Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lib Dems shift right?

Over at Dead Men Left, you'll find this efficient demolition job on the Liberal Democrats' pretensions to be a "progressive" alternative to the Tories. As Meaders points out, the Vince Cable/Orange Book axis of neo-liberalism is really the only group within the party that represents a break from the Liberals' shabby record of political opportunism but at the expense of the very "progressive" claim that they have been making.

Remember when the Lib Dems talked about replacing Labour as the party of the centre left? This was - and is - never going to be a possibility with their hostility to organised labour. The direction they seem to be going is more coherent and should the fortunes of the Tory party in England follow its fate in Scotland, altogether more plausible. And if the future is more Scotland-shaped, you can expect the Lib Dems to become a more clearly defined centre-right party. All the polling evidence from this part of the world tends to suggest that the Scottish Liberal voter is more conservative than in England having become one of the main main repositories (along with the SNP) of Scotland's centre-right vote.

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