A friend of mine has written the following letter for publication in Bradford's local paper, The Telegraph and Argus
Nigel Farage is entitled to UKIP’s twenty four hours of glory following their second place in the Barnsley Central by-election. However, he and UKIP are surely getting ