An Open Letter: Oh The Shame! The Shame!

February 12, 2015

by Martin Odoni

(Yes, you betcha, this is satire.)

Dear ‘public diary’,

Oh I can scarcely draw breath this evening. My heart is no longer in any activity I engage in, even respiration. The guilt that weighs heavily upon my weary shoulders makes it difficult for me just to lift my fingers to type. I am consumed by shame… I feel… chastened… The higher powers hath taught me the gift of humility in ye most crushing of ways. You see, I, and many others just like me, have been caught in the act of betrayal. We’ve failed, we’ve let people down, we’ve stood by values instead of by people! And I feel so, so remorseful about it.

The noble policeman of our consciences is Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Tall. He has recently written a blogpost for the Conservative Home website – well naturally you wouldn’t expect him to write for a liberal blog – in which he bemoans the likely fate of his party at the upcoming General Election. It is unlikely to be pretty for the LibDems, that is undeniable. His prediction is that the Liberal Democrats will end up with 32 seats in May, which is apparently ‘halfway’ between the predictions of the worst pessimists and the rosiest optimists in the party. Admittedly, these outlooks are still prettier than some neutral predictions that the LibDems will do well to get double-figures, but whatever the truth turns out to be, it is clear that someone has done something horrible to them.

And that ‘someone’, it breaks my heart to admit it, is me! And many others around the country as well! Everyone else in what is called the ‘electorate’.


As Stephen so lucidly points out, the LibDems fell into the trap of believing the electorate (BASTARDS!!!!) when they said they liked to see maturity in Parliamentary democracy, and to see differing parties reaching compromise in Government, because let’s face it, what’s more mature than a totally generalised and undeveloped commitment to agree an alliance, without firstly establishing the details of what the alliance will do? Yes, of course, something that superficial quite emphatically must be what we meant when we spoke of willingness-to-compromise! And even worse, the LibDems also fell into the trap of believing the electorate (BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) were just kidding when they said they wanted students treated fairly, the NHS protected, employment protection maintained, and protection of the poor from the burden of deficit-reduction. How could these electorate BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! be so humourless as to stand by these ideas?

Now, to be honest, I have no recollection of exactly when I or anyone else had suggested that we were just having a laugh when asking for these policies, but I mean, clearly we must have done. Nor am I entirely certain when I or others said I would be happy with absolutely any general-terms, ill-defined compromise that would ultimately lead to the most undiluted right-wing Government in living memory, but that only makes it worse; when political discussion gets into specifics rather than generics, it just makes LibDem heads ache. Changing our minds about policies would be fine, if only we’d do it, but changing our minds about undefined generalities is just betrayal. So we’re BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tall’s right, isn’t he? We’re being totally inconsistent and unreliable by standing by our policies and not just dropping them at a stroke whenever his party decides that simply any deal is acceptable. (Especially one that had already been largely negotiated weeks before the General Election anyway – I mean, what a bunch of BASTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! upstarts we are, thinking democracy gives us the right to influence Governmental deals that have already been struck in total secret like that. Who the hell do we think we are?) Why can’t we be as staunch in our abandonment-of-promises as they are? I’ll tell you why. Because we’re BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that’s why.

Yes, I feel true compunction, and terrible, soaring guilt. Please forgive me this day, o holy Liberal Democrats. You do have a divine right to have those of us who voted for you before carry on voting for you no matter what, especially when you have abandoned almost every policy we voted for you in support of to begin with. Can you ever excuse my treachery?

Yours sincerely,

A BASTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! member of the electorate, who is now even more determined than ever to vote for someone else in May.

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