Ten Things I Won’t Miss After The Election

1) People assuming that the Lib Dems are now a distaff branch of the Conservative party, rather than a separate party, in exactly the same way they assumed five years ago we were Labour’s reserve squad.

2) Nigel Farage

3) Being personally blamed for policies which I oppose, which my party opposes as a party, which the MP I campaigned for last time voted against, but which were agreed by an executive that includes some members of my party. And having that blame coming from people who support a party which actually supports those policies and wants to make them worse.

4) Thunderclaps on Twitter

5) The horrible uncertainty about which form of horrible government we’ll have next week.

6) Having to contact voters. I’m not good at dealing with other people.

7) Anti-Scottish bigotry in the newspapers (NB I don’t mean here anti-SNP stuff, because I don’t support them either, but anti-Scottish-person)

8) Hearing constantly about how we never talk about immigration while every single UK-wide political party I know of supports further controls on it and the Labour party have erected a gigantic eight-food stone momument with “controls on immigration” carved into it. NB this may, sadly, not end with the election.

9) Constant discussion of who will and won’t do a deal with whom, along with fake outrage from Labour twitterers every time any party says it might have any conditions at all for supporting a Labour government. Let’s at least leave it until there have been some votes, eh?

10) Biting my tongue about things I disagree with on my own side. I’m normally pretty outspoken, but I’ve tried recently to keep my criticisms of the Lib Dems to my private Twitter, because since anyone who wants to can find attacks on the party in every single national newspaper, every comedy show on TV or radio, and all over their Twitter or Facebook, I figure that the party has enough enemies pointing out its problems without the membership giving those enemies ammunition.

But a few things I *would* miss after the election: Tessa Munt, Stephen Gilbert, Andrew George, John Leech… those are a few of the Lib Dem candidates in ultra-marginal seats who’ve done good work, and for the most part done it from the back benches. There are a lot more like them (those are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head where every vote will count). Whatever you think of the coalition government’s record, check what parts of it your local Lib Dem candidate actually voted for, and what other things they voted for — you may be surprised.

(Non-politics post tonight, and at least one non-politics post every day this week)

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16 Responses to Ten Things I Won’t Miss After The Election

  1. gavinburrows says:

    2.) We did get it in writing that if he doesn’t win Thanet he has to resign?
    7.) I’ve been enjoying that no end! The idea that Scottish people voting for the candidates they want to vote for being some kind of affront to democracy. Priceless stuff!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I’m not sure that even getting Farage to sign in blood would be enough to get him to keep to a promise, but I think after they don’t do anything this election, UKIP will disintegrate into a screaming mass of recriminations and conspiracy theories. The one good thing might be that the manifest unfairness of them doing so much worse than the Lib Dems on a similar or greater vote share might help the push for electoral reform.

      • gavinburrows says:

        On a slightly more serious note than my earlier comment, while you’re most likely right I fear the harm has been done. The danger of UKIP was never their rising to power, and even if they did their hopeless incoherence and incompetence would soon scupper them. They’d probably end up having to pass a No Confidence motion on themselves. But their presence has pushed mainstream politics so far to the right. It was already pretty far-right, and now it’s even further. You almost can’t be a mainstream politician if you don’t blame random things on immigrants every other sentence.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          Absolutely. It’s utterly horrific, and as someone married to an immigrant, who sees the effect this has on her mental health, it’s the single worst thing about current politics for me (out of a lot of bad ones).
          At the council hustings I spoke at the other week, the first question was “how would the candidates deal with the problem of littering around Greenbank and Stockport Road?” — the Kipper replied that he’d close the borders and introduce an Australian-style points system…

        • Mike Taylor says:

          That’s precisely right. They’re like the Evil Twin of the Greens. Both parties are unelectable, but both have had profound effects on the policies of the mainstream parties — one to very good effect, the other to very bad.

  2. patrickhadfield says:

    Excellent post! Especially on the LibDem stuff.

    I’m worried we’ll lose Jo Swinson and Mike Crockart up here. It is all rather nail-biting.

    I’m amused that you campaign despite not liking contacting people. Having delivered leaflets, canvassed and “knocked up” before, I decided I could have most impact by limiting my campaigning to clerical, non voter contact stuff. I have written hundreds of blue envelopes, stuffed hundreds envelopes, and addressed hundreds of envelopes!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I did a bit of stuffing yesterday, but to be honest the main thing I’ve been doing this election is giving money, as my health hasn’t allowed me to campaign as I’d like. I’ve made a few donations to John Leech’s campaign which while they’re not enough in real terms are much bigger than anything I’ve been able to afford in previous elections.

  3. Taj says:

    In re: (3) & (9), don’t you think that, if there’d been more open discussion of coalition deal-making before the last election, your party might not have enabled those policies that you oppose? For me, the fear of another foolish deal with the Tories is the strongest argument against voting Lib Dem.

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