The Liberal Democrats’ recent surge in the polls has resulted in an awful lot of scaremongering about their policies. If you believe the Daily Mail (and I strongly recommend you don’t, about any topic), voting Lib Dem will result in Britain becoming part of an EU superstate, with all the sandal-wearing, gay-sex-having, immigrant-loving mayhem that would involve.
It makes very little difference to me, thanks to my living in one of the safest Labour seats in the country. But for those of you in marginal seats who are still worried about the consequences of voting Lib Dem, here are three of the biggest myths smashed. I strongly recommend you read the manifesto, if you haven’t done so already.
The Lib Dems will scrap the nuclear deterrent, leaving us less safe
They’ve not actually said they would get rid of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, merely hold a review into the replacement of Trident to see if a cheaper alternative is available. They’ve also stated that nuclear disarmament would be multilateral (i.e. as part of an agreement with other countries). Trident was designed during the Cold War — do we really still need to be pointing so many weapons at Russia?
They are going to have an amnesty for illegal immigrants
They are here, living and working in the shadows, often under the control of illegal gangs. An amnesty (which would be a one-off event, offered only to the English-speaking and law-abiding) offers illegal workers the chance to come out into the open without fear. They can then contribute to British society, work and pay taxes into the system — in other words, the exact opposite of the “spongers” that you read about in the Daily Express.
They will sell us out to Europe!
I hate to break this to you, but the British Empire no longer exists. Most of our trade these days is with the European Union member countries, which is why Britain needs to be an active participant in the EU and have a strong voice, not least so it can campaign for some much-needed reform. As for joining the Euro, the manifesto clearly states: when the time is right and only if the British people vote for it in a referendum.
Let’s not forget some of the other things they do want to do: scrap ID cards, scale back Labour’s surveillance state, repeal the Digital Economy Bill, encourage reopening of closed rail lines.
On many issues, the Liberal Democrats seem to be proposing to do what is right, rather than what is popular. That may well turn out to be politically inconvenient come polling day, but at least they will score a moral victory (note: under British electoral law, moral victories do not count for anything).