Dear Mr Clegg
Ouch! That hurt didn’t it? Did you really not see that one coming? The 2 May local council elections and the Parliamentary by-election must have been like a punch in the guts and a bloody nose combined. Your party’s results were appalling. Your Lib Dem candidate even came seventh in the South Shields Parliamentary by-election, and you lost your deposit. Your candidate only polled a few a little more votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate. Your candidate was beaten by the abhorrent British National Party. Tattoos and shaven heads win over suits and syrup. The council election results are coming in and it looks like yet more drubbing for your party.
Admittedly, your coalition colleagues, the Conservatives, did not do very well either, but they can at least hold their heads up. So are you ready to take a long hard look at your party and your leadership and see why voters are deserting you like rats off a sinking ship?
Your Lib Dem veteran Baroness Williams of Crosby says that the United Kingdom Independence Party, Ukip, would not "last that long" as a political force. Sure, they stormed on the 2nd May, and took many council seats. But I agree with her. They have hazy policies and a manifesto that tries to be all things to all people. Come the next general election, voters will see through them and vote for one of the three main parties, Conservative, Labour, and... Perhaps you. But unless you buck your ideas up, you are going to have so few members of Parliament after the next General Election, that even if it’s a close call between Labour and Conservative, you won’t have enough people to make another coalition.
And there’s the problem. You rushed into bed with the Conservatives just so that after so many years in the wilderness, you could have your first taste of power in Government. I hope the taste was sweet, because you are reaping the whirlwind now. Many of your policies are being ridden roughshod over by your stronger partners in the coalition. The Tory shire MPs have refused to embrace your green policies, and many are totally opposed to onshore wind farms.
I can understand why you did it, and be the first Liberal/Liberal Democrat leader in decades to be Prime Minister…ooops, sorry, Deputy Prime Minister. But the cost was too high. You have sold a Lib Dem future at the next elections for a short-term quick blast of glory.
My advice? Don’t make excuses. Pick up what’s left by the scruff of its neck and say that unless the Conservatives pay full heed to your party’s policies and wishes, you will abandon the coalition. That would show that you have backbone and grit, and set you up for decent results if a Parliamentary Election was called. Don’t continue with this alliance that is dragging you and your party down to the doldrums. There is still time to salvage the situation. If you have the guts.
A Lib Dem Supporter