A Lib-Dem in La-La-Land

A street scene in Syria

In Flecker’s magnificent poem “The Gates of Damascus”, he writes “Thou hast not many miles to tread/Nor other foes than fleas to dread/Homs shall behold thy morning meal/And Hama see the safe in bed”.  See the poem here (and spot the typo!).

Sadly Flecker reckoned without President Assad.  There are few of us today who would care to take our morning meal in Homs, or to try to sleep safely in Hama.  A large part of Homs is surrounded by the tanks and artillery of the Assad régime.  There is a brutal assault on the town, with wholesale slaughter of civilians — men, women, children — and indiscriminate destruction of property and infrastructure.  It’s a war zone.  Recent reports say that the artillery is deliberately targeting the field hospital in the besieged area.  Syria is, in short, a tyrannical dictatorship, lashing out desperately with all the military force at its disposal, determined to silence opposition at any cost, including the cost of human life.

So I was surprised by a Telegraph headline on Feb 6th, “Britain as tyrannical as Syria with unelected Lords, says Lib-Dem”.    The Lib-Dem in question was one Tim Farron, the Lib-Dem President.  He is sometimes suggested as a future leader of the Party, if the last-century muesli-and-sandals brigade should benefit from the inevitable demise of the Orange Book tendency under Nick Clegg.

So let’s stand back and get the perspective.  The President of a once-great party is telling us that Britain is as tyrannical as Syria, because the Lords are unelected.

Let’s also recall that we live in a democracy, where we saw a change of government less than two years ago.  We have a House of Lords largely appointed by the elected government, with very limited revising powers.  Meantime the elected Prime Minister can wheel out the Parliament Act to get his business through if he is so minded.

The Lords themselves are, for the most part, a bunch of avuncular figures, men (and women) of good will, if occasionally misguided.  So help us, they even include a good number of Lib-Dems, Mr. Farron’s allies.   They are, to a man (and to a woman) committed to the ideals of democracy and human rights.  And the appointment of these well-meaning folk, with their strictly circumscribed powers, makes us “as tyrannical as Syria”.

We are accustomed to hearing politicians on flights of rhetorical hyperbole, but we surely except them to try to be reasonably credible, at least with their supporters, if no one else.  Yet I imagine that the Lib-Dems themselves are cringing at Fallon’s proposition.  He is on such a flight of fancy that he brings himself and his Party (and the profession of politics) into disrepute.  And he reminds us yet again of the huge irrelevance of the Lib-Dems to the British body politic.

I shall have a lasting mental image of Mr. Farron, waiting wistfully on the pavement outside Lib-Dem HQ, ready in the cause of democracy to throw himself under the tracks of the tanks that never came.

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9 Responses to A Lib-Dem in La-La-Land

  1. fenbeagleblog says:

    …..’Let’s also recall that we live in a democracy, where we saw a change of government less than two years ago.’

    Technically correct, but remind me, how many people actually voted for the Condem political party that forms our present government? Or the previous leader it replaced? Or other replacement leaders in the past? Did the public vote for the level of power that Europe now has over us? Were promises for votes on this issue honoured by our leaders? This country is now in the habit of making war against other countries without the express will of the people, even with large demonstrations in London against it, and public opinion polls in the negative, supported by parliament for reasons that turn out to be untrue. We may not be Syria, but how syrias are you being in calling us a democracy?

    • As fenbeagleblog quoted you: …..’Let’s also recall that we live in a democracy,

      We do? That’s news to me. So who issued the following on matters of policy over which we have no control (as of 2011)?

      Directives 1,844
      Regulations 8,471
      Decisions 17,423
      Legal Acts 32,088

      How do we elect this group called The European Commission?
      How do we hold it to account?

      We cannot. How does that fit into any definition of democracy that you can think of?

  2. Sue says:

    Certainly, we are not being slaughtered en masse but there is more than one way to ethnically cleanse a people.

    It has been happening to the English for decades. Firstly, the multicultural experiment of ensuring as many immigrants as possible are imported into England. This has fractured and destroyed our traditional communities in cities and towns. Driven families apart (mine, for example from the East End of London) and ensured that we feel completely alienated in our own communities by threatening us if we dare to say anything. I loved the East End and would have stayed if we hadn’t have been invaded. It got to the point where I couldn’t find a school for my little ones that still had English speaking kids in it. We were forced to leave.

    Secondly, taking whatever dignity we have left and handing it over to the EU. Now we have no rights at all. We are being denied the right to choose if we want to leave this “club” and while we sit in silence, more and more people are streaming into our country and quite literally tearing it apart. The newer states especially have absolutely no regard for our laws, customs or traditions.

    We can kid ourselves we live in a democracy and the government and EU can try and convince us that we do, but we don’t. We don’t even get a say in the Scottish Independence Campaign.

    Most of us would rather have things the way they were, pre uncontrolled immigration and pre EU dictatorship but what we want doesn’t really matter anymore.

    How this government is allowing people like Abu Qatada to stay in our country has pretty much summed it up for me. The English don’t matter! The only thing that this government requires from us is our money, silence and obedience.

  3. Gary Rickard says:

    ‘Indiscriminate destruction of property’. Sorry to drift off topic but it sounds a bit like Spain in that respect.

  4. Phil H says:

    One of the very few negatives of living in Richmond is that it is infested with Lib-Dems. Basically middle-class people who should vote Tory but have their head stuck firmly up their arse!
    They really do have beards and ride bicycles with hi-vis jackets.
    Luckily they are out-numbered by anti-Cameron Tories with an anti-Cameron MP we can be proud off. I still want to punch them though!

  5. Sarah says:

    “Yet I imagine that the Lib-Dems themselves are cringing at Fallon’s proposition”

    I can’t find much info on “Fallon”, anyone got a good description as to why Tim should be referred to as this?

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