Lib Dems: views in campaigning versus reality in government

I’ve noted my own and a good proportion of the public’s confusion over the what the Lib Dems stand for. In two concrete cases, the reason for confusion is clear.

Case 1: The Digital Economy Bill / Act, as described by Left Foot Forward:

As Left Foot Forward has previously highlighted, there is plenty to be worried about in the coming digital economy act. What is perhaps more worrying for progressives is that in retrospect the manipulative use of the digital economy saga in the lead up to the election by Mr Clegg now seems the act of an incredibly shrewd and calculating electioneer who sought to hijack a vacant progressive bandwagon rather than the that of a man of principle who is in tune with some of the more noble fibres of his own party’s philosophical and intellectual traditions.

Case 2: The Gary McKinnon extradition case, as described by Guido Fawkes.

Nick Clegg went to great efforts before the election to voice concerns about the extradition of autistic hacker Gary McKinnon. He even went as far to stand side by side in solidarity with Janis Sharp, Gary’s mother, at a protest and also said “It’s simply not good enough for Alan Johnson to shrug his shoulders and claim that nothing can be done”.

Fast-forward a few months and it’s quite a different tune “What I haven’t got the power to do, neither has the home secretary, neither has even the prime minister, is to completely reverse and undo certain legal aspects of this. It’s legally very complex.”

I’m not commenting either way on either of those issues – that’s not really my purpose here. But before the Lib Dems were in joint power with the Tories, I think most Lib Dem supporters were clear on the position of their party.

My questions is therefore whether those same supporters still clear where their party – part of the coalition government – stands now?


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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