Dick of the year – David Laws
This is my bid for our “Dick of the Year” contest – each of the co-editors (and anyone else who wants to nominate) will write a pitch for who wins the Bright Green “Britain’s Dick of the Year 2010” award. You vote for the winner.
The story of British politics this year is the role of the Liberal Democrats. Lots of people were conned into thinking they were a progressive party. Having secured these votes, they allowed the Tories to push through radical right wing polices that a majority thought they had voted against.
How did the Lib Dems turn from the fluffy-if-pointless party of Charles Kennedy to the current criminals we see today? Well, there have always been right wing Lib Dems. But their recent incarnation kicked off in 2004 when David Laws co-edited a document “The Orange Book” proposing mass marketisation of public services and laying out a right wing vision for his party. Contributors included Vince Cable, Chris Huhne, and one then MEP called Nick Clegg. This team, organised by former investment banker Laws has successfully taken a party that was an incoherent waste of space, and made it the neo-liberal machine it is today.
More relevantly, Laws was also responsible for Lib Dem coalition negotiations. So, if you think that the Lib Dems didn’t get much for their souls, then remember this: Here is the man responsible. And there’s not much evidence he liked any of that lefty stuff like publicly funded universities in the first place. He may have slipped from attention because of some unfortunate personal circumstances. But he is still the evil genius responsible for this mess. And this award should be his.
If you want to nominate someone, email a 200 word pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 30th Dec.