Thursday, April 15, 2010

LibDems Leaflet

A Liberal Democrat leaflet dropped through my door the other day, its headline LABOUR - SOFT ON CRIME. Evidently, these supreme opportunists are as capable of pitching to the right of Labour as to its left. Labour might usefully learn that no matter how far it shifts to the right in search of some mythical middle ground popularity, it will still get knocked for not being quite right wing enough. You'd have thought that the immigration issue would have already taught them that.

(By the way, I am not suggesting that concern about crime is necessarily right wing. It is not, and the left would do well to pay more attention to an issue that so many working-class people are affected by and concerned about. It is addressing the issue in terms of being "tough" or "soft" on crime that is right wing, as it implies a repressive, disciplinarian approach to the problem.)

Nick Clegg told us yesterday that he wants to be Prime Minister. Problem is, matey, that no-one else does. The last Liberal Prime Minister was David Lloyd George, the last Liberal Prime Minister heading a Liberal Government Herbert Asquith. That was a century ago. The Liberals faded as a serious political force because the Labour Party was born and politics became polarised around exactly the thing it should be polarised around - class.

New Labour's retreat from class (or from the working class, at least!) may yet bring about the rehabiliation of the Liberals as well as the return of the Tories. That deserves to be another nail in the coffin of the New Labour project.