It is truly sad to see Martin Burfoot reduced to a stream of illogicality and mean-mindedness in his efforts to defend the poor showing by the Liberal in the recent referendum and local elections.
Firstly, the AV Referendum. If it is any comfort to Martin I voted yes in the referendum along with many other Labour Party candidates. Our intention was not, therefore, to kick Nick Clegg, something his own Party seems to be doing quite well enough on their own, but rather to deflate the arrogance with which David Cameron and the Conservatives conducted the very nasty No campaign. If Martin Burfoot wishes to find scapegoats for the poor performance of the Yes campaign I suggest he looks no further than his Coalition partners and the obvious unpopularity of the Liberals performance as Coalition dupes.
I am sure that the latter factor was also the primary reason for the poor performance of the Liberals in the local elections. Instead of attacking the hard work of the increased number of Labour candidates he should be addressing the extreme sense of betrayal of traditional Liberal voters as they see their national representatives betraying almost every element of Liberal Democracy. I see no reason to be surprised if many Liberals voted Tory, no longer seeing any difference between the Coalition Parties, or voted Labour because they could no longer stomach the betrayal of Liberal values.
I would also like to respond to Martin’s rather ungracious view of my election as councillor for the Masson ward. I fully accept that many voters in Masson will be unhappy at Peter Hume’s narrow defeat. I too have paid tribute to Peter’s record as a district councillor and I can assure Martin that I intend to match Peter’s excellent performance as a representative of the people of Masson and as a district councillor. I have also been involved on Bonsall Parish Council for nearly 20 years and have also contributed to a wide range of community activities during that time, so I see no reason to apologise for wishing to stand for the district council. But again Martin fails to provide a very satisfactory analysis of the result in Masson as he says absolutely nothing about the failure of the Liberal Party to put up candidates in the division. Had the Liberals stood candidates there is every chance the result would have been rather different. As it was I am sure that many Liberals voted Labour in disgust at both the performance of the Liberals at national level and the vicious campaign by their Coalition partners to discredit Alternative Voting. I gratefully acknowledge their votes and thank them for the support they gave me.
Perhaps, when his temper has subsided, Martin will look closer to home in trying to explain why the Liberal fared so badly last month. Seeking to blame everyone else will not take him very far in reviving the local fortunes of the Liberal Democrats.