Let’s take a short trip down memory lane and remember those days in the spring of 2010. Bliss it was in that dawn to be a Liberal Democrat, brimming with youthful energy and enthusiasm in their quest to slay the Tory dragon.
Dusting off those old election leaflets from that year, what do we find and how does it then compare with what happened?
Oh look, Stephen Gilbert, bless him, was opposed to the incinerator at St Dennis and he was against plans for an eco-town in the clay country
- the incinerator, instituted and pushed by the Lib Dems, got built
- the eco-town is going to get built with the plans being proposed by Cornwall Council, controlled by … err, the Lib Dems
Up in the north, Dan Rogerson was going to help ‘make Britain a fairer place to live’
- yet inequality is on the rise again as ‘the tax and benefit changes since 2010 have been largely regressive’
Meanwhile in 2010, the Lib Dems promised to ‘give people the power to sack corrupt MPs’
- they haven’t
In Camborne-Redruth, Julia Goldsworthy said ‘we need strong local MPs to fight the Tory cuts’ and protect ‘vital public services’
- Lib Dems in Parliament have supported the Tory cuts and Cornwall Council has had to slash £366 million from its budget, close toilets, get rid of libraries, cut social care and privatise services, not to mention make a load of staff redundant
Julia was arguing that the Lib Dems would stop housing on greenfield sites by opposing ‘top down housing targets’ while introducing powers to stop the spread of second homes
- the Lib Dems have been part of a government that has stealthily re-imposed top down housing targets
- second homes are still spreading
Julia promised a lot more money for Cornish schools if the Lib Dems were in government
- they are but in 2013 Cornish primary schools were warning of a crisis because of lack of funds
And whatever happened to that famed Liberal Democrat ‘fair deal for Cornwall’?
- Cornwall is still underfunded
- in 2011 all three Cornish Lib Dem MPs voted for the final reading of the Government’s Equal Constituencies Bill. If implemented, this will demolish Cornwall’s historical political border and set back the struggle to obtain special treatment for Cornwall by decades
- and despite five years in government that elusive Cornish Assembly remains just as elusive
In 2010 the Lib Dems told us that ‘a vote for Labour or the smaller parties will only help the Conservatives’
- and then they helped the Conservatives.
Don’t get fooled again. While we’re at it, we might also note the long list of Tory broken promises. And when we listen to all the spin about which party will join which or refuse to join another in potential coalitions, bear in mind this gem, printed in the Telegraph just four days before the last election.