I remember the good old days of being a Liberal Democrat. The days when I could argue about politics for hours, be proud to wear a yellow rosette and generally feel superior about my political views.
I am not saying I don’t support the Lib Dems anymore, I do. It’s just that now in debates I have to explain a lot of policies, dispel a lot of lies and myths and at times simply apologise for the mistakes. It usually involves a long rant at me where I feel like I have to defend not just the party but myself for supporting it. Don’t get me wrong I love debating and thanks to my legal training I am quite good at it. Recently, however, I found it so frustrating and disheartening. The worst is when I agree with people who are having a go at me (about tuition fees for example). It is easier not to tell anyone that I am a libdem at all!
My driving instructor likes telling me that the libdems won’t ever be in power again because they destroyed the country worse than Thatcher did. I know it is not true but I tend to laugh it off rather then get involved in a long argument.
I had a bad experience of my own last year. I was the agent for a local by-election and did badly. We came forth after the BNP, since then my candidate defected to Labour. In a way I still haven’t completely recovered from that and lost a lot of my campaigning spirit.
I agree with Tim Farron when he says that ‘With just 23% of the vote, we’ve got three-quarters of our manifesto into government policy. Let’s focus on that success, and stop apologising for the quarter we didn’t get.’
He didn’t, however, say how to recover from bad losses, get into the righteous mood of fighting for our principles and stop being ashamed about bad calls like tuition fees. Any ideas?