We should welcome, not ridicule, those who choose to back the Lib Dems

Reactions in the party to the news that both Plaid and Renew may be backing Jane Dodds and the Liberal Democrats in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election have included quite a few mocking comments.

Given the checkered history of Renew and its electoral performance, a bit of joke-making about the degree to which their backing will matter is understandable. And I’ve not been averse myself to poking gentle fun at the troubles amongst would-be new pro-European parties.

But it should be no more than that. Where gentle humour becomes condescension, rudeness and ridicule, it becomes misplaced.

One reason for that is simply a matter of good manners. Being polite and welcoming to people who have decided to back a party is the decent thing to do (unless of course it’s a brief tactical backing from someone who otherwise is all at odds with what you believe).

It’s also the self-interested thing to do. If you react to someone supporting you with ridicule, how does that look to other would-be supporters?

Finally, there’s a broader political benefit to be had from people backing you than can be measured simply by how many votes they got in the past. For the Liberal Democrats in particular at the moment, having a mix of differernt people or parties urge Remainers to vote Lib Dem is important in itself.

That sense of a broader coalition coming together behind the Liberal Democrats was an important factor in the European elections triumph. We should welcome signs of it happening again.

19 responses to “We should welcome, not ridicule, those who choose to back the Lib Dems”

  1. Astonished that this needs saying… we should never be triumphalist, even if we win, and especially if we win with the help of other parties who have stood aside #disrespectful

  2. Completely agree Mark.
    We need unity in Brecon and Radnor. Any other Party which decides to support the Liberal Democrats should be welcomed. And they should be thanked for putting the Country before Party. Well done and thank you. Welcome aboard the campaign wagon which is Anti Brexit and determined to unseat Chris Davies

  3. When I did some phone banking for the recall petition I came across quite a few Plaid supporters and asked them to consider “lending” us their vote which I think is a good way to approach this.

    • The reasons why Plaid was formed is so that Cymru (Wales) would not have to conform to monopoly capitalism as it exists in the UK.
      We in Wales want to reserve the right of independence should the UK pull us Welsh away from the EU (Its customers in the European single market) so that an independent Cymru can make its own decisions to be EU members in our own right.

  4. The more like minded people who can work together to bring the UK back from the, I think, calamity which is Brexit and work towards a more democratic political system, the better.

  5. We need all the support we can get from ALL parties and non.. If you want a liberal international country we must win BIG. to destroy any talk of an alt-right country. Johnson is a neo.liberal (taxes for the rich) who will takes us down the ‘American way’ of large disparities in society

    • I wish people would stop using the term “neo-liberal”.
      Those alt-right are monopoly-capitalists and want great centralisation of wealth (lower taxes for the rich) and want the 99% to conform to their wishes – they are certainly not liberal in any way.

      • Yes, Plaid and Lib Dems can do a deal because we basically want the same type of society: European and international unity and co-operation based on freedom and justice.

  6. Patrick Jones
    The voters have already unseated Chris Davies. We have to make sure he stays that way. All power to Jane Dodds.

  7. whilst we still have this crazy voting system, which always favours the largest two parties, we must work with others to break the political impasse. . the status-quo has brought us to where we are, so things can only get better if we start changing the way we do things.

  8. I joined LibDems partially because I considered they would be inclusive of and co-operative with others who had broadly similar views. To hear of members sniping at others is disheartening and disquieting. How can we persuade others to join us if they face ridicule on their former allegiance? It seems some of us need to grow up. Or are these ‘snipers’ not actually true LibDemmers in the first place, but moles from other parties, set to cause discord?

  9. Agree completely. Rebuilding the Liberal coalition of open, tolerant, internationalist, environmentally aware people into a credible, effective, winning movement is how we stop Brexit and challenge the destructive power of narrow. xenophobic nationalism by offering a compelling and positive vision for our future. The stakes are far too high for petty politics and partisan tribalism.

  10. I agree with Mark, we should be open and generous if other parties offering to stand down for the greater national remain good. Greens and Renew doing so will hopefully encourage Plaid and change UK to follow. It will be a tough fight against Con and Farrago fan club party so all assistance should be welcomed. I have booked my rail tickets to visit during July …. it will still need EVERY one of us to visit, phonebank, donate ( or all three 🙂 ) to win big, let’s do it 🙂

  11. Well said Mark, pity it had to be said at all but sometimes in the heat of the battle we do forget the bigger picture and our values.

  12. Peter Tyzak makes a very important point. Our current first past the post election system has a huge bias in favour of the two big parties. The future health of our democracy is best served by a genuine proportional system being introduced which would to a very large extent remove the need for electoral pacts. Therefore it is in the interests of all the traditional smaller parties to co-operate to try to defeat the two big parties so that proportional representation becomes the norm in all British elections at local and national level. Even the two big parties have significant numbers of members and voters who are now beginning to realise this. Until PR happens, co-operation HAS to be the way forward. In addition – it is common sense and common courtesy, to welcome any person or party who agrees to “lend” us their vote to achieve a common objective. And there can be no greater common objective at present than ensuring the rightly convicted (and unseated) Tory candidate loses the upcoming by-election.

  13. Absolutely agree that we should welcome offers of co-operation from supporters of other parties. The Tory candidate has committed an electoral offence and is clearly unworthy to be an MP, so must be defeated as a matter of importance. Even more importantly, we need to ensure the clearest possible pro-Remain result. It would be bitterly ironic if we were to break through into government only to inherit a country in ruins because of a no-deal.

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