a lack of liberals

So I went to protest the London Lib Dems’ conference, held in the late Blairite magnificence of Haverstock School NW3. Arriving punctually, what did I find?

London Lib Dems are marked men

No Liberals. In fact, not only had they vanished from the Haverstock, it turned out they’d given up on the whole idea of having a conference and punted it to February. Now you know why the party’s colour is yellow. Not only were they afraid of the general public, but their reputation is now so toxic that nobody wants to give them house room.

Meanwhile, here’s a prominent London Lib Dem in action.

“Right at this moment of financial peril to the nation is perhaps not the moment to introduce mandatory pay audits.”

Just two years ago, the Liberal Democrat MP backed mandatory measures, saying: “A voluntary audit system for private industry is hardly worth the paper it’s printed on. We need to know when the government actually plans to step in if progress isn’t made.”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto pledged to introduce fair-pay audits for all but the smallest companies.

Today Featherstone said: “It was a different world two years ago – financially and in terms of pressures on business. We are in a completely new landscape now … Much more of partnership working, no longer government dictates, this is absolutely the time to make voluntary pay-reporting work.”

Two years ago? Two years ago was December, 2008 – hardly a moment of expansive prosperity. Banks were falling like seagull shit. People were trying to estimate what the absolute minimum level of cash balances was that could prevent the bankruptcy of the entire GM and Ford supply chains. Flocks of great empty ships were gathering in Falmouth harbour and off Singapore, forever delayed by the drying up of trade credit.

Also, check out that last sentence, a real classic of pseudo-Blair verbiage without enough verbs.


  1. It’s as if leaving out the verbs describing how it would actually be made to happen is a political choice, and a virtuous one – less coercion! more compliance! let it be so!.




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