Why I might be voting Lib Dem at the next General Election

I used to vote Lib Dem. Actually, that’s a bit of a stretch – I voted for them once. It was in the London Assembly election in 2000. It was the first election I was old enough to vote in. I have not voted for them since.

I’m not a huge fan of the Lib Dems, but neither are they my ‘least disliked’ party in British politics. I’ll start with the pros: The Lib Dems are effective local campaigners. They managed to shoehorn in some great stuff during the Coalition govt. I really dig the Social Democratic Grouping within the Lib Dems. Tim Farron is awesome. As is Norman Lamb.

Now for the cons: what I’ve disliked about the Lib Dems in the past is their negativity in their local campaigning. Honestly, in the 2014 Local Elections their ‘Labour-run Haringey Council’ literature used to send me to sleep. Absolutely nothing to say that was in any way positive, it was all negative, and personal attacks. The Lib Dems were in a bad place then. It was depressing. I also didn’t appreciate the duplicity from Vince Cable in the aftermath of the EU Referendum result which was an attempt to fool some of the people some of the time. At the time I found this ‘eccentric’ from Cable, given the Lib Dems have always been *so* Federalist, so it was rather refreshing when Uncle Vince started spewing out his nation-healing ‘bollocks to Brexit’ stuff. If you are going to have a vote, you must honour the outcome of the vote. If you refuse to do so, you cannot have the name ‘Democrats’ in your party name. Trades Descriptions Act violation A. Also, prominent Christians such as Tim Farron and Sarah Teather have had it made quite clear to them that the Lib Dems is not a place where you can express mainstream Christian opinion without fear or favour. There is nothing ‘liberal’ or ‘tolerant’ about insisting everybody thinks, and votes exactly the same way as you do. That is not liberal. Trades Descriptions Act violation B.

That was a lot more cons that pros wasn’t it. So why, in the name of all that is good would I ever consider voting Lib Dem at the next General Election?

Well, news broke this week that the excellent Luciana Berger had moved to the Lib Dems, from being an Independent MP for Liverpool Wavertree. Berger left Labour in protest at the vile, vicious and evil antisemitism in the Labour party, and guess what – at 8.5 months pregnant she then received death threats for having done so. The epitome of “kinder, gentler politics” do you not think? As this article states, there is talk of Berger contesting the seat of Finchley & Golders Green, where I live.

0_MP-Luciana-Berger

As Daniel Sugarman says here, many Jewish voters at the next General Election, and particularly those in North London seats will vote according to who is best placed to defeat the Labour candidate, not along the lines of Brexit. I am not Jewish, however I passionately share this desire. Corbynism has to be killed off at the next General Election, or if not, at the very least it needs a sharp dagger in it’s heart.

The incumbent MP in Finchley & Golders Green, Mike Freer is a Tory, he voted Remain (and he has not thrust hardline Brexit dogma upon his majority Remain constituents, although he did vote with the government last week), so perhaps he will stand down at the next General Election. Who knows. He is in good standing in Finchley & Golders Green, and can leave office with his head held high.

My concern would be that if Freer and Berger were both on the same ballot paper, that Labour could come in through the hard left – however – given how Labour antisemitism has got regressively worse since even the last General Election in 2017 I’d now be surprised if Labour received more than 5000 votes here. I think if Mike Freer stood down and if the Tory candidate was a pro-Brexit Boris loyalist, and if Berger stood here for the Lib Dems then Berger would get an enormous surge of votes. The next General Election campaign in Finchley & Golders Green will be so much about Labour antisemitism, and not very much about Brexit/Remain.. with that in mind I suggest the majority of leave voters (like me) will be voting for the candidate best placed to beat Labour – whoever that is.

And if that candidate is Luciana Berger, then I will vote for her.

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