When did it go wrong for the LibDems?

Posted 11 May 2015 by Walaa Idris


Five years ago, when everybody agreed with Nick, our nation’s economy was worse than that of Greece. Our debt piled high and we were broke. The Conservatives had the largest majority but not enough to govern with any certain stability. So the Liberal Democrats selflessly stepped up to the plate, and for the national interest formed the first UK coalition government in almost a century. For five years, both parties compromised a number of their own manifesto pledges for raison d‘état and to maintain a secure and stable government. The partnership swiftly began repairing the damaged economy and succeeded in bringing our nation from the brink of collapse.

Five years later, as we saw on Thursday the majority of voters liked what the last government did. And approved what the coalition government had achieved. So, why did one partner of the coalition succeed with a majority though a slim one, and was given the mandate to govern alone and the other was almost wiped out?
Is it because they compromised some of their manifesto pledges? But both parties did. Is it because they went into coalition with a party they regarded as an opponent? Again, both parties faced disagreement from their members and voters against the decision to go into coalition ….

So what went wrong? Why were the LibDems punished so badly for doing the right and honourable thing?

We Brits are humble, caring and loyal people. We might not always show affection, but we are very loving in our own way. It might sound like I’m going off topic here, but I have a point to make. Let’s take Ed Miliband and why he didn’t sit well with many people. He might be a little awkward, but during the campaign we saw he’s a decent fella and learnt that he’s a conviction politician, and we know there aren’t many of those around these days. By the end of the campaign, more people warmed up to him and his personal approval ratings improved. However, the one thing he could not and will never shake off is what he did to his own brother. And, although we Brits are rather private and don’t like confrontation and many won’t openly say it, but privately many feel they cannot trust someone who publicly went against his only brother in this way – because that behaviour displays a level of alarming self-love.

The Liberal Democrats did a similar thing. While they and the Conservatives are not blood brothers, they made a deal to work as one team. Everybody knew and to some extend understood for the coalition to work compromises needed to be made. That is why many were very surprised Libs leaked a number of private negotiations and behind the door conversations for the sole reason of making themselves appear as the more moderate of the two partners and the ones that cares the most.
That did not sit well with the electorate.

The sad thing in all of that is many of these conversations will sooner or later come out in biographies and make their way into historic books about that period. And, while at the start of the parliament they (LibDems) were seen as selfless patriots, by the end some of their behaviour reduced them to self-serving opportunists.

In Britain as much as we value loyalty we strongly scorn disloyalty.

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Where is our compassion and why the overkill?

Posted 5 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

Chris Huhne

Chris Huhne has no one to blame but himself for his predicament. And I bet he knows and accepts that. The man lied and lived with his lie for ten years; imagine the anguish and despair he and his wife had to live with all that time. I don’t know or understand his reasons for lying and might not even agree with them. But they must be very important to him otherwise he won’t have risked everything for something as little as three points on his driving licence, a fine and the possible suspension of it.

However, I find the compassionless venomous reaction to his admission of guilt, from many in the media especially social media very disturbing. Falling from grace is tough enough, losing the respect of your loved ones is even tougher. Then facing the prospect of losing your liberty, after ten years of being locked up in your own personal exile of inner turmoil is the utmost punishment any person can impose on them self. Dark negative secrets can sometimes kill, that in itself is a sentence.

Can we possibly just show some compassion? Is it possible for us to let Chris Huhne and his family just be, can we respect their ordeal and allow them the space and privacy to deal with it, while justice takes its course? I am positive, if in their shoes, we would like to be treated with some empathy. I know I would.

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Ahhh, the LibDems… bless!

Posted 15 Jan 2013 by Walaa Idris

I wonder can one be surprised but at the same time not surprised?

Well I am. Surprised at the way the LibDems are going on about David Cameron’s EU speech. Because nobody has heard it yet and although everybody is anticipating what he might say, we won’t really knows until he says it. But the way they are going on about it, you’d be forgiven for thinking Cameron has already announced the date of the UK pulling out of the EU! I am also ‘very’ surprised because I seem to remember during the last parliament they supported an In/Out referendum!

But, at the same time, I am not surprised they changed their tune. One because they are still very sore over losing the AV Referendum – bizarrely, they somehow seem to think Tories promised to fully back AV or just handed it to them! Since then it seems, anything that might throw off the Tories LibDems will fully support. Plus they tend to change their mind a lot.

