some point before 2015, and Osborne to introduce an inflationary, give-away budget just before the general election. At any rate, he has established that his leadership can handle the levers of office while keeping the base disciplined and passive. With party identity fragmenting over the long term, coalition governments become an increasingly permanent likelihood. This is what he meant when he promised his members a future as a party of government.
But even taking this as the starting point, the Liberals are still kidding themselves. The closest they have ever got to taking office was in 2010 when they received 23% of the vote. They haven't turned that into any substantial Liberal reforms. They have now lost key constituencies, such as students and former Labour voters, who are unlikely to return. They're losing deposits. Their membership is collapsing. Who exactly is going to be left to fight "tooth and nail" for the party's 57 seats, as Farron claims? At best, they can go back to sitting on the benches with the Unionists and Scottish Nationalists, asking polite opposition questions. This is the problem with a perspective from the top table: it leads to insularity, a disconnect from the real world. What looks intelligent and hard-headed from the inside simply appears foolish to everyone else.
Never fear writing off the Liberals. They should be written off. They're Lib Dead, Lib Dumped, Lib Demolished, and Lib Derelict. The next election is shaping up to be a Liberal Democide, a Liberal Defenestration, a Liberal Democrash. And it will be Liberal Delicious.