After the drama (well when I say drama I mean a few people on twitter thinking that a defection from the Tories to UKIP is the beginning of the end of the Conservative Party as we know it – and then there was a question whether the defector was even a member of the Conservative Party anyway) there was more drama this morning when Tristan Pithers defected from Labour to the Lib Dems – cue much rejoicing on my timeline (probably – he defected a good couple of hours before I woke up) but at least he has written why he defected and it is a good read.
You can read the full piece entitled ‘And it was all yellow’ – Why I’m considering defection to the Liberal Democrats. behind that hyperlink.
A couple of things really stood out to me. The first being this:
My problems with the Labour Party as an organisation have always been present. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the word ‘Comrade’ being used to greet me on entering a constituency office or reading a local party email.
Do they really do that? I had no idea. That enough would be enough to make me want to leave. Dear Comrade… really? I mean really? I know it only means friend, colleague or ally but I prefer the old fashioned why of greeting by using someone’s name. To me that is a lot more acceptable and palatable.
He goes on to say:
The Labour Party and its membership, bar a few increasingly out-of-place New Labour Blairites, are about more spending, more handouts, more debt, more tax as punishment for prosperity and less individual responsibility.
This is something that rings home to me. I think front line services are vital and people do rely on them and I have always been and high tax but amazing public services guy however I don’t like the more handouts culture. Provide the best public facilities in the world. I love Children’s Centres for example. I think they are one of Labour’s best moves of the Blair years. These provide not only a great place for children to interact but also a place for young parents to get together. I imagine being a young parent is often a lonely and difficult existence and knowing people in like-minded positions can only help. The more handout culture though irks me. Sometimes we all need help but I’d prefer prefer a helping hand to get myself on my own two feet than help to just keep me ticking over.
Tax should not be punishment for the rich. Yes it is only right and fair that they help shoulder the loud but not to extreme lengths. I have banged on for eons about how Labour just want to bash the bankers. The bankers did help fuel this financial crisis but they are also the ones that can help us get out of it. Just castigating the whole industry over and over again won’t do any good but yet because public sentiment is against the bankers then Labour will exploit this for every political need they desire instead of being grown-up about this.
Lastly for me to pick at:
I still believe that there is a place for idealism in politics, that there are arguments that can be won, that a vote does not simply have to be red or blue.
Yes. Yes. 100x Yes. I am still an idealist. I know it will be nearly impossible to reach the goals tat I think we can reach but I still want to fight for them. I don’t just want to think ‘well the future is either one of two parties as that is the way it has always been’ because things change. If enough people believed in change and not the status quo then change can really be reached.
So I welcome this young man to the Lib Dems. Is it a big deal like twitter has made it out to be? Probably not but it is always nice to here a fair and reasoned article about why someone does the things they do.