Monday, March 21, 2011
I joined the Conservatives long before Cameron was born. I won't be pushed out
It was all but 120 years ago, in a speech at Hastings on 17 March 1891, that Gladstone – a real Liberal – spoke about these matters. His words are ever more relevant today:
“The finance of this country is intimately associated with the liberties of this country. It is a powerful leverage by which English liberty has been gradually aquired … It lies at the root of English liberty. If these powers of the House of Commons come to be encroached upon, it will be by tacit and insidious measures and therefore, I say public attention should be called to this.”
I believe I had a reply to this which I cannot find in terms of - what counts is the policies and principles not the party name and saying I think he is right to remain in the party because he can personally fight most usefully there. Political movement is achieved most effectively by the combination of pressure from inside and outside the ruling group. And then mentioning my expulsion from the Pseudoliberals
It is in our interest that there should be a stable government in Libya. That can only be achieved if the change of government is undertaken by the Libyan people. The more outsiders intervene, the more likely it is that whatever regime succeeds Gaddafi will be seen as one imposed by the West.
So, for the moment I would be cautious about a no-fly zone. It is bound to lead to attacks on radar and anti-aircraft facilities on the ground, and if Colonel Gaddafi has any sense he will make sure that this would cause civilian casualties, which would not be in the best interests of the Libyan people. The Government has made a virtue of reaching decisions quickly. This is a decision which needs to be thought through thoroughly, rather than undertaken in a spasm.
I had not thought of your good point about intervention tending to produce instability.
I would also suggest that, other things being even close to equal, it is in Britain's interest (& everybody else's) that the rules of international law be respected. We live in an ever shrinking world society and law is the instrument whereby members of society rub along. Without it everybody goes armed.
International law does not allow us to invade each other's neighbours and that is a good thing. Even the UN Charter goes to some length to say it does not overturn the sovereign rights of its signatories, with the sole exception of when clear genocide is proven. We broke that in attacking Yugoslavia & may have done so with Iraq and earned much distrust thereby.
One slightly worrying effect of the Libya situation is that for the first time China joined in voting for some sanctions against Libya. This means either the Chinese are persuaded of the necessity to support the western powers as a matter of principle or it may mean that they see themselves as a rising power on the cusp of exercising the same power of interference that we engaged in in "cleansing" Kosovo. It is very much in our national interest that we not tempt them to follow such example.
I was grateful for the understanding of a lot of former Conservative voters who are now UKIP supporters and activists, Simxn and henrietta amongst them, and indeed neilcraig who was expelled from the LibDems for nationalism, that I have chosen to stay in my Party to put it back on track and not just on Europe I would add. As flyinthesky said, there is a risk that the change may come too late, but that is no reason not to try. I do not see why ravenscar thinks there should be another new nationalist party, but not the BNP. After all, isn’t that what UKIP is? It may be that if I and my friends cannot rescue the Conservative Party from large scale infiltration of SDP people to which pixie_jade referred, that UKIP will become the new home for Conservative philosophy which upik is seeking.
My expulsion from the LudDims was for economic liberalism not nationalism - specifically for having had letters published in Scotland's papers calling for cuts in corporation tax and reducing government restrictions on house building to help the economy grow as Ireland's did and allowing the construction of new nuclear plants to stop the lights going out. The Scots party Executive voted unanimously that this was "illiberal" and "incompatible with party membership." Should anybody still be interested it is all here http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_archive.html (feb 16-19th)
In retrospect the party were quite right to expel me for being a liberal but are entirely dishonest in still claiming the name. ----------------------------------------
Lastly, sorry neilcraig for getting wrong the crime for which you were ejected from the Lib Dems, but you are welcome here as a liberal!
In turn Lord Tebbit I will apologise that, when you were in power I was on an opposing side. As an opponent, in my very small way, I always thought you a fearsomely competent psephologist and while I supported electoral reform (& still do) your analysis was spot on. Had history gone otherwise I think it highly probable you would have won & Blair never been heard of.
Finally, I am glad that after all these years neilcraig and I have found a lot of common ground. I am indebted to him for his kind remarks. That is one of the interesting things about blogging.