Leaving.

Aug. 6th, 2014 06:21 pm
[personal profile] magister
Andrew Hickey posted this on his blog. It’s very much worth reading.

http://andrewhickey.info/2014/08/05/open-door-policy/

 If you’ve now read it and you’re reaction is anything starting with “Yes, but…” and you want to talk about different sorts of immigrants or how some are the “right” sort of immigrant, then do us both a favour and stop reading. This isn’t for you and it’s not going to mean anything to you.
 
Andrew’s reaction above pretty much mirrors mine. We both love someone who has had horrendous experiences while attempting to settle in the UK. The situation has got worse and the leader of the party I belong to is saying that it is still too easy for immigrants to settle here and that Something Must Be Done. To be precise, access to benefits and availability of translation services should be reduced. Because immigrants claiming benefits and not even having the manners to be able to speak English is a major factor in the problems the country has.

The preamble to the Lib Dem constitution starts “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society “. Hardly a description of a party which has decided to join with the other two major parties in looking for minority groups to victimise in an attempt to be seen to be doing something that might attract voters. Three parties scrapping over a small area of ground without a square inch of moral justification between them.

I joined the Lib Dems back in 2011. I knew people who I respected who were members and I liked a lot about the party – things like the democratic process within the party and the way that it worked from the bottom up, with ideas from the party membership being put forward at conference and, if supported by a vote, being adopted into party policy. We were in coalition with the Tories and so there were things I didn’t like which had the party’s fingerprints on them, but we were in coalition with a much bigger party and it was inevitable that compromises had to be made. My feelings have changed.

The petty side swipe at immigrants is by no means the only contributory factor. There was also my reaction, which I’ve blogged about, to the railroading through parliament of the regulations about access to private information. There have been other things which have happened, but it's Clegg's e-mail about immigrants that’s decided me that I’m leaving.
 
I used to work for the Home Office in Immigration and Asylum. Over the years, as attitudes there became more and more poisonous, I stopped being able to tell myself that I was making a difference. I took redundancy and left. Currently I work for a debt advice charity, helping people to get out of debt. It’s a very good job, but quite a demanding one – daily I speak to people who are desperate, from time to time I find myself talking to someone considering suicide. Including the commute, it’s a 12 hour day and my evenings and days off are pretty much spent recovering.
 
And this is the point – I don’t have the energy or the inclination to do anything constructive as a member of the party. I know people who do and who are working hard to try to restore the party to what they – and I – feel it should be and I admire them for what they’re doing.

But as long as I don’t have the energy to help with that, I am not going to be a member. If someone asks me why I financially support an organisation that says and does things I believe are fundamentally wrong, why I am allowing myself to be seen as allied to ideas with which I disagree, I want to be able to explain what I’m doing to try to change that. I can’t do that, so I’m leaving.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-06 10:27 pm (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
"Well said" is inadequate, but is all I can think of.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-07 09:44 am (UTC)
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecat
I've never been a party member, though my father was always a member and was a county councillor for a while. I find myself terribly conflicted about how I will be voting next year. I justified voting Lib Dem in the European elections since they seemed like the only party that was genuinely pro-European (in the widest sense of the word).

Actually I'm not conflicted, I'm just depressed, I don't want to vote for any of 'em.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-07 10:21 am (UTC)
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecat
I wonder if the manifestos will attempt to make clear which policies are potentially up for negotiation in the event of another coalition, and which aren't. I suspect not since all parties are aware that another coalition would be very unpopular.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-07 03:45 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
As long as I'm a Lib Dem, you'll be doing something for them by keeping me sane. :) And it's totally understandable if that's all you want to or can do.

The more I think about the work you do (and have done), the more I admire you and the more I'm impressed that you want to spend any of your time off on me.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-08 08:59 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
I imagine it's not entirely different from me being told I'm brave for moving here when I don't feel brave at all. I'm not wrong for the way I feel, but I don't think people are wrong to have that impression of me either (as I said, it's something I'd never do now, so if it's not brave it's certainly something).

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James Brough

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