However, will not be surprise with more reneges between now and 2015.


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Liberals’ guide to apologies, or not

Posted 21 Sep 2012 by Walaa Idris

Clegg’s tuition fees’ apology will turn into a PR disaster and might even give the opposite effect, if Libs don’t get on the same page.

In his heartfelt apology, Nick Clegg was very clear that he thought they made a mistake when they promised before the election to vote against any rise in tuition fees. And added they shouldn’t have committed to a policy that was so expensive when there was no money around, especially as the other parties did not and the only way they (the Liberal Democrats) could implement it was in a coalition government.

Therefore, the promise was a mistake and Clegg bravely put his hands up and apologized!

Imagine my surprise when the following morning David Laws told the Today program:

“If the Liberal Democrats had won 500 seats, of course it would have been technically possible to deliver this policy. It wasn’t possible after the election, and that is why Nick has apologized.”

To me, that sounded more like “because we were in coalition we had to give in” and nothing like “we gave in because it was unworkable and a mistake to begin with”

Then later that afternoon, Equalities minster Jo Swinson said:

“Had we had enough seats to form a majority Liberal Democrat government, we would have implemented our manifesto.”

So forgive my confusion, which is it? A mistake because there wasn’t enough money to implement and should never have been promised in the first place, or a compromise because Liberals didn’t win an outright majority?

The difference between the two is significant!


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Dear coalition partners I like you, but....

Posted 11 Mar 2012 by Walaa Idris


In a few weeks’ time this coalition government will be two years old. And although the two parties spent part of the first year finding their feet and getting to know one another closely; a great deal was achieved in two years. But at the same time lots came out about their characters.

Of the three main parties, the Liberal Democrats believe coalition government can be better than a majority party government. Not a surprise, because as things stand, the only way they can govern is in coalition. However, what I find surprising, liberals seem constantly criticizing this government, their own coalition government, as if they are on the outside looking in and not an active and invested partner!

For us, non-coalition types, this behavior just confirms the traditional belief that in the future what’s best for the nation especially at a time of crisis is the stability of a minority government for some time followed by a snap election and a majority government. Because what started as a new era of selfless politics turned out to be a destabilizing public display of power struggle between associates.

Where Conservatives minsters are constantly working towards a harmonious union of the two ideological divides, liberals are busy claiming victories and putting their stamp on every detail. While Tories strive to do what’s best for the national interest (the main reason for forming this partnership) LibDems are too busy scoring points for their own future manifesto.

My worry is, all this point scoring business is getting in the way of the main reason we are in partnership and that is sorting out the country’s economy. As an optimist, despite my disappointment, I still hope the novelty of being in government has in two years wore off and the Libs are now ready to spend the remaining three years of this parliament working as part of a team and stop acting like the enemy within.

Don’t get me wrong, despite the frustrations, a great deal was achieved and there is much for the two partners to celebrate together. But going forward the aim should be to focus on the reasons the two parties came together to achieve, highlight their benefits and not compete internally against their one goal, sorting out the mess inherited from Labour. And since coalition government is their lifeline and only hope of government, I would think it is in their best interest to show national coalition governments works and they, the Liberal Democrats, are an attractive trusted partner to work with.

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Does Tom Farron speak for all the liberals?

Posted 9 Mar 2012 by Walaa Idris

Is Tim Farron saying the Liberal Democrats went into coalition to stop a Tory majority government!? When most of us are under the impression they did it for the national interest, for the the good of Britain and what’s best for people!


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In reply to Tim Montgomery’s question….

Posted 21 Sep 2011 by Walaa Idris

My good friend, Tim, asked here if we, the Conservatives, should worry about the Liberal Democrats’ attempts to retoxify the Tory brand.

The short answer is no – pay it no attention because it’s already backfiring and will sooner or later just blow away!

After a year in government together, one thing is very clear – both sides have internal unrest but one side is not handling their discontent well and understandably is finding it hard to be in a position of authority.

The LibDems are so used to being in opposition they have very little idea how to become the executive, like a dog chasing his tail, they are striking against their own without even knowing it. Being in power is new to them plus they somehow seem to lack the basic discipline of knowing what to say, when and who to say it to. Most feel speaking your mind is a democratic right even if it is to put down your own lot. But as grownups we all understand in frontline politics democracy is useless without some diplomacy – and most LibDems lack the tact of intertwining the two together.

While on the other hand, the Conservatives are old hands at the art of savoir-faire. Of course the party has its share of internal divisions and rebels, but self – restrain is always exercised. Public criticisms are mostly constructive and rarely of a venting nature. As hard as Tories can be on their leader he or she is always publicly edified and that respect is reflected on everything said about the leader.

However, that does not seem to be the case with our partners. Judging by last night’s Glee event at their conference – Nick Clegg and the coalition were the center of the conference joke and bore the brunt of unpleasant renditions. Satire or not, a leader disrespected by his own can hardly be respected by outsiders.

Nick Clegg was correct when he said they are punching above their weight and its showing!


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Perhaps it’s time for the Liberals to take a step back and reassess!

Posted 23 Jun 2011 by Walaa Idris

It is just me or does the Liberal Democrats have a knack for picking the exact opposite of what everybody else in the country wants!?

Take the Alternative Vote (AV) Referendum. They put all their might behind reforming the voting system and got trashed for it. Logic dictates that they will look at what happened there and learn from it before embarking on any more reforms. As there were many lessons to be learnt from AV. Its outcome was a clear reflection of the publics’ mood and appetite for change. It was also very clear that in the current economic climate, our nation did not want any distraction form the essentials and the job at hand, nor do they want their tax money spent on anything other than those essentials.

Therefore, to pursue with renewed vigour Lords Reform and now Green Targets is simply political suicide!

And it reminds me of Lottery winners who after winning millions years later end up on benefit because they did not know how to manage what could have been a life changing gift. Yes history will remember both, but for all the wrong reasons.

Tenacity is good because it gives us purpose and focuses our minds, however, only a fool will persist when the outcome is knowingly adverse!


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Not so fast!

Posted 13 Dec 2010 by Walaa Idris

Ed Miliband

How is Red Ed entrusted with making and developing Labour’s policy is beyond me!

Before the General Election he was trolling Twitter asking and looking for ideas for the party’s election manifesto and look how well that turned out!

Today (obviously, not a man who learns from his mistakes) he is asking, okay “inviting” – Lib Demers to join his party and help him fill his blank sheet of paper with policies. But, did he forget that not so long ago he said: “I plan to make the Lib Dems an endangered species and then extinct!!!”.

If he did forget – I am more than positive that the liberals did not and they are on to him!


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A change in heart!

Posted 12 Dec 2010 by Walaa Idris

Liberal Democrats

My opinion and respect for the Liberal Democrats has changed a lot since a year or so ago. The liberals went into the last General Election on a high note with the eyes of the nation firmly on them. Many people, me included wondered whether the allure of that fame will go straight to their heads and if they’ll fall flat at the first hurdle!

As the smallest of the three main parties, they had the most to lose as well as the most to gain going in coalition with the Conservatives. Alternatively, not forming a coalition meant they had to stand on the sidelines and the best they can deliver with their new exposure was to criticise the government’s every move even louder – built and expand on that revelation even at the expense of the country’s stability.

However they chose not to and opted to become involved. By going into Coalition with a rival party and to make their union work, like the Tories, for the greater good and the stability of the country they had to abandon some of their own promised polices. They knew as the smaller partner they risked being swallowed and in some way even damaged by it – but nevertheless they put country before party – and for that they command our utmost respect!

It is rich for the Labour party who got us in this mess in the first place, YES – I’ll say it again – the Labour party who got us in this mess in the first place – to label them traitors. I find it utterly wicked that while two parties can see fit to put aside ideological differences for what’s best for the majority of people and to protect our country form a Greece style economic disaster, all Labour, who is FULLY responsible for the current financial carnage can do is stand on the sidelines arrogantly recruiting disaffected liberals. Never once admitting their part in the damage they caused over the past 13 years, never once apologising for stifling prosperity, halting social mobility and killing aspiration and let’s not forget wrecking a solid economy.

Today’s polls might show the liberals’ weakened by their patriotic stance – which Labour is salivating at the prospects it brings their way – it’s not but a temporary superficial setback and it won’t last. I trust and believe the British people will in time see the whole candid truth. They will in the coming weeks and month see Labour for what they really are an opportunist group who will say and do anything for personal gain even at the expense of the nation and hail the liberal as patriots!

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