British politics is still too tribal and totemic. You only have to look at the writings of Polly Toynbee prattling on about equality when never actually visiting the sort of places where such inequality exists.
A lot of people voted Labour out of fear rather than an endorsement of their own record. The main problem is that voters themselves are not hard enough against Labour particularly on the deficit or taking a hard look at the Social Democratic project.
The Lib Dems have always been the ones who have questioned the questions rather than gone along with the mainstream axioms.
Should we have an arrangement with Labour for our own well-being let alone the country’s we will need to be brutally honest about the failings of Labour’s record. It will be very difficult for Labour who rely on their voters not understanding the main arguments. For instance, one person on a low income said she was worried about losing her tax credits – yet we weren’t going to do that to her income only for those at the top.
Economy – we need to lay bare the state of the nation’s finances even to the point of explaining publically just how dire the circumstances are. Remember, it is their fault. Locally, in Stockport, as an opposition they don’t even put forward a budget.
Political reform – anyone that peers closely to Labour’s clunking fist machine politics – whether it’s manipulating vulnerable people to sign their petitions or using them as proxies to get at Lib Dems or even using shady practices to bully others we will need to insist that this stalinist modus operandi need to change. Maybe that is the change that the Brown debacle will create. We need to prod, indeed, bully Labour into creating a decentralist political economy. One of the things could be to change commons procedures so that Nick has six questions as David Cameron/Labour new leader would have.
Education – time to lower those class sizes so that discipline and learning can be most effective
The main thing is to handle these people VERY CAREFULLY – they have the clunking fist as part of their DNA and would sooner knife you in the back than smile at you.
The Lib Dems must be as politically brutal otherwise we will be crushed.