Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Rocket man

New adventures in radical chic from Lib Dem MP David Ward, who asks himself a question:

then goes on to lecture the rest of us on taking sides:
Personally, I think it's a lot more complicated than that (although no less tragic, whichever way you apportion blame). What caught my attention wasn't David Ward's opinion about Gaza, but his opinion of himself. In his own head, he's the kind of guy who chooses sides and rushes to the barricades, the sort of kick-ass dude you don't mess with unless you want a rocket up your ass - think Rambo in a keffiyeh.

Which all sounds a bit incongruous, coming from a Lib Dem MP. I'm not entirely sure that I take kindly to lectures about having to take sides from a member of a party that campaigned for office on a platform of abolishing tuition fees, then collaborated with the party that proceeded to increase them massively (David Ward voted strongly in favour). And helped the Tories push through the bedroom tax, then decided it might be a bad idea when they realised that they were shortly to be held and account at an election (Ward sort of made up his mind which side he was on, then bravely voted a mixture of "for" and "against" when the bedroom tax was debated).

Ward, the fearless anti-authoritarian rebel was just about tough and principled enough to vote against clauses 5 and 6 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, but when it came to the final vote, like the majority of his colleagues from all parties, he meekly capitulated and voted for the DRIP. His name did not appear anywhere on the list of 51 MPs still possessed of a backbone.

Taking sides and making a stand in a country that's at peace, where the worst the other side in Parliament can do to you is quash your political ambitions, takes a lot less steel than taking sides in an armed conflict where making the wrong decision can result in your own death, or the death of your loved ones, or of innocent bystanders. Personally, I don't think that a Lib Dem MP who isn't even prepared to put his own career on the line by standing up to a bunch of smooth-faced ex-public schoolboys and securocrats would have the guts to choose which side he was on if he was ever in real danger, let alone fire a rocket at heavily-armed opponents.

Never mind hypothetical direct action in the Middle East, David Ward. The big question is - if you were a a Lib Dem MP - which you apparently are, by the way - would you dare to stand up to David Cameron (don't be scared of him, if you do say 'no', he can't order a drone strike or send tanks into your constituency)? Can you say 'Ich bin ein liberal' whilst propping up a regressive Tory government? Your party must make up its mind - which side is it on?

Now put that toy rocket launcher down and let's see a bit of backbone closer to home.