I always try to keep news that I enjoy because I’m a Liberal Democrat, and the news I enjoy because I’m a human being, separate. Last week’s news of the launching of a marvellous cross-party initiative by Norman Lamb MP to push for better mental treatment, the latest Guardian Long read launching with extensive interviewing of Leeds North-West MP Greg Mulholland regarding his chairing of the cross-party-parliamentary Save the Pub Group since 2009, and the Lib Dems’ motion in the Lords to put an end to the Tories’ Tax Credits cuts all fall in the former category of news. You probably don’t need me to tell you that mental health coverage is still a pig’s ear in the country, especially compared to physical health coverage in the NHS, the fact that almost 30 pubs shut for good every week, when they act as a community hub for many, according to CAMRA is frightening, and the proposed Tory tax credits will have three million families more than £1,000 a year worse off, so we must do all what we can to oppose them.
But what of the official opposition? What of the Labour party? Well, the news coming out of them is that their last Education Secretary claims his party’s ‘in the Shit’ and the ‘top one per cent’ must take its leadership again, that more Labour Lords will vote against ending Tax Credit cuts than for ending them, and that a third Labour lord shall probably be leaving the party after wishing it ‘Goodbye’, Tom Harris (the first two being former minister Lord Warner and the delightful Alan Sugar).
You really don’t need me to tell you which is doing more and providing a more stable opposition party. Whilst Labour is quite literally imploding as the majority of its established figures hate its leadership and its ordinary members and vice versa, the Liberal Democrats are getting on with providing both an opposition to the unnecessary cuts of a right-wing government and a campaigning tool in their own right with sensible, progressive, and liberal politics. Unless you enjoy the tribalism and internal violence that Labour which is all Labour is seemingly good for these days, and you don’t want the current government to continue its ruthless austerity which even many of its own members think they’ve gone too far with, then consider the Liberal Democrats again.
Callum Delhoy is Events Officer for the University of York Liberal Democrats.