Sunday, 18 September 2016

The centre ground

Vaughan Roderick, on Radio Wales Sunday Supplement this morning, asked Mark Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, why LibDems were not taking advantage of the centre ground which had been abandoned by Corbyn's Labour party and an increasingly reactionary Conservative party. A better question might be: what has happened to the centre ground? I recall a discussion within our local party after the Welsh Assembly elections and before the EU referendum We tried to analyse our reverses in Wales, our defeat in the UK as a whole the previous year and the nature of the debate about the EU. For me, the conclusion was that the Kingdom had taken an illiberal turn and that electors once in the centre had moved to the extremes.

There are still liberal voices in the Conservative party but they have become marginalised. The alternative to the extreme socialist Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour party is not a tolerant social democrat but a combative careerist with a consistently vicious line in invective.

I only hope that we are at the top of a pendulum swing of mood, that we will move back towards tolerance and cooperation, and that it will not take another global war to bring us to our senses.

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