How the UK 'LibDems' abandoned 'Liberalism'...

How the UK LibDems lost their identity...

  1. Arguably the First World War that forced the UK Liberal government of the day into a series of illiberal measures sowed the seeds for the ultimate collapse of the Liberal Party.
  1. The strains within the party had been growing for sometime however with the late 19th century growth of New Liberalism which advocated state intervention.
  1. As more and more MPs and influential figures (eg. JM Keynes) became persuaded by this New Liberalism, the Liberal Party split 3 ways in the 1930s: the Liberal Nationals (who's MPs slowly moved over to the Conservatives), the New Liberals (who's supporters migrated to Labour), and finally the Independent Liberals who maintained a rump of True Liberals.
  1. The consequence of this disintegration was over 70 years of electoral insignificance and loss of identity.The Liberal Movement looked for new direction, and became more socially democratic. At that point the world ‘Liberal’ began to be associated with socialism.
  1. Splinter group from Labour in 1980s formed the Social Democrat Party (they thought Labour was heading too far to the left) - they merged with the existing Liberal party to become the current Liberal Democrats (leftist leaning).
  1. 2010 saw the LibDems become part of a coalition government again, but in the process they repeated the mistakes of the National coalition governments of the 1930s by supporting a series of Conservative and statist measures. Noone knew what they stood for aagain, and the result was the same: wipeout at the subsequent election.

3 Examples of the UK LibDems abandonment of 'Liberalism'...

  1. Support for Universal State Benefits (USBs) that are the antithesis of Liberalism:
    1. Free School Dinners: were the driving force in bringing in a policy which subsidises well off parents.
    1. Tuition Fees: Want to either reduce or maintain a subsidy to well off parents.
    1. Pensioners: Support the continuation of universal benefits for the elderly, such as free bus passes and TV licences.
  1. Prioritisation of Producer Interest.
    1. Health Service: Oppose privitisation of Health provision.
    1. From their 2015 Manifesto: " (the LibDems) are committed to repealing any parts of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which make NHS services vulnerable to forced privatisation through international agreements on free market in goods and services".
    1. Oppose the expansion of Free Schools and extend the role of councils.
  1. Slavish & Unquestioning support of the EU 'Project':
    1. Desire to promote the further political integration of a fundamentally undemocratic institution where unelected 'nominated' officials weald all the power and influence.
    1. Oppose Globalisation: support a 'Rich mans club' of nations that promotes tariffs, price-fixing and 'dumping' of low cost goods in the developing world.
    1. Putting the 'Self interest' of European nations above the greater good of the global community.

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