Let's not indulge ourselves...please!!!

I don't want to get into an argument here about Trident and our current policy. Nope, I really don't....becasue that's one thing that's sure to send voters off to read about something more interesting.

If we make this leadership contest into a policy debate, about one particular policy, which although dealing with £15bn of Government expenditure, does not interest the electorate at large then we really are just a debating society and clearly not interested in power.

However important we think it is, however much we wish that voters would vote on the basis of our policy on a nuclear deterrent, we're wrong if we think it's going to get us closer to power. As Charlotte Gore asks 'Are we here to win or here to be a more effective multi-issue protest group?'

And for me, Chris Huhne’s attempt to create some clear blue water between him and Nick by attempting to reignite policy discussion of Trident completely misses the point of what is required of us by the voters.

Activists may lap it up but it will turn the voters off completey.

And whilst activists are the noisiest, in my experience the majority of members (of the armchair variety) behave more like the general public. In the last 2 or 3 years, as part of various selection contests I have knocked on the door or phoned up every single member of about 6 parliamentary constituencies. I frequently rather wish I'd spent my time doing more productive things, but one thing I noticed is that many often refer to the party as 'you' not 'we'; as in 'you Liberal Democrats, you have to do this, that or the other...'; they are far closer to the space occupied by voters than those of us who blog or are heavily active in the party in other ways.

So, by indulging the activists in such a way, he is not only is putting us in danger of losing voters he’s also in danger of losing his own votes in his own leadership election.


Left Lib said...
9 Nov 2007, 14:59:00

When Trident was first bought by the Thatcher government in the 1980s in the teeth of Liberal/SDP opposition, it was a big issue.
Of course today it is an issue that is ignored by the media, so not many people are thinking about it. But that does not mean it will not be a big issue in the future, who can say? And whether it is or not, it is still the case the replacing Trident will cost a lot of money, so it is worth asking whether we are getting our priorities right when our armed forces are overstretched and our public services underfunded.
A lot of people say that they are not interested in politics full stop, but that does not mean that we should copy them.

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