The world needs grown-up democracies more than ever, says North Dorset Lib Dems’ Mike Chapman – but ours is currently looked at with raised eyebrows
First and foremost, 70 years of duty delivered faultlessly by our Queen is the most potent message this nation can send to the rest of the world. The strong, integrating and positive voice of the Commonwealth, built during her reign, is the most extraordinary achievement, too. A heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty from here in the Vale.
But why does the quality of the political leadership of this nation matter so much to us in the South West? Why should the probity of those at the top, elected and unelected alike, be so important? With the US schizophrenic about guns and equally divided about so much else, with Russia being taken to hell in a handcart and China continuing to demonstrate the viciousness of its regime, the steady voice of the more grown-up democracies needs to be heard. Thus, Partygate, the continuing spat with the EU about Northern Ireland and the rest of the Brexit mess are doubly disastrous: our nation is not focused on the more important issues and the rest of the world is dealing with us with raised eyebrows and the long spoon of
Fool all the people
The electorate is increasingly savvy. Those one-liners from the 1950s on, from “you have never had it so good” to “take back control” no longer resonate the way they used to. Lincoln had it right about the limitations of trying to fool the people. We know we have been taken for a ride. The heart of this for the Vale is the notion of levelling up, currently being served up by those we have seen at the centre of the Partygate revelries. The haughtiness, the we-know-best approach of those in the various coteries at the centre can be
seen in the pictures, read in the texts and felt in the denials and excuses. It is this centralised and centralising monoculture that needs fixing. Otherwise, we are no better than those tyrannies we seek to defeat. Through elections near at hand and in the longer term, we will find the way. Early May saw the start of change.