Time for change, time for the grown-ups


Mike Chapman Lib Dems
Mike Chapman Lib Dems

In Ukraine the people are fighting for their nation – for a future free from the disgusting influence of the criminal clique in Moscow. Thank you, Ukrainians, for showing us that democracy is worth fighting for.
Dorset is doing its bit in support – more than 400 Ukrainian families have joined our West Country ranks and are starting to make their own contribution.
Meanwhile, we had a great Lib Dem outcome in the Somerton and Frome by-election. What pleased me the most was the evident faith put in the strength and capability of our local candidate, Sarah Dyke. She is a genuine local – of our land and our rural ethos, and will make a difference “up in the Smoke”. More power to her elbow, I say.
I spent the day “telling” outside a couple of polling stations, much of the time alongside my Conservative equivalent. It wasn’t long into the morning before we all knew what was happening, just from the various comments of people en passant. My oppo wasn’t surprised or downcast. There was, however, a fatalism about the situation and a wish that the last 18 months in the Tory party hadn’t happened. Our discussions ranged from illegal migration (France’s fault) to climate change (China’s fault). These may be the popular sentiments but, of course, they lay the blame on the effect, not the cause. The real causes lie in complex geo-politics, and in the West’s combination of consumerism and post-industrial mindset. It is sad to hear of the likely rolling back of what Johnson labelled “Green crap” as a result of the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election. It is typical of our short-termist, keep-power-at-any-cost politics that the knee-jerk reaction from the governing party is to appeal to the pound in your pocket today and stick it to the next generation … Tory to a tee!
Time to move on from government for the populists, by the populists, egged on by the populist press. On to something a bit more serious.
So, first up, how about proportional representation as a means to get the whole country engaged in the process of government? Today’s winner-takes-all system results in the disengagement of about two-thirds of the population, because they are being governed by people they did not vote for.
“What about the virtues of Strong Government?” I hear you cry. What virtues? The stonking majority of 2019 has created a monster now controlled by its right wing. No wonder it just goes round in circles!
Next stop for us is Mid-Bedfordshire – home to the dreadful Dorries, a powerful minister under Johnson and once with the future of the BBC in her gift. More than time for change: it is time for the grown-ups. Time for Sarah Dyke and her like.
Mike Chapman
North Dorset LibDems


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