Politics and playing ‘safe’

One of the reasons that I left the LibDems a decade ago now was the decline of genuine community politics in favour of pure electoral opportunism, across most of that Party.
Any Party that wants to go places – be it the LibDems, the Greens, or whoever – must not make the historic mistake that is now terminal for Labour: selling out, and playing ‘safe’. This is why Cameron’s makeover of the Tories will not profit them for long: because all it involves is New Labour squared. (My experience in the Norwich North byelection was that the Tories / Chloe Smith were so obsessed with playing safe that they never ever said anything at all of interest, which could not be said of any other candidate. The only chance they took, interestingly, was signing my ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’. And they mostly used that to try to stop anyone drawing attention to the appalling record of the last Tory government, claiming that to do so was ‘dirty politics’, as Cameron of course had nothing to do with Major, Lamont et al…)
Politics IS risk. To start to really win, and to win sustainably, a Party needs to stand for something, and be bold about saying so, and doing things about it.
[This post was prompted by James Graham’s interesting post, here: http://www.theliberati.net/quaequamblog/2009/09/22/taking-risks-is-about-more-than-stunts/ ]

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