Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Lib Dem Mugged by Reality

This is a somewhat random item to blog about since I’ve never been to Stoke on Trent, but it caught my eye. It’s not going to trouble the psephologists much, but a Lib Dem councillor on Stoke on Trent City council has defected to become the sole (and, I think, first) councillor for the Libertarian Party.

Gavin Webb, who was selected as the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Burton in 2008 and elected as a Lib Dem councillor on Stoke-on-Trent City Council in 2007, has today announced that he has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.

Stoke appears to have a rather eclectic mix of political groupings – I expect the council must need plenty of committee rooms available for the groups’ meetings nights, what with the City Independents, Labour, BNP, Conservative/Independent Alliance, Lib Dem, the “Non-Aligned” (which, I guess, are independent of the Independents) and the Potteries Alliance (I assume a reference to the area, rather than a trade body).

Now we all know that defections can often be prompted by an anticipation, on the part of the defector, of a fall from grace in their old party – such as a deselection – yet Cllr. Webb was the Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Burton. Could this be an example of that rare thing – a genuine defection on a matter of principle?

Whatever. In announcing his departure he says that the Lib Dem party has:

“… unfortunately firmly wedded itself to the belief that there are primarily government solutions to the problems facing our country, and in the process, they are adopting policies that undermine our rights and freedoms as individuals.”

So, it seems a Lib Dem has realised that the Liberal Democrats aren’t actually that liberal anymore. The only question is: why did it take him so long to notice?

(H/T: The Devil)

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