Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At least 5 reasons to vote for Menzies Campbell MP: No.2

Menzies Campbell MP is an instinctive Liberal something that Mark Oaten MP...erm, isn't. In fact, he admits that he "only really got a philosophical belief about three years ago" (he's been in parliament since 1997!). Likewise, Mark Oaten MP was our Shadow Home Secretary when we were "not opposed to control orders in principle". At that time, Mark Oaten said things like:

"Liberty, without which democracy has no meaning, and the rule of law, without which state power cannot be contained, look to Parliament for their protection, but this Parliament, sad to say, is failing the nation badly."

... Nope, actually that was Brian Sedgemore MP (thanks to the Liberal Dissenter for the links). Mark Oaten MP said things like:

"For some time we have argued against a black-and-white approach, suggesting that another tool is needed to deal with the complex issues and that control orders would be useful. There are differences on how they should be introduced, and I should say something about that shortly; but at least there seems to be cross-party consensus that control orders have a role to play"

Mark Oaten MP also led us to have a u-turn on ASBOs that narrowly defined and not at all knee-jerk legislation that has been used sparingly to tackle weighty social problems such as inappropriate dress whilst sunbathing...

... whereas 'Sir Menzies was warning of the dangers of identity cards during the late 1980s'. Likewise, in his 1999 Financial Times article (quoted here but I can't find a link to the original. Gareth Epps posted it on the LDYS forums), Menzies writes that:

'Too many of our most worthy and well-meaning activists are Roundheads, while Liberal Democrats should be the Cavaliers of British politics. The party of John Stuart Mill has become prohibitionist. Transplanted to 1920s Chicago, it might easily pass a conference resolution banning alcohol'

Nearly 7 years later, we are still passing motions banning smoking in public places (LDYS has a far more sensible policy) and banning smacking.

From the same article:

"individual choice whenever possible, collective action only where necessary"

Is an intrinsically liberal sentiment.

[I'd just like to say here that I feel awful critiquing Mark Oaten because everytime I've seen him speaking at party conference fringes he's always looked pleasant and fluffy to the point where I've wanted to rush to the front, wrap him in a warm towel and save him from the excesses of the audience. However, I've met well-meaning people in all walks of political life but it doesn't mean I agree with them politically and I'm making my leadership election decisions on political grounds. In summary - it's not personal]

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6 Comments:

  • At 4:35 pm , Anonymous Will said...

    That appears to be a case for not voting for Mark Oaten (as if any more were needed) rather than for voting for Ming...

     
  • At 5:15 pm , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 5:17 pm , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    One of my later reasons is going to be Menzies -v- Simon.

    I'm writing it in instalments so it doesn't affect my PhD write-up although I'm doing a lot of blogging at the moment because I have not a clue how to structure my results in Chapter 3... C'est la vie...

    I'd prefer Nick Clegg (or similar) but he's not standing and I'm not sure if the younger generation are currently credible due to their lack of experience. So Menzies is really 'he's not either of the other two [main] potential contenders'.

     
  • At 6:38 pm , Anonymous Valerie said...

    Thank you for those - particularly the roundhead one (brilliant).

     
  • At 10:18 pm , Blogger Ian Ridley said...

    FWIW I've emailed Nick Clegg urging him to stand. He was a great MEP for my region and is an effective speaker and campaigner (he was in Harborough a couple of times whilst I was agent in 2001). I also thought he had some interesting stuff to say in the Orange Book on the EU.

    Looks like Chris Huhne may stand.

    Just trying to restrain myself from doing the anti-Oaten thing too much. Wasn't the email to members around Christmas just a little cynical?

     
  • At 6:26 am , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    Yep, that's my next post. I wrote it last night but posted it this morning to avoid having lots of posts all at the same time :)

     

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