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Home » Dr Shibley Rahman viewpoint » If we are serious about left progressive politics, we should appear to mean it.

If we are serious about left progressive politics, we should appear to mean it.

It is easy to blame the demise of ‘left, progressive politics’ on Nick Clegg. This vehement dislike for Nick Clegg is inadvertently encouraged by the spin and media factories of the Liberal Democrats to argue that a majority of people voted for a Coalition – this is not true, as no-one can vote a priori for a hung parliament (as such). I would argue that people wished to vote anti-Cameron instead, in favour of a left progressive agenda. In fact, the last thing they wanted was a Tory Lite in the form of Nick Clegg – but that’s what they’ve got.

This is what worries me about the future. I am still keen on the growth of left progressive politics. Labour conceded a long time its mistakes on the erosion of civil liberties (e.g. periods of detention in terrorism, ID cards), but needs to be aggressive in demonstrating that it had over a period of centuries a commitment to civil liberties, in fact. The Tories simultaneously argue that there has been an erosion of civil liberties and that the Human Rights Act is too ‘liberal’. The Liberal Democrats strongly indorsed the Human Rights Act (1998) before they got into bed with the Tories for political opportunism; the Tories violently opposed the Act, preferring an unenforceable aspirational Bill of Rights instead.

The future includes aspiring Councillors like Lisa Harding. Here is her website:

There is no doubt about Lisa’s commitment to her Party (the Liberal Democrats), nor indeed to her local constituency.

Indeed, a friend of mine on Facebook wrote as follows,

Really, really interesting that was. Thank you. If all councillors showed this much enthusiasm for the history of the place they are representing we’d all be a darn sight better off. Well done Lisa Harding.
There’ll be a cold day in hell before the Lib Dems ever get a vote from me. But with people like this on their team, they should be very proud. I shalll mail this to Mr Clegg and voice my approval after work :)

I will not go as far as to say the Labour Party as a whole should ‘work with’ the Liberal Democrats. After all, we know the rather unpleasant diatribe that Tim Farron and Nick Clegg have produced against Labour’s spending during the world recession. However, I would really like an appreciation that a progressive left agenda can be worked out on human rights. Take for example the disaster that was waiting to happen between the Tories and Lib Dems on control orders. And also – for any chronic patient in the NHS or any parent sending their kid to school in the state sector – such demonisation and vilification of the State won’t be tolerated any longer. The ‘Big Society’ has failed, and there is a reason for that.

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