Monday, 23 January 2012

Are Local Liberal Democrats Suffering From Schizophrenia?

It was not all that long ago that Cllr. Ray Sellars, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham & Saxilby Division) was taking credit for saving Linelands from closure. 'Threat to home lifted by people who really care' read the headline in a Lib Dem leaflet.
"Thanks go not just to the Lib Dem Group but also to the many dedicated people who protested loudly at the threatened closure of an excellent care facility with dedicated staff and volunteers."
No one can dispute that those who work at Linelands are some very dedicated individuals, but suggesting that the Lib Dems can take credit was ridiculous. Even as the leaflet landed on doormats in Nettleham, the Council had been clear that the reprieve was only temporary until suitable alternative provision was available.

The leaflet continued:
"Liberal Democrats are concerned, not only about Government cut-backs, but also charges on our national us a bleak financial outlook." 
This would presumably be the same Government that has five Liberal Democrats within the Cabinet, including the Chief Secretary to the Treasury?  The article by Cllr. Sellars concludes:
"...remember that Lib Dem common sense brough vital balance to the spending review: Personal tax allowance is up by £1,000 while banks must pay a new levy."
So the Liberal Democrats are in government after all.

 'West Lindsey Focus' delivered
prior to the 2010 General Election
Let us not forget that it was of course Cllr. Reg Shore, Liberal Democrat (Stow Ward), the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on West Lindsey District Council, who surprised many, shortly before local elections last year, with comments made to the Lincolnshire Echo. Cllr. Shore was quoted as saying:
"I don't agree with Nick. I never have and that's based on the issue of student fees."
The disclosure that Cllr. Shore does not and has not ever supported Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Leader is somewhat at odds with the facts. Cllr. Shore having appeared in election literature IN 2010 with Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for the Gainsborough Constituency, Cllr. Pat O'Conner, and the Deputy Prime Minister. 

But the local Liberal Democrats are in such trouble that on their website (here) they are pleased to declare that their 'Best Headline of 2011' was 'Liberals in Poll Shock' from the Gainsborough Standard in the 12th May 2011 edition following the local elections. Taking some comfort in the fact they lost three seats on West Lindsey District Council but took twelve seats on Gainsborough Town Council, meaning they could form an administration. Considering that people often dislike the increasing professionalisation of politics, this is not something to be proud of. It seems unlikely that anyone would think that loosing three seats on the district council (two in Gainsborough) and gaining the town council was really a success in the light that the Liberal Democrats were the only people to organise - squeezing out more independent candidates. It would be like David Cameron declaring at the next General Election. 'I'm glad I've lost 20 MPs, but I can take solice that we now have six councillors on Hull City Council.'

Perhaps the local Conservatives take pleasure in the fact that there best headline of 2011 was: Government Minister Eric Pickles in Visit to West Lindsey from the Lincolnshire Echo. A real coup that a Secretary of State would visit an otherwise perfectly safe Conservative seat.

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