Lib Dems, back in the spotlight but with serious questions to answer
31 May, 2019
Lib Dems Kate Pothalingam and Pierre Delarue celebrate victory at the Town Hall
• THE outcome of last week’s European Parliament elections seems to indicate that many voters are now inclined to look more kindly on the Lib Dems and are willing to overlook the severe economic and social damage they caused nationally, as well as here in Islington, during their ill-fated coalition with David Cameron’s Tories.
Nationally, when in coalition with the Tories from 2010 to 2015, they fully supported the austerity policies that have inflicted so much hardship on so many Islington residents – insecure and poorly-paying jobs, unaffordable housing, schools struggling with never-ending cuts and the widespread backdoor privatisation and chronic underfunding of the NHS.
Here in Islington, when the Lib Dems controlled the council they sold off swathes of council houses, thus aggravating the already serious lack of affordable housing and encouraging the extensive gentrification of the borough. As a result, local people and their children have been forced out of the area because they haven’t been able to find anywhere they could afford to live locally.
At the same time, the Lib Dem-controlled council privatised many council services, committing the council to long-term, over-priced contracts that have seriously underperformed, leaving many residents with poor-quality services that we’re all paying through the nose for.
It’s clear that many people voted Lib Dem last week because of the party’s loudly-trumpeted support for continued membership of the EU.
So it’s somewhat ironic that it has been the very austerity policies they inflicted on the country as part of the coalition with the Tories that have done so much to fuel support for Brexit in the many deprived parts of the country.
We believe the Lib Dems, now they’re back in the political spotlight, have serious questions to answer. What are their policies on jobs that pay fair wages, homes that people can afford, schools that can provide a decent education and an NHS that’s properly funded and there for all of us when we need it?
The Labour Party is absolutely committed to addressing these issues and to the core belief that it’s the job of government to ensure that everyone shares in the prosperity of our wealthy nation.
Chair, Islington North Labour Party