Over the last few weeks, I have been disappointed to hear fellow Liberal Democrats repeat the accusations of our opposition, and in particular certain portions of the national media who have been desperately trying to portray Lib Dems in a negative light. There is a continuing misconception that the Liberal Democrats sacrificed too much to the Conservatives during coalition negotiations. Here’s the real story of what we have achieved in Government.
This document is already 3 months old, so the list has grown since then, but it is a good starting point.
After the first TV debate during the General Election campaign, our opponents recognised that Nick Clegg was our strongest asset. Since the morning of the second debate, there has been a sustained attack on him personally and on the reputation of the party as a whole. Even Ed Milliband has resorted to personal attacks on Nick Clegg. It is disgraceful, gutter politics. Unfortunately, if you throw enough mud, it will eventually stick.
Nick Clegg is the antithesis of Teflon Tony Blair. His record, as demonstrated above, is one to be proud of. I for one, do not think I could cope with excrement posted through my door, my effigy being burnt, being called a traitor and receiving death threats and still come out fighting the way that Nick Clegg did at the Sheffield Lib Dem Conference.
I cannot agree with those in the party that take the attitude that they are in politics to fight Conservatism as a result of Thatcher’s legacy. Saying that we would only go into a coalition with a discredited, illiberal, economically incompetent Labour Party would doom our party into subservience.
I came into politics and joined the Lib dems to make a difference on issue that I cared about, whether it was the environment, children’s welfare or civil liberties. I believe in the values of the party, that local people know best about their area, that solutions should last and that everyone deserves a fair chance.
Those values, issues and policies are now being successfully implemented in Government, and it is a record that we should all be proud of.