Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ming goes down the pan


  1. It is a matter of record that Menzies Campbell had wanted to support the Iraq War, but Charles Kennedy stopped him.

    Paddy Ashdown supported it, and the Lib Dems had of course pioneered support for neocon wars under him, enthusiastically cheering on the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.

    Along with the neoliberal economics that leads to it and which provides its only rationale, neconservative geopolitics is the coming force among the Lib Dems, along with Euroscepticism (jolly good, though incompatible with neoliberal economics or neoconservative geopolitics).

    Annd, I confidently predict, along with opposition to the former Holy Grail of the Single Transferable Vote for multimember constituencies (again, jolly good), as the penny drops about just how ill-served the Lib Dem heartlands of the West Country, the North and South of Scotland, and Mid-Wales would be by such a system.

    It is also possible that Highland, Island, Border and Mid-Welsh disaffection with the Central Scottish Parliament and the South Welsh Assembly, as well as the Alliance Party's disaffection with the DUP-Sinn Fein carve-up at Stormont, might turn the Lib Dems into (jolly good) hardline Unionists.

    All in all, the Lib Dems as we have known them are finished.

  2. "It is a matter of record that Menzies Campbell had wanted to support the Iraq War, but Charles Kennedy stopped him."

    Please tell me where I can find this record then.

    Paddy wanted to save the lives of persecuted minorities in Bosnia, not carry out a "regime change" necessarily.

    I am yet to meet a neoconservative Liberal Democrat.

    I tend to support the Jenkins Commission recommendations on electoral reform.

    I am delighted that it seems you are accepting that the LibDems as a party are not finished, but that they will be move with the times. I tend to agree with that but not in neoconservative etc direction that you suggest.

  3. Andrew Neil has never got a Lib Dem MP to make a sustainable denial of it.

    Ashdown was cheering on the dismemberment of Yugoslavia by those who, in accordance with the history of the region, combined, and combine, Nazism and Islam: the Wahhabi rabble-rouser and erstwhile SS recruitment sergeant, Alija Izetbegovic; and the black-shirted Wahhabi heroin smugglers of the Kosovo "Liberation" Army. Izetbegovic was backed by the Holocaust-denying Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, who re-created in 1990s Europe the full panoply of 1930s Fascism.

    Neocons were then, and are now, routinely allied to such elements, from 1980s Afghanistan, through 1900s Yugoslavia, to today's Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Never met a neocon Lib Dem? You were led by one for long enough!

    As for changing the electoral system, for one thing, I simply cannot see how anything else could work in rural areas (not least, Lib Dem rural areas), either for Parliament or, even more so, for local government.

    Councillors, in particular, would do absolutely nothing except drive around their vast, unwieldy wards, arriving late for everything yet always leaving early in order to arrive late for the next engagement.

    Instead, in the course of every Parliament without fail, the two candidates with the most nominations from a party's branches for Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (at constituency level) or for Leader (at national level), including branches of affiliated organisations where Labour or any of its successors is concerned, should be subjected to a binding ballot of every registered voter in the constituency or the country, as the case may be.

    The sort of people favoured by central machines would struggle to get on the ballot at all, and certainly wouldn't be selected.

    and the same is true of each party's several lunatic fringes (including the single and indivisible one currently running both Labour and the Tories, and about to take over the Lib Dems as well). But they could always then put up under their own steam and see how far they got.

    But either this, or PR, or indeed any change whatever to where MPs come from, would kill off the Lib Dems practically overnight.

    The above system would have historically industrial areas choose totally unreconstructed Social Democrats who were who were indistinguishable from the local right-wing Labour Establishment (and might well have been in it at one time), while agricultural areas would choose totally unreconstructed Liberals who were not only indistinguishable from, but multiply related to, the local "Faith, Flag, Family and Farming" Tory Establishment.

    Finally, there should also be public participation in policy formulation. In the course of each Parliament, the 10 policies most popular with each party's branches should be put out to a ballot of the whole electorate, with each of us entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top seven guaranteed inclusion in the next General Election manifesto.

    Put all of this together, and it would answer any perceived need for PR, thus safeguarding the vital constituency link into the bargain.

    On economics (already happening), geopolitics (already happening), the EU (already happening), STV, or the Union, which of my predictions is not going to come true, why not, what is going to happen instead, and why?

  4. Andrew Neil has never got a Lib Dem MP to make a sustainable denial of it.

    Oh, so he's asked Ming and Charles, has he?

    I will read the rest of your post when we've resolved this essential point.

  5. He's said it oud loud to those MPS, in those words. Repeatedly. On air. And they haven't denied it.

    Why don't YOU ask Campbell or Kennedy to deny it on the record? I bet they won't.

  6. David. Just a small pedantic point of language. You said it was "a matter of record". When I asked you where that record is, you said it hasn't been denied.

    So, in other words, what you meant to say in the first place must have been "It is not a matter of record" isn't it?

    I have heard a rumour that Ming asked Charles not to go on the 1 million people march against the war, but nothing further than that.

  7. Well, I heard Andrew Neil say on television that Ming had wanted to support the war.

    Any chance of getting to rest of the points? They do actually matter rather more now.

  8. That's a memory of a rumour - not a "matter of record".

    Paddy Ashdown was and is not a "neocon". A humanitarian interventionist, yes, neocon, no.

    But even if he is or was, the LibDems were the only political party to oppose the Iraq war.

    The Jenkins commission recommended a mix of systems which would get round the problem of constituency representation in STV by retaining a constituency member systems while have "sweeper" members for across counties or larger areas.

    I support the Jenkins recommendation.

    I am quite happy to go about my everyday life without concerning myself with predictions. Who gives a monkeys what happens in the areas you highlight? We can only live from day to day and be grateful for it. The one area I do care about is the environment which is why I am glad the party is focussing on it this week.

    Many thanks for your comments, David