Thursday, 3 May 2012

Yet more broken promises: six further statements from the Liberal Democrats

Leading up to the 2010 General Election, the Liberal Democrats ran a very strong anti-Conservative campaign, calling on voters to back them in order to stop the election of Conservative MPs.

7. Heart of Cornwall Journal leaflet (November 2009)
“With a General Election only months away, the Conservative Party, which says it is preparing for Government, has shown it can’t be trusted. A series of policy blunders has left local people wondering what the difference is between the new Conservatives and the Conservatives who wrecked Cornwall last time. Would-be Tory Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has raised the prospect of vast areas of Cornwall being concreted over by a new Conservative Government that plans to offer cash-bonuses to Councils that build the most houses. Lord Hanningfield, the Conservative Business spokesperson, let slip the Tory plans to cut benefits for people in Cornwall when he said: “The cost of living is higher in Essex than it is in Cornwall, so people don’t need the same levels of benefits.” In another move, millionaire Tory frontbencher, George Osborne has launched controversial plans which would see pay for teachers, nurses and care workers frozen or even cut while at the same time giving tax breaks for millionaires.”

MK Comment: Since the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition was formed, it has introduced the New Homes Bonus and it has made numerous statements promoting regional pay. George Osborne’s recent budget also included a tax cut for millionaires, with the full support of the Liberal Democrats.

8. Risographed leaflet (2010)
“David Cameron wants you to vote for Labour or Mebyon Kernow … because he knows they can’t win here …one Lib Dem MP = one less Tory MP.”

9. Risographed leaflet (2010)
“The only way to stop the Conservative’s is to back Steve Gilbert and the Lib Dems.”

10. Election communication (April 2010)
“The Conservatives won’t deliver for you … The party of billionaires and bankers. The Conservatives are bankrolled by Belize billionaire Lord Ashcroft. A man who has avoided paying over £100 million in tax. They won’t stand up for ordinary people … Putting the NHS at risk. Many Conservatives want to break up our NHS and charge people for treatment. One top Tory described the NHS as a sixty year mistake. Our NHS is not safe with the Tories.”

11. Steve Gilbert. Your New Lib Dem Voice for Westminster leaflet (April 2010)
“It’s a two horse race … Labour and Mebyon Kernow are out of the race and cannot win here. Our crazy voting system means a vote for them will help the Tories get in through the back door. Local people are switching to back Steve to stop the Tories. One former MK voter said ‘I like Dick Cole, but he can’t win. I’m voting for Steve to stop the Tories getting in’.”

12. Steve Gilbert. Your New Lib Dem Voice for Westminster leaflet (April 2010)
“Only the Lib Dems can beat the Tories in Cornwall.”

MK Comment: In Cornwall, the main plank of the Liberal Democrat’s 2010 General Election campaign was opposition to the Conservative Party and Conservative policies. Many people – who might otherwise have supported MK, Labour or Green – believed the spin and voted Liberal Democrat. Such people are right to feel aggrieved – they did not get what they voted for. And they are right to feel angry at how the Lib Dems went from being a party of great anti-Tory rhetoric to being cheerleaders for David Cameron within a matter of days.

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