Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mick Spreader @ Lib Dem Conference

Today was the deadline for my football fanzine, and despite giving myself an impossible schedule and the resultant stress, I rediscovered how much fun I have writing gags. I have been toying with the idea of bringing back MuckspReading in a slightly different form for a while but to avoid trouble aimed at national politics or maybe a Lib Dem version. Obviously the spReading bit won't work, but the increasingly unfunny and irrelevant Liberator and the nauseating Glee leaves a gap in the market.

If you've not heard of it, it was a satirical and parody website loosely based on Private Eye except like my football fanzine Up the Arse! it contained no op-eds - if it wasn't a gag it didn't make the cut. You can take a peek of the local Standards Board referred muckspReading if you haven't seen it before. I have to admit that I do miss writing it.

I have been working on an Alternative Campaigns Manual and anti-Glee songbook but didn't have time to finish them before conference. As a sneak preview, this was my reworded St. Trinian's Chant. Needs a bit more work, but you get the idea.

The Lib Dem Chant

We are worthy, we are proud
Our campaigns are very loud
Our beliefs don't follow the crowd
We are the Lib Dems

We don't fake the way we feel
We campaign in rain with zeal
Canvassing needs balls of steel
We are the Lib Dems

You slight us, then watch your back
Be sure we will attack
More dangerous than religious maniacs
We are the Lib Dems

Our fearsome battle cry
Is enough to terrify
Those that get in our way

We have the best
Who screw the rest
And do as we damn well please
Until the end
We are Lib Dems
Defenders of Liberty

So fight off the toffs
Help the NEETS, and police on the beat
Tax all the banks, swap Trident for more tanks
Expose Labour's theft, By Brown and his mates
To help out the poor, We increase allowance rates
And if Labour complain
we'll do it all again
Defenders of Liberty

Our fearsome battle cry
Is enough to terrify
Those that get in our way

We have the best
Who screw the rest
And do as we damn well please
Until the end
We are Lib Dems
Defenders of Liberty

Victorious
Still rebelious
Still vote as we damn well please
Until the end
We are Lib Dems
Defenders of Liberty

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Life and Soul of the Party Dies...

Okay, that title is misleading, It's just another example of me trying to get as many Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine songs into my stuff as I can!

However, I'm at Lib Dem Federal Conference 2010 and there are important matters to be sorted out. Not the crap that the press would have you believe about left/right, progressive/radical or any other such arbitrary construct put up by a media bereft of any anchor points for their turgid prose or indeed any ability to think beyond their proprietors prejudices.

Lib Dems have been comfortable with the idea of coalition for decades, because we are after all a party of coalition and democracy. If you really need to be led by the nose, the clue is in the title of our conference. It is a "Federal" conference. Independent local parties agree a platform of government voted for by members. It is our weakness... but it is also our strength.

A good example is that I am not a "social democrat". I am not progressive in the way that the Guardian tries to portray Lib Dems members and neither do we recognise a split between social democrats and "orange book" liberalism. I was reminded of this when a survey aimed at Lib Dems asked the question about whether the state should intervene as though it was a black and whte answer. For me, the correct answer is "sometimes". Some of my colleagues are Guardian reading progressives and may have a stronger opinion on the answer but do you know what? We are all comfortable with that because our common bond is not the trite politics played out in the press who have no ability to comprehend that life isn't black and white as they try to bash their understanding of politics into a pantomime script.

It's why you'll find the media outside their comfort zone this conference, desperate to get an angle and eager to find "splits". If they had any brains they'd know that they were barking up the wrong tree. They are ignoring the really question that is being fought out this conference. Is national politics important or should we be concentrating on local government?

There are many people associated with the national organisation, the MPs, Cowley Street and the campaigns department who believe that the pursuit of parliamentary power is the be all and end all. There are others who believe that grass roots activism and the localism agenda is best fought through local governmet.

The question Lib Dems have to ask themsleves locally and nationally is: "Do you want to be the awkward squad or do you want to make a difference?" If you want to be a prty of opposition, join the Greens or Labour. If you want to actually do something, have the courage of your convictions. I have no time for people who do not want responsibility and cling to student debating society politics or some everything or nothing notion of politics, It doesn't happen in real life, so to demand it in government shows an immature grasp of politics. I will say it here to avoid anyconfusion. There are many things that the coalition is doing that make me wince. but there are many more that make me think: "We did that."

The bottom line has to be get your hands dirty or ship out.