Now that they’ve had a big enough bite of the reality sandwich to go down with severe food poisoning, one or two Liberal Democrats are finally starting to get it. As reported in The Guardian.
In a sign that unease is spreading to normally loyal MPs, Sir Nick Harvey, who was sacked as a defence minister in a reshuffle in 2012, called on the party to put more distance between the Lib Dems and the Tories.
Harvey told The World at One on BBC Radio 4: “There is a perception on the part of voters that we have got ourselves too embroiled with the Conservatives. When they look at things like the NHS changes, Michael Gove out on adventures in the education field; when they look at some of the more draconian benefit cuts, people are asking themselves if there is a point having the Lib Dems in the government. Surely it is to stop some of these things happening.
“We must be willing to say no to the Tories more. When you have a coalition between a larger party and a smaller one it is difficult for the small party to make the larger party do things it doesn’t want to do. But it should be relatively easy to stop it from doing things we don’t want it to do. That does mean that we need to be more willing to say no.”
Yes, Nick Clegg. Nick Harvey has correctly identified why this previously lifelong Liberal Democrat (and Liberal before that) voter supported The Greens in this election. Privatising the NHS, Gove’s reactionary philistinism and the petty vindictiveness of Ian Duncan-Smith’s benefit changes are anathema to the sorts of people who have traditionally voted for your party.
Over to you…