A matter of conscience

WHEN I joined the Liberal Democrats, it was because I felt a deep connection to the values, ethics and standards of the party and I was keen to support the progressive, inclusive and fair agenda that the party then represented.

Liberalism to me has always stood for the middle road, the approach which tried to balance all interests in order to bring about the fairest outcome for the greatest number of people.

In other words, it was not a party specifically for the workers and all classes benefited from stability, security and mutual understanding.

The coalition government has, I’m afraid, gradually eroded my faith in the party to deliver on those fundamental liberal beliefs. We all understand politics is about compromise and that there were always going to be tricky issues to address as the coalition government moved from opposition into power. But the promise that the Liberal Democrats would somehow temper the aggressive slash and burn tendencies of their Conservative partners has completely failed to materialise, and likewise the promise of meaningful electoral reform which would bring about a longer term transition to a fairer, more representative politics, has vanished.

If I make a mistake then I would readily admit and rectify it myself rather than doing something wrong and then insisting that I am right. To quote John Maynard Keynes, ‘when the facts change, I change my mind’. The facts have changed. Liberal Democrats do not stand for the middle ground any more and they will never be forgiven for their betrayal with regards to the education policy.

Having examined my conscience deeply on this matter, I feel I can no longer allow myself to support a party which sacrifices its grassroots policies, and allows itself to act as a human shield for the draconian and anti-liberal policies of the dominant coalition partner, seemingly for little value other than to bolster the ego of the party leadership, and it is therefore with deep regret that I must announce my resignation from the Liberal Democrats.


Former Dewsbury West Councillor