Monday, 12 November 2007

Why no debate about the leadership candidates cars?

Funny isn't it how during the last leadership election, the media made a big thing about the candidates cars.
But this time ... nothing!
No doubt Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg have appropriate cars this time, so nothing to write about.
Last time it was Ming who was caught out. The Liberal Democrats consider global warming the most important issue of all, so how can Ming drive a Jag?
Well the logic took over, and he got rid of it ... carefully.
But it is worth considering how this impacts on another Lib Dem theme, one pushed by the very powerful Centre Forum. What about aspiration?
If you are amitious and successful, then of course you want a Jag - assuming you fit the stereotype.
So where does selling your Jag fit in to aspiration?
All this talk of aspiration leaves behind others who also contribute to society.
Carers of the disabled can do a valuble job, and maybe do it for the love of it. But when politicians talk of aspiration, where to they fit in?
I believe that those who are public spirited, and often working in the public services are natural liberals. They may not want a flash car or the latest designer clothes. But ofthen they contribute more to society than those who do.
Now that the scope for enrichez-vous is diminishing as we have to learn to live within the environmental limits of the planet, and as the global balance of power shifts from west to east, we need to think carefully about how liberalism is going to appeal in our changing society.


Joe Otten said...


Ian S said...

I aspired to a car with all the trimmings - cruise control, sat nav, hands free phone, ABS, traction control, air con etc - and bought a Toyota Prius which has all these and more. We can still have our aspirations and support liberal values.
On a more serious note I think rewarding people for devoted public service is a problem. In the private sector hard work = high pay is seen to apply but in the public sector good and bad performances are often equally rewarded. Promotion is one route to higher pay but the Peter principle (promotion from a job done well into one done badly) comes into play. We need to treat people as individuals and reward them for what they contribute and not for being in any particular pay scale or category.

Left Lib said...

It is OK for a Lib Dem to have a car. We are not in power, and UK public transport is generally rubbish.
I think from a Lib Dem point of view, the most important criterian for buying a car is an ecological one.
I personally take no interest in car brands, so I do not know how well a Toyota Prius fits in to that criteria.
I am lucky to live in central London and I do not need or have a car.
I find the hypocracy arguments that you often get around this to be very stultifying. Whilst we argue about who is being hypocritical, as though that is a reason not to do anything, global warming continues to get worse.