Last night, just for a change, I was arsing about on twitter, and @natt suggested that a good way to increase traffic to your blog might be to write a post on why things aren’t entirely bleak for the Lib Dems. Being by nature a pessimistic, nihilistic creature of darkness, I found it surprisingly easy. If anyone at LibDem HQ wants to hire me for PR purposes, they’ll find my rates very reasonable.
1 People don’t actively hate the LibDems. They might find their lack of spine unappealing. They might feel that their vote for the party was won under false promises. They might think that Nick Clegg is a wet fart of a nonleader who found power more appealing than principles. But it’s hard to feel real loathing for something so pathetic and drippy. I think what most people feel is scorn instead.
2 They are fully aware that their lack of popularity is all their own fault. No one else can take the blame. They fucked up, and they know it. There’s no scapegoating going on. That’s kind of refreshing. Lack of arrogance in politicians.
3 Their activists. Their local activists are really nice people. Their MPs might be beneath our contempt for their mindless toeing of the government line, but their party members are, for the most part, quite nice people who don’t mind showing consideration for others.
Yellow. I’m not a massive fan of the colour yellow (it really doesn’t suit me. Although I’ve just realised I’m wearing a pink and yellow dress as I type this, making me as reliable as a Lib Dem election pledge). But some people like it. And that’s nice.
They’re facing political annihilation in the 2015 election. Whilst some might see this as a disaster, there’s a positive to be found. Post-election, they can analyse the seats where they got the smallest amount of shit kicked out of them, and concentrate their resources there in the future. No point trying to win votes in university seats ever again, for example.
6 Danny Alexander inspired the phrase ‘slab of albino spam’. I think we can all agree that this gladdens the heart of all who have read it.
7 The militant faction of the LibDems has, in disgust, defected to the Green Party. So party conferences and meetings will be that much nicer, sweeter, and generally more middle class. No arguing over what Fair Trade teabags to use, or which printer paper is most ethical.
8 Infighting. Not content with pissing off a large number of the electorate, they’re turning in on themselves and making it very public over whose fault is this, I said we shouldn’t support that bill, you put in charge of this department and now you’re stopping me doing my job, you’re a fucking disgrace... It’s not great for them as a political force, but for outsiders, it is vastly entertaining.
9 As UKIP, the BNP, the EDL, the Monster Raving Loony Party etc. have shown over the years, there’s always a market for the protest vote. You’ll lose your deposit, be roundly humiliated, and suffer the indignity of seeing a stuffed toy get more votes than you, but hey, someone will mark X next to the picture of the dove. Even if it’s by mistake.
1 It’s not 1987, so they do exist. For how much longer is a valid question, but right here, right now, the Liberal Democrats is still a going concern. Dum spiro spero, and all that.