My name is Humphrey Cushion, I am a Lib-Dem… there, I’ve said it. Much to the disappointment and derision of my family, I have always been a Lib Dem – right from my first nervous entrance into my local church hall to vote in the council elections at 18ish.. Paddy Ashdown inspired trust in me, that along with a slight crush ; ) and when he handed over to Charles Kennedy I still supported them, although I was naturally disappointed Paddy was no longer the figurehead. “Old Labour” came across as too rough, too angry for me while the Lib Dems were kind but fair, green and more palatable by far than the Conservatives. We suited each other.
When Tony Blair became Labour leader I had a change of heart, I despised the Conservatives and so for the first time, put my cross in the Labour box. I have never regretted making that choice, indeed I am proud of Labour’s achievements and sing from the rooftops about them as you may know! This is mostly due to the changes Labour have made to mine and my families lives. I remember struggling for years, alongside my husband to make ends meet until the introduction of Tax Credits.
Some time after, we moved to Spain for a few years and upon my return I saw a real difference to the services in our country which, being so close you may not have noticed. There was an awful lot of red-tape, political correctness and intrusion though..
We came back from Spain smack in the middle of the so-called “Credit Crunch”.. how I hate that expression, my work colleagues talked about it constantly.. they couldn’t understand that it literally meant STOP BORROWING MONEY! If you want something, save up for it.. whatever happened to that? I sadly remember Woolworths going belly-up that year, it was awful, almost as though Christmas itself took a last, choking breath in sympathy.
Naturally, with the GE2010 was coming up I had to take a long, hard look at where the country was and who to support. Although I admired Nick Clegg a lot, (his performances in the Leaders Debates were outstanding) I did not think for one minute that the Lib Dems would garner enough votes to keep out the Conservatives. I threw myself headlong into supporting and became a card-carrying member of Labour. I even got to meet Gordon & Sarah when they visited Bedford (and nicked a couple of BIG signs to hang in my windows, shhh)
Sadly, Labour couldn’t pull in enough votes and the Coalition was born. Although very unhappy that Clegg & Co made what I think was the wrong choice, I trusted my natural party to lessen the impact of the Conservatives on Britain. How wrong I was. It seems that somebody fed the Lib Dem MPs after midnight and the sweet Mugwai became “The New Batch”…. instead of watering down Tory policies they have thrown themselves headlong into the havoc being wreaked on this country. I have images of Cameron and Osborne giggling maniacally whilst dropping water (wine) on them and feeding them Fois Gras after midnight. What will it take for them to wake up and smell the coffee? They deliberately and calculatedly courted the younger votes during their election campaign, focusing on social networking sites. Together they signed a pledge promising to vote AGAINST tuition fees.. the young believed them and gave their extra 1 million votes. Now the Lib Dem MPs are seemingly shocked that the students are rebelling and holding them to account and are desperately trying to wriggle out of their solumn, heart-felt and PERSONAL pledges.
I still love the real Liberal Democrats and what they stand for, the ones who voted to scrap tuition fees in their 2009 conference.. however I fear for their future. Unless “Stripe and Brains” do the decent thing and not only allow their MPs to vote against the tuition fees on Thursday but stand alongside them, I think the Lib Dems are history. The Coalition will continue to hit the vulnerable of Britain, the beggars will return to our tubes, jobcentre queues will become once more commonplace, the homeless will reinhabitate our doorways.
Come on Wild Things.. show you have some balls and vote AGAINST the tuition fees on Thursday!! #IAmGismo
(If you have a Lib Dem MP, please lobby your heart out this week! You can email them via this link: They Work For You )
*A short blog post which caught my attention this morning; Explaining Modern Government.. in 3 sentences!