Matter of principle concern

Royal Mail has just delivered two leaflets – one from the Liberal Democrats and one from the Tories.

The Lib Dem leaflet is the third from them within a few weeks. The Conservative is the second over the same period of time.

At the last general election hustings over four years ago, I witnessed a high-tempo cut and thrust between the two candidates advancing their policies and denouncing their opponents. Just a few days after the election their two parties went into coalition and all became sweetness and light, even to the extent of passing a bill to ensure that the parliament was to run a full term.

We are now informed that the Lib Dems have increased pensions, created more jobs, cut income tax, made cheaper fuel bills and locally improved the A7. As the election looms, cosy Conservative coalition partners are suddenly seen by the Lib Dems as proposing “nasty Tory policies”.

Candidates in an election can be presented as Mr Nice Guy and from the information on leaflets this could probably be true. But can the electorate really take seriously a political party that reneged on a solemn policy promise to thousands of university students in England and supports the Conservatives in their austerity drive which financially hurts so many ordinary people.

Most voters don’t seem to know what the Liberal Democrats stand for. If they stand middle of the road, metaphorically they could be run down by a bigger, stronger political juggernaut. A party that is on record as stating that if there is a hung parliament they are there on offer to the highest bidder does not appear to have much in the way of principle, never mind policies.

Derek Philips

Clovenfords