Spring. The days get longer, and my personal livid gets stronger. Not a healthy state for anyone, but with a fair wind perhaps we shall see a degree of amelioration on 5 May (UK local and devolved government election day).
In the interim, how else but with fury can one view the hypocrisies, probable though still culpable self-deceptions, and astonishing (even for them) incompetence of the people currently ‘in charge’ of UK plc? I’m not, given many years in politics, someone often who asks that sort of question, but on occasion it becomes compelling.
Here we have a government where the future training allowance in children’s care homes has just been announced as 69 pence – yes, pence – per annum; in which feminists are asked to accept the blame for stagnant social mobility and working men’s joblessness; where the value of early, positive health and education services are not acknowledged (they must surely be understood?); and whose leading figures cling resolutely to pre-Keynesian concrete small shop keeper fiscal policies.
The list of thoroughly unpleasant, wilfully self-serving pronouncements grows longer by the day, as ire rises, for some sapping hope and energy when never have they been more needed.
But now those consistently opposed to the drastic civic ruination of de-governance have been joined by a new allay, Liverpool LibDem group leader Cllr Warren Bradley, who wants his party to depart the ConDem coalition before they face a likely wipe-out in May.
That there are LibDems who want nothing to do with the Tories is not surprising; but that some should choose to announce this (albeit via leaks) just four weeks prior to an absolutely critical election is less predictable. It suggests desperation.
And desperate the LibDems should indeed feel, as well as compromised beyond toleration. They have it seems forgotten that J.M. Keynes, the enlightened 1930s economist, was by their own claim himself a Liberal – but a Liberal who understood that political induced pain inflicted on the vulnerable will benefit neither them nor anyone else, and never more so than when it is accompanied by withdrawal of formally structured support.
So bring it on for 5 May, Cllr Bradley. Let the people have their say, as you have just had yours.
This must however also be said: If LibDem MPs are serious about their credibility and integrity, it would be wise to cross the Parliamentary floor to Labour, now.
At present such a move can be made with honour, acknowledging the deep public resentment at a legislative Coalition which is riding roughshod over both common decency and previous political commitments.
But leave the prospect of party political defection much longer, and it will be too late – both for the LibDem MPs involved and, much more importantly, also for the survival of the NHS, Sure Start and very many other basic public services.
Now is the time, but where, LibDems MPs in the midst of so much angst, is the determination and energy to do the right thing?