'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Saturday 2 July 2011

This blog has come of age: someone has advised me to do one

Well now. Yesterday I got a comment on the blog asking ( and I'm paraphrasing here), 'if I was going to keep criticising the government, why didn't I go and join the Labour Party'.

First off, my answer: because I am a Liberal and not a socialist.

I am aware that my answer may well launch a thousand queries from the good readers of this blog as to what sort of Liberal I am, am I also a Social Democrat (can you be both at the same time I wonder) etc. Can we park that for the time being.

So then I got to pondering why my (sadly, anonymous) accuser could possibly think I would want to join Labour?

It is true that the article that so riled him or her did contain a mild reference to the fact that I don't really agree with cutting Public Service pensions (sorry and all that, but there you go) and a link to a left leaning blog (to which I added a very clear health warning). But the main thrust of the article was just about the incorrect reasoning that had been used to defend the policy - by three Tories (Cameron, Francis Maude and Justine Greening). And anyway, my critic says I keep having a go at the government. So what else have I done?

Looking through my posts over the last week or so, I can see 2 others out of 15 that might have got his or her goat. One was a piece defending the teachers right to strike (hardly the preserve of Labour - Philip Hammond was defending the right to strike on QT last night), the other was criticising 'friends' of Nick who claimed he had not understood the visceral hatred towards the Tory party that would be passed on to us amongst the electorate of Northern England.

I don't think either of these really qualify for the reaction I got either.

And then it occurred to me that that there probably is one group of people in the government who really hate my blog. Members of the Tory party. I have consistently criticised them when I think they are wrong and poked fun at them when I think they are ridiculous. I've also, on occasion, done the opposite (I even wrote a positive post about something Norman Tebbit said a while back). But generally I've not been a subscriber to the 'not a cigarette paper between us' approach to coalition. So I'm guessing my critic is a Tory (he's not from Labour - a quick skirt through the articles I've written about them recently would convince you of that).

Maybe I'm wrong, my critic thinks that advocating the right to strike and defending pensions for teachers just makes me a card carrying socialist in waiting. Sorry, I don't agree.

But if anyone thinks that because we're in coalition with the Tories, I can't criticise them whenever and wherever I like - well, then I'm afraid this blog is going to continue to disappoint.

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