Letter regarding my resignation from the Liberal Democrats

October 21, 2010

in Activism, Letters, Personal

Sent to the DELGA (the LGBT Liberal Democrat group) mailing list in response to an appalling email from a current member of the Executive following the principled resignation of a colleague. I will make no claim that this is well-written or well-referenced.

Dear all,

I was waiting it out with regard to the Comprehensive Spending Review, but after reading Dave’s disgusting, partisan, and utterly unacceptable jibe at Ollie, I am hereby resigning immediately from DELGA and the Liberal Democrat Party. The fact that [redacted] is Ollie’s partner is no way enhances or detracts from the fact that our university teaching budgets were just cut by 80%, our cornerstone pledge that every student should receive a free education was ripped up with glee, 100,000 people are about to be forced to move out of London because they cannot pay the rents, legal aid has been REMOVED for housing and family cases, Disabled Living Allowance is being denied to many people with mental health problems, social care for the elderly has been cut by 30% – do you think that people too frail to leave their beds will just learn to care for themselves?

I joined this party because I believe that we should “build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.” I still believe in that and that is why I must quit. We have betrayed those values, we have betrayed those who voted for us, and we have betrayed our own membership by disregarding their horror at what is unfolding due to our connivance with a cuts programme which rivals Thatcher by deriding it as some sort of lovers’ tiff. Shame on you, Dave, and shame on every one of you who has shrugged their shoulders at the CSR and the hundreds of thousands of desperately poor people are who are now facing oblivion.

The Liberal Democrat Party are in the process of making our country more unsafe, more racist, more unfair, and more hypocritical. Access to health, education, housing and justice has been curtailed and people will die as a result. I hope you can live with that, because I certainly can’t. Goodbye.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah McCulloch

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Hickey October 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Without getting into the specifics of the emails you were responding to (I am and wish to remain friendly with both Dave and Ollie, and haven’t seen and do not wish to see the discussion) I’d argue that ‘we’ haven’t betrayed anyone. Rather we have *been* betrayed by the leadership.

On at least some of these issues, many or all backbench Lib Dem MPs are going to rebel (John Leech has already announced he’ll vote against the tuition fees increase, for example). I believe right now that the best thing to do is to remain in the party, support those MPs and candidates who actually represent the party’s values, and continue to work to bring Lib Dem policies (rather than Tory policies) about.

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sarah October 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I am not going to publish any private mailing list correspondence to protect the privacy of those involved. However the fact is that Vince Cable and Nick Clegg aren’t going to see any repercussions from their party for having screwed over most of the population.

I understand your perspective, but I really don’t think that helping the Tories kill people in the hopes that we can get gay marriage is going to achieve what we (and I assume that you have the same ideals for the Lib Dems as I did) really want from our government.

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Andrew Hickey October 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

“I am not going to publish any private mailing list correspondence to protect the privacy of those involved.”

Good – I wouldn’t want you to.

I don’t think gay marriage is the only thing we’re getting from the coalition, and I *do* think that if the worst of these cuts go through then Clegg, especially, will *definitely* see repercussions.

I didn’t get into politics to hurt people, especially not the poor and vulnerable, and there are aspects of the CSR that I find horrific. There are other aspects that are much less so. My own view, and I can understand people differing, is that we need to perform triage – find those cuts that are both morally wrong and potentially avoidable, and concentrate on finding ways to change those.

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sarah October 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I do understand that you need resistance from within and from without, and it’s not really you whom I am angry with; you are not, after all, someone “who has shrugged their shoulders at the CSR” – it’s not my path but I get where you’re coming from. But you know there are Liberal Democrats who are so excited by being in power they just don’t care, and unfortunately a lot of them seem to be in charge.

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Mel Daniels Manders October 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

dear sarah
i am also affected by the recent cuts to the point where i am unsure of my independent future i too had faith in the lib dems and believe all who voted them in were miss led from the begining i wish you well
your friend M Daniels

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sarah October 24, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hi Mel,

you are right, it is very scary. I honestly don’t see how they propose people who are just barely surviving on benefits now are going to do once they’re withdrawn. People really are going to die, and it seems the Daily mail is pleased about this…

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David Henry October 23, 2010 at 1:17 am

Hey Sarah,

I love you! well written and comprehensive argument why respected, grass roots community activists like yourself are pulling out of the Lib Dem project in droves.

I’m certainly not a recruiter, but we could always do with people like yourself in the Green Party :)

Take cate,

David

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sarah October 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

Hi David,

I think I’m pretty much done with party politics now, and I certainly don’t see much difference between the green party and the lib dems other than that they are more keen to get the state involved in people’s lives, which never has been something I want to support.

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