The strange death of the Cornish Liberal Party

As the Liberal Democrats drifted rightwards after the 1990s, the flame of traditional Liberalism – the radical Liberalism of Gladstone and the younger Lloyd George – was kept alive by the Liberal Party. This provided a home for those who couldn’t stomach the SDP and wanted a ‘radical, non-socialist alternative’.

The Liberal Party’s website sets out where it stands. It’s in favour of scrapping Trident, a land value tax, community-run NHS, abolition of league tables for schools, public ownership of water and rail and proportional representation. Oh, and ‘fundamental reform’ of an illiberal EU. Which all nicely ticks progressive boxes.

For a time the Liberal Party in Cornwall contested local and general elections and even had a county councillor. But now they’ve been co-opted by the fundamentally illiberal Ukip. Abandoning all those other progressive policies, they’ve decided that membership of the EU is the single most important issue facing us today.

So their ‘three candidates’ are withdrawing and they’re calling on their mass of supporters in Cornwall to vote Ukip. Strangely, this is the first time these suspiciously silent three mysterious and unnamed candidates have been heard of. The Liberal Party has kept them under wraps as a closely guarded secret up to now, and then promptly withdrawn them. Sadly, we shall never know who these brave men and women were.


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