Ten tips for the Liberal Democrats | Julian Glover | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
This is about the only sensible commentary on the Lib Dems I have seen in the Guardian over the last week or so. Everything else from them and Labour has been a hate-filled fact-free rant. Where is Labour’s anger coming from? When the Lib Dems went into coalition, I expected Labour to whinge. But this depth of hatred and anger is really quite baffling.Where is Labour’s anger coming from? When the Lib Dems went into coalition, I expected Labour to whinge. But this depth of hatred and anger is really quite baffling. For implementing a policy that Labour advocated in their election manifesto, the Lib Dems have been branded Nazis, social cleansers, advocates of Victorian workhouses and ginger rodents. For winning liberal concessions from a majority Conservative government, Polly Toynbee, Marina Hyde, Johann Hari, Harriet Harman, Tristram Hunt and co have lined up to denounce Lib Dems as traitors.
Part of it is just politics. But part of it goes deeper, I think, and is psychological. Forget the Miliband saga, for a good 20 years the Lib Dems have been seen by Labour as their little brother. And as we know, no-one likes it when their little brother ends up doing better than them. Labour’s current sulk is just a wider institutional version of David Miliband’s. They both need to grow up. For despite the very real differences between the Lib Dems and Labour, the two parties do share a lot in common. If electoral reform does happen, Labour need people like me to give them second preference votes. Even if it doesn’t, the growing pluralism of the British system suggests that there may be more hung parliaments in future. Either way, the sort of vicious tribalism we’ve been seeing over the last couple of days really won’t be good for the Labour party’s long term prospects.