One of the main criticisms of the Liberal Democrat Party is that of their existence - what do they really believe in, what do they really stand for?
Vince Cable, writing in the Mail, demonstrates exactly why their existence is called into question with this article, which proposes 'a ten point plan to save our democracy'.
1. Discussing reforming party funding Cable writes: "It is dangerous and corrupting for parties to depend on large donations from rich donors with a dodgy past, who evade taxes and try to buy influence"
So the Liberal Democrats will return the £2.4million pounds donated by Michael Brown?
2. Calling for a reduction in the number of MPs and Peers, Cable writes: "I believe that most MPs do an important job representing their constituents, holding government to account and legislating."
Since when did present day MPs 'hold the government to account' and 'legislate'? Firstly, on important matters affecting this country, invariably the House of Commons is virually empty and secondly, as most of our laws emanate from Brussels, what actually do MPs legislate on?
3. Cable wants to 'make MPs financially responsible'. 'Expensegate' surely showed that, on a personal level, that is only too true! He continues about the need for government spending to be 'approved line for line' in 'open hearings'. Hardly a new idea, when it is one that has been proposed for ages by Hannan and Carswell in 'The Plan'!
4. Cable wants 'traditional British liberties' defended. Well, Cable could make a start by campaigning against the UK's EU membership, so that we can use imperial measurements and whatever lightbulbs we want - to mention just two 'traditional British liberties' that have been in the news lately!
5. On the subject of MPs expenses Cable does not think the 'public will forget' - too damn right, Vince, we will not! As to accepting the Kelly report, Cable is also advocating the right of an unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat to dictate to the electorate - who are after all the ones who 'provide' all this money - MP's remuneration. 'And our 'views' in all this are where?
6. Making the point that 'Local councils have been stripped of most of their functions by central government' Cable fails to draw the similarity between this and the UK Parliament being stripped of most of its functions by our membership of the EU and, more importantly, the Lisbon Treaty, the two latter subjects being something on which the Liberal Democrats are in favour!
7. Calling for the voting age to be lowered to 16, Cable forgets that to give those who have not yet reached adulthood the opportunity to decide on such weighty matters as who governs us, it would help if those to whom he proposes to give the vote were able to read and write to begin with!
8. The one point in his 'plan' Cable does seem to have got correct, it could be argued, is that of fixed-term parliaments.
9. Discussing the need for the punishment of MPs who abuse their position, Cable is again jumping on the Hannan & Carswell 'bandwagon' by, in effect, wanting a 're-call system'!
10. Arguing for proportional representation - yet again - Cable should, instead, be arguing for open primaries - another Hannan & Carswell idea. He also misses the point that if the Liberal Democrats could only decide what they stood for, what they believed in, more people would wish to vote for them - thus they would gain power regardless of the voting system!
In view of the above - the point of the Liberal Democrat Party is..........................?