Friday, 5 September 2014

Liberal Democrats - no more?

I was sent this by a friend who does not think breaking up the UK is a good idea but at least has the gumption not to fall for the Westminster hubris:

On Wednesday, September 3, 2014 5:55 PM, Tim Farron <> wrote:

A new YouGov poll shows that the referendum vote is closer than ever, with 53% of Scots planning to vote No.
If that doesn’t scare you, it should. We are 15 days away from an historic vote that will decide Scotland’s future. If Scotland decides to go it alone the United Kingdom will be a very different place.
With so little time we have to do everything we can to help persuade voters in Scotland that we want them to stay with us in the United Kingdom. My friends and colleagues Alistair Carmichael, Ming Campbell and Willie Rennie have laid out a plan for Home Rule for Scotland. With a No vote on 18 September, we are one step closing to delivering it.
Up and down Scotland our volunteers are knocking on doors and making phone calls to undecided voters. Our printers are running non-stop, refuting the mis-truths that Alex Salmond has used to get this far.
With your help we can keep the lead and make sure Scotland votes to stay on 18 September.
Thanks for everything,
Tim Farron MP
Liberal Democrats
The Reply:

Dear Tim

I appreciate it's your belief you're doing a great action by promoting to me my supposed opposition to Scotland Independence. 

Has it occurred to you England and Scotland are democratic countries? What this means is the people who live there are entitled to their own choice of what kind of country they want, and who they want to represent them. 

If Scottish people want an independent country, what right do we in England have to relate to them like they're stupid and don't know how much better off they will be with England? Clearly millions of people are not happy with a centralized government in Whitehall passing laws to tell them what to do in their own country. They've had enough. 

If the Scots want independence they have my vote. If they choose by democratic vote to stay in the United Kingdom, this is great too. Whatever THEY want is THEIR free choice, not mine to interfere with. 

I already feel way too much is decided in the name of democracy and it's plain and simple not democratic. The people of the UK are related to like we're two year olds who need others to tell them what to do, how to live, and how to run their own country. Look at how UK leaders rush us into EU all the time, and allow people who are never accountable to us, and were not elected by us, to tell us what to do. No wonder millions of Scots are rushing at the chance to have a say about their own lives. Good on them! I only wish enough people in England had a 10th of the gumption. 

We in the rest of the UK will be next in throwing off some stupid shackles we didn't ask for, and don't appreciate. Watch out UKIP. The LibDems leaders keep kidding themselves that people want what LibDems propose. They Don't! The majority of people are not exercising their vote at all. Why is this? Because people who think they're elected by the majority act like you do with this email you sent me. 

I didn't ask to be related to like a supporter of anti-Scotland independence. When did you ask MY vote or opinion on this before arrogantly charging along pushing me to support it? Voting about Scotland, and whatever that represents to you, is not explained to me how my vote can influence the UK in a responsible way. It's something you don't explain, don't give me a choice about, and "assume" I'm going to go along with. You use my association with LibDems to push your ideas of what Scottish people ought to be doing - in your opinion. You are entitled to your own opinion but that's a personal opinion, not an elected representatives opinion representing the people who voted for you. 

None of what you write me is persuasive, nor democratic. 

Unfortunately I feel you're going to win in Scotland anyhow. Enough fear of departing the UK has been fired up with the Scots through lurid headlines, and enough people are not voting, or don't understand what they're voting for. Not because they're not interested, but because of poor presentation of what the options are, and what they mean. 

I'm interested in being a LibDem member to :
  • influence transparency and fulsome intelligently presented propositions to the electorate
  • establish true accountability of politicians and those who report to them, and 
  • get us out of EU if that means nameless bureaucrats continue to dictate laws we don't want, and are not democratically decided. 

Transparency, accountability, and democracy doesn't currently exist in UK - England - or LibDems!

I am not enrolled to sticking my nose into the affairs of others who, like me, wish to have an electoral representation that reflects the wishes and desires of their local community. I support the right of others to have their own representation which reflects their own, and no one else's ideas of how that community should exist for the best well-being of local people. This includes Scotland, Palestine, South Africa, Myanmar, to name a few. 

Please, at a senior level in LibDems, consider why you find it necessary to assume we all go along with you? If you keep thinking this, LibDems are on the rocky road of downward slide. There is a BIG job to get LibDem party members "with you" at this point. Instead of, from Nick Clegg down, continually announcing policies, why not ASK THE PEOPLE FIRST whether we agree, and what we think !!

Maybe introduce education about democracy in schools so politicians learn what it really means too, on their way to the top. 
Democracy is choice of the people. It's not only a vote. It's telling the truth, telling all the facts in a way people can understand, think about, discuss with each other, relate to, and debate. It means answering questions, and giving everyone the right to say what they think, and be heard respectfully. It means showing true leadership that voters can trust and rely on. It's knowing when you vote for something, it IS going to happen. Do you see what's missing when you think about what goes for democracy now? 

There are many underlying non-public agendas in this persuasion of Scotland to stay with UK. People who don't understand feel it. There's a lack of trust, a lack of honesty, and lack of passion for a future which people really believe is possible for them to have, whichever side of the debate they're on. There's something hidden going on. People sense it and feel angry. The whole independence movement has come out of anger. Anger only happens like this when there's a big gap between desires and reality. What Scottish people really want is to exercise THEIR choice, not only about this election, but all the time, month in and month out. They want the laws they agree with, the people they want to represent them with THEIR opinions, and to decide their future the way THEY want it. Not too much to ask surely?

No thank you. I'm not going to join you basically voting against the right of the Scottish people to make their own minds up. I have friends in Scotland working very hard for Scottish democracy. I don't agree with what they say either, but I shut up. It's not my business. It's THEIR choice, their country, their future. Whatever happens they can handle it because they're capable of handling their own country's self-determination.  They have enough resources and they're going for it. Good on them. 

I am not alone in what I think, and took the time to respond with more than most people will tell you. Thank you for listening. 

Best regards