Food for thought
Why do people join the Lib Dems? Here's a piece by Duncan Stewart that gives you one new party member's thoughts.
The curse of living in interesting times is surely upon us and the major casualty of the recent completely unnecessary upheaval in our political scene is the virtual disappearance of the political centre ground. We have been forced, and may have been so again by the time you read this, to vote either 'in' or 'out' at the referendum when 'don't know' would have been a reasonable third option ahead of informed debate.
Parliament resembles one of those triangular supermarket sandwiches out of which someone has taken a large central bite leaving just the pointy bits, containing not much filling. The Right end of our Westminster sandwich is dominated by the usual English, noisy, privately educated, mildly xenophobic alpha males reared on a diet of British historical successes such as Waterloo, Trafalgar, D-Day, Steam power and Concorde, but neglectful of the atrocities of the Boer war, deadly imposed famines in India, the Peterloo massacre and failures like Gallipoli and Suez. They reason, using this highly selected evidence, that we as a nation possess some kind of infallibility so future success is assured. This is a section of our population that has unsurprisingly produced a disproportionally large number of our diplomats, spies, venture capitalists, advertisers, actors and other deceivers.
The equally unappetizing crusty Left corner is currently led by a couple of ageing provocateurs with an equally selective but resolutely dystopian view of our nation's history who have no personal experience of government, business management or diplomacy. They are fence-straddling in the hope of achieving party political gain out of the chaos that is about to engulf the nation These deluded folk hope that reigniting class warfare will solve our social ills, of which I admit there are many. Appealing to our sense of fairness to create equality of opportunity and reward is laudable but why minimize the chances of success by undermining the engines of wealth production. They are also peddling the notion that if able to gain power they can call up an invisible, i.e non-existent, alternative cadre of civil servants to negotiate a hugely improved Brexit deal.
I probably should apologise for my obsession with this catastrophe called Brexit but like some malign punchbag every time I push it and turn away from the subject it swings back and hits me on the back of my head - and I find it soothing to advertise my distress!
It is said that the easiest people to sell to are salesmen, presumably because they are programmed to engage with, and be more interested in, the selling rather than what is being sold. Similarly we as a nation have been groomed to accept the appeal of superficially glamorous, impracticable, extreme views and of those who extol them, and to despise rather dull but functional moderation. We are not going to cast off from Europe and rise again as a world super-power, we have had our day, and we don't need a revolution in order to make social progress. We need the tolerant, liberal, reasoning centre ground of our political establishment to regroup, make itself heard and address our real problems.