The Lib Dems’ amazing adventure

by Ben Mitchell

Once upon a time there was a political party who believed in something. Who stood for something. Who held views other parties rejected. Who campaigned on issues that weren’t always universally popular.

They then had a leader who grew and grew in stature. Who charmed and won over the electorate in a series of pre-general election televised debates.

But, unfortunately, for said party, this never translated into votes on polling day. Blame our antiquated voting system they raged. We sympathised.

But then, when all seemed lost, along came a smart and convincing salesman offering them the chance of a lifetime. This jolly, chirpy, chappy, waved the prospect of power-sharing under their disillusioned noses.

What’s more, this guy looked and sounded very much like our guy, thought the party faithful.

They hit it off instantly. The public were taken aback: two sworn enemies jumping into bed with each other; governing together? But, their politics are so different. How will they ever get anything done, asked a sceptical media?

Won’t they bicker and argue constantly?

But, they didn’t. In fact, they seemed to quite like each other. A lot. That other bunch aren’t so bad after all, they thought to themselves. We’ve been unfair to them all these years.

Anyway, the party thought, we’ve still got our beliefs and our principles. We’ll never sacrifice them.

But, you know, the country’s finances really are in an awful mess. Something’s got to be done about them. An austerity package might not be a bad idea. Severe austerity? Seems harsh, but being in power means taking tough decisions. We’ll support it, they cried in unison.

Don’t worry, we’ll always have our “red lines”, they reassured.

But what’s this? A report into university tuition fees calling for the trebling of existing fees. Outrageous! We campaigned against this very kind of thing. We shall not be moved.

But, you know, the public purse has taken a real battering over the last decade. Higher fees might not be such a bad idea after all. And promises are there to be broken aren’t they? Isn’t that one of the rules of power?

We’re convinced, let’s have higher fees, they chorused. Some threatened to rebel, but most didn’t. We’re in power; united front and all that. What’s next?

PR. They remembered that this was what distinguished them from the other two main parties for as long as anyone could recall. Time for a huge, concerted “Yes” campaign.

We’ll change the voting system; we’ll have more of our MPs elected, we’ll be in power forever, they smirked.

However, there’s one small problem. Our great leader isn’t that popular anymore. In fact, he isn’t popular at all. Both parties have enacted the same policies, yet only our leader seems to be getting it in the neck. Strange business, politics.

Still, the public will come to their senses and give a resounding thumbs up to PR.

Except, they didn’t. They gave it a big, fat, no. That’s disappointing, they sighed.

And, the thing is, there’s not much green about this government is there? Isn’t the environment one of our issues?

Not as much as Europe. Time to stand firm. Make sure the PM doesn’t isolate us. Except, he just has. What the Dickens?

So, why is our leader not condemning such a reckless move, they demanded? Oh no, he is now. Our mistake. He didn’t, then he forgot what his line was, then he did. At least that’s straight.

Being in power’s exhausting. You don’t get credit for anything. The public are so ungrateful. Apathy’s a dangerous thing.

They’ll never notice if we tinker with the NHS then. A little reform here, a dollop of privatisation there. I mean, what has the NHS ever done for us? That’ll teach ‘em for being so mean to us, they thought.

And, don’t let them tell you we don’t stand for anything anymore.

“We are the party of civil liberties.” “WE ARE THE PARTY OF CIVIL LIBERTIES,” they chanted. They’ll always be safe under us.

We’ll never allow something as draconian as a “snoopers’ charter”, will we, their supporters murmured meekly.


Ben Mitchell is an activist and blogs at Ben Mitchell Writes

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7 Responses to “The Lib Dems’ amazing adventure”

  1. test says:

    Ooh how big and clever of you. Auditioning for a job in kids TV?

    Our next story boys and girls: “Once upon a time there was a political party led by a big nasty troll. The troll was bad and mean and threw Nokias at people. “You’re just some sort of racist” growled the troll at a nice little old lady.

    This was the last straw, so the political party bundled the troll aside and picked a new leader instead. Everything about the new leader was new. He had new policies and a new style. Everything the bad old troll and the shiny new man before him (phew this is confusing!) had ever done was quickly brushed under the carpet. The new leader bashed all those bad people in the big city, wanted the toy soldiers pulled out of the big bad war in a faraway land, and generaaly positioned himself as the right man for bourgeois students to vote for. Out went mean old Red Ken from the era of the troll and in came new candidates like, er, Islamist-coddling Ken. Hurray!

    Unfortunately people quickly realised that all the new policies were a load of toss that only people like Michael Foot, the SWP and middle-class student union hacks had ever believed in, and that no-one wanted the new leader’s whining sanctimonious Spartery. Oh dear!

    And that was the story of the political party, boys and girls. You won’t remember them of course.”

  2. Nick says:

    But, you know, the country’s finances really are in an awful mess.


    Except, just like you, they won’t admit to the mess and put numbers on it.

    The reason is pretty clear. In you’re case, you won’t admit to Labour’s legacy. Even though it wasn’t entirely your fault, you were responsible for a huge percentage of it.

    The Lib Dems and you won’t admit to this for another fundamental reason. If you did it would be clear that its not austerity that is the issue, its Greek style bankruptcy.

    So here’s my prediction. No one from Labour will ever quantity any numbers, particular when it comes to debts. Including the Bernie Maddoff off the book debts.

  3. swatantra says:

    Lets call that a ‘Code of ‘Conduct’ or an ‘Internet Etiquette’ shall we. Its high time we had one.
    And being in Govt isn’t quite what its cracked out to be. Its a lousy job but someones got to do it. The perks helpa bit. Perhaps the Lib Dems will have learnt from their brief expeience in Govt, and Labour can always take issue with them and the Tories, when we next get into power.

  4. dizzyingcrest says:

    “Senior Lib Dem threatens to block surveillance plans
    Tim Farron warns he will not back authoritarian laws and says there has been movement on the plans this week”

    I see that there is no comments section added to this Guardian article is there a reason . All that needs to be said is that the Lib Dems are Orange Tories who support every aspect of this administration and are using political posturing to try and win back support for the forth coming elections. The simple question that needs to be asked is if they disagree with there Tory masters Is why not withdraw support and call an election and save Ordinary working people Three years of Hardship and impoverishment. The answer is that the Orange book Tory Dems are in reality following the same agenda as the far right Conservative party. Anything other than complete withdrawal from this administration will be regarded as betrayal One single vote at the next election for the Orange Tories will be one to many for such a duplicitous party

  5. james says:


  6. madasafish says:

    ne single vote at the next election for the Orange Tories will be one to many for such a duplicitous party

    Hyperbole makes a bad post awful.

  7. Bostonjunk says:


    The reason why there are no comments on the Guardian article is because there is no point.
    All comment sections on the Guardian are just filled with bile-spewing Labour extremists and Trotskyists.
    There is no debate, everyone just sits around angrily agreeing with each other’s BS.
    It makes for boring reading and makes me lose a little faith in humanity every time.

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