Monday, February 08, 2010

Green Blogger Joins Lib Dems

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
Former Green Student blogger Kristofer Keane has been on a bit of a Political journey himself. he say he started supporting the Scottish Socialist Party, then in the 2007 elections supported the Scottish Nationalist Party, when he went to University he joined the Greens but now has left them to join the Liberal Democrats.

He gives 3 different break downs on a recent blog post of why he has come to his decision. On Political Position he says:

"I have never really expressed great support for Green policies on other matters though, and this was exemplified recently by the debate of our position on the deficit for going into the upcoming election. The Liberal Democrat position on widespread cuts and efficiency savings is far more realistic and appealing to me than some Green Party campaign on preserving spending levels as they are now. Furthermore, I feel the Greens have their priorities wrong in choosing this time to talk about abstract ideas such as contraction and convergence....

"I have been reading the Liberal Democrat manifesto and I found myself in agreement with them on many issues. To a far greater degree than I found myself agreeing with the Greens anyway."

Similar thoughts on preserving spending levels could be argued against the SNP at present as well.

On electoral strategy and hopes he tells of his just missing out in Glasgow North East but how he saw more of Lib Dem candidate Eileen Baxendale out on the campaign trail than he did of David Doherty the Green Party candidate. He adds:

"The Scottish Greens have been very lucky after the 2007 elections in that the remarkably tight party balance at Holyrood means their two votes often matter. However, no balance at Westminster is going to lead to one Green MP being able to make any changes and, with Labour down and out, the best hope to prevent a Conservative majority is for a hung parliament to emerge where the kingmakers will be the Liberal Democrats. Therefore the best chance for bringing in environmental legislation within the critical timeframe of this next parliament lies with the Liberal Democrats."

A final thread of his thought process comes down to local politics in Motherwell and Wishaw where he hails from he speaks highly of Lib Dem candidate Stuart Douglas how I have known since he was a fresh faced 15-year-old making his debut speech at conference. Adding:

"The Greens won’t be having a candidate in Motherwell and Wishaw, and ultimately Motherwell and Wishaw is where my political concerns are concentrated.

"In terms of the next council elections too, the Liberal Democrats are much more likely to make advances in North Lanarkshire than the Greens, and North Lanarkshire desperately needs to break the Labour majority and have a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition executive formed to stop Labour running through whatever they want – the sort of power that has let them railroad through bad project after bad project."

Therefore welcome Kris to the Liberal Democrats, it appears that you have made this latest transition after some considerable thought. I hope to get to know you over the coming years as we journey on Lib Dem ship together. A lot of what you said rings true with me, though as a student for me joining my first party the economic policies of the Lib Dems were more feasible then along with their environmental heart to get me in and keep me there these last 21 years.


James Mackenzie said...

Stephen, I hope he's happier with you too.

I note that his July 2009 summary of the candidates for Norwich North included the following for April Pond, your candidate.

"In the true Fib Dem tradition of hypocrisy.."

At least he knows what he's letting himself in for!

Stephen Glenn said...

Yeah it must be in the Green Party's campaign literature somewhere I hear it used too often that line. I think he says himself he does know what his is in for, he recognises that the Lib Dems are being honest about the hole the economy is in and what that means for spending plans unlike the Green party.

James Mackenzie said...

I don't use it, you'll note. There are some good principled folk in the Lib Dems, although some (like Paul Johnson) are only just in!

I think people will be turned off the "savage cuts" Nick Clegg wants, especially those most in need of support. We've got things we want to cut, things we always wanted to cut - Trident, ID cards, road-building schemes etc - but generic cuts in public services just as the levels of need are rising is bad policy and bad politics.

Stephen Glenn said...

James I wasn't accusing you of doing so, and it is noted.

All those things you've listed are things that will be cut. Our cuts are not generic cuts we know where to start to target them. But our childrens education and the populations health will not be amongst them.

Also we are not deserting those in most need. We are maintaining that tax needs to be fair and are pledging to lift the income tax threshold almost £3,500 to £10,000. Lifting 4 million of the worst paid out of tax altogether.

As we more out of the hole that Brown as Chancellor and later PM has dug us into more of our aspirations will come back into our spending plans. But we're not going to lie ot the public that all is rosey and everything we want to deliver can be at this time.


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