1 : capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration : purchasable; especially : open to corrupt influence and especially bribery : mercenary venal legislator;
2 : originating in, characterized by, or associated with corrupt bribery venal arrangement with the police;
Definition for the Merriam-Webster dictionary
Now this may be news to London Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone, but I am not for sale. Nor are the values of the Liberal Democrats. Nor am I a sub-species, he should ask Michael Connarty if he considers me to a political sub species or not.
Look at the situation that the country faced last May. Labour could have formed an administration with the Liberal Democrats, it still wouldn't have had the number of MPs to force through any legislation so would have had to have bribed Northern Irish Unionist, all the Nationalists and whoever to get anything done.
Would such a government have been stable?
Looking at what the SNP seem to be demanding up in Scotland where they have a majority Government the answer would be no. We would now be finding ourselves highly unpopular with overseas investors and without the support of the Eurozone to even be forced to bale us out, who knows where our economy would be.
What the Liberal Democrats did by forming a coalition with the Conservatives was create some stability. We don't have an administration that lurches from one bill to the next uncertain of whether they will be able to afford to do anything on the whim of a really small party. If Ken thinks we are being venal for the sake of our own party he should look at the results in the polls last month. People have been punishing our party while we still wait for the medium term results of what we have been seeking to do come into light.
Tough decision have been made, ones that Labour put off until they had hoped to win a fourth term maybe. The problem being that in putting them off the decisions that had to be made got tougher. In the nine months from when the Liberal Democrats approved the pre-manifesto at Autumn conference 2009 until the election the following May, even in the month of the election campaign itself, figures emerged that made things we promised into things we aspired to. That is how bad things were getting, when all the while and even in last week's BBC Question Time Labour were still blaming it solely on a world wide situation and unable to look at the fact that because it was worldwide nobody else was in a fit state to help us out. We had to help ourselves, not simply blame everyone else.
Ken should have taken note that his own party were offering stuff to the Lib Dems last May as well. There is just one thing they were flicking through a catalogue and picking out things that the Lib Dems they knew would like, without wanting to change too much of what they wanted, or being able to ensure that when they placed the order that they would be able to deliver.
Last Thursday on STV Sophie Bridger even got her Tory Opponent in the Inverclyde by election to say that the Lib Dems had secure more fairness that would have been present in a Conservative minority government. As one of the tenets of why I am a Liberal Democrat is to bring fairness (not just when times are good but also when they are bad) I think we are doing things along the right lines. We still have a way to go of course, but soon that too I hope will be visible to all. But people like Ken are still moaning about the problems but incapable of giving coherent solutions, that is the current Labour malaise.