Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Have The Lib Dems Entirely Given Up On Classic Liberalism?

I've just, a few minutes ago, been cold-called by the local Liberal Democrats.

Unlike similar communications from energy companies, double glazing salesmen, surveys etc, I'm right up for a chat when it comes to political activists of any party, if for nothing more than my views being noted. So, as an appetiser, I try to set out my stall early.

The call was incredibly brief, though. Here it is in its entirety:

Abigail: Can I speak to Mr Richard Puddlecote please?
DP: Speaking.
A: Hello, my name is Abigail, I'm calling on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Party. As you may be aware, we are in the run up to a general election. May I ask who you intend to vote for?
DP: Well, I'm not sure yet as I may consider standing myself.
A: {friendly chuckle}{then, enthusiastically} Really? May I ask for which party?
DP: The Libertarian Party.
A: {In a deflated tone} Oh, I see. Well, thank you for your time. Goodbye.

Time? I had mentally set aside anything up to half an hour in which to discuss further.

Now, I've considered the scenario whereby this was merely a vote-counting exercise, but as this is a Tory/LD marginal, it would seem to be an odd tactic. The Tory office rang a month or so ago, and the same opening gambit from me led to a discussion which lasted 7 or 8 minutes, during which time the guy gallantly tried to point out the libertarian aspects of his party and why I should vote for the Tory candidate.

By way of contrast, Abigail heard the word 'libertarian' and pressed the escape button.

Have the Lib Dems seriously nothing to offer the very many like me? Has the classic liberal side of the party been consigned to history?

One would expect them to at least try to highlight their true liberal credentials. Unless, of course, they simply don't have any anymore.

How depressing.


JuliaM said...

I'm not entirely sure the Lib Dems have anything to offer anyone...

As for 'liberal', I really don't recognise their use of the word. And I'm not too sure they are all that democratic, either...

Perhaps the ASA would be interested?!

Anonymous said...

It's only a rumour but I have heard that Nick Clegg is trying to adopt a dead child - just so he can get on the TV.

watching said...

That explains two odd calls this evening.
First one was just a click but the second one 30 minutes later I exchanged three hello's with a white Englishman if the accent was anything to go by and then he put the phone down.

Can't see the point in voting as they all seem to piss in the same pot. Although I'd never forgive myself if Labour got back in where I reside so I'll have to either vote Tory, Lib Dem or Green.

Mark Wadsworth said...


Anonymous said...

Are Libertarians more "liberal"
than Liberals or are they less "conservative" than Conservatives or are they "socialists"with a small s.
Are Libertarianism and The Enlightenment to close for comfort
for the few who ask the awkward

Ex Ginnel Serf

Anonymous said...

They've got nothing to offer, they've allowed themselves to be outflanked on left and right, they have no direction because they have no soul.

That do you?

Junican said...


Here is a thought for future calls.

Q. Who might you vote for?
A. Don't know yet.

From then on in the conversation, allow the Q to try to persuade you to vote whatever. Go along with it for a while and then start asking questions. At the end, imply that the conversation has put you off Q's party.

Much fun.

He's Spartacus said...

What Wadsworth said.

But in scarlet capitals, rampant on a wreath background.

Unknown said...

Never had a phone call from any political party and I'm begining to wonder why? Oh, wait, Middlesbough is a Labour stronghold, has been for over the last 38 years I've been living here!

Who'd be a libertarian around here eh?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Liberal Democrats are liberal and democratic in the same way as Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democrats.

Daniel1979 said...

Nope, there is nothing Liberal, nor Democratic about the Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

They should rename to
But they are too thick to see it.

Sam Duncan said...

My first thought is to wonder if they've been getting a lot of that. I mean, a resigned sigh is better than “Who?”, right? Could be good news for the Libertarians.

I hear what you're saying, Big Yin. I haven't even seen a candidate for nigh on 20 years, and that was only because I volunteered to drop leaflets for the Tories. (If you want the definition of “thankless task”, it's distributing Tory literature in a Glasgow constituency.)

Frank Davis said...

If it'd been me, and any Liberal had phoned, the conversation would have been a lot shorter. I'd have told them to eff off the moment they said they were liberals.

I used to vote for the bastards, more fool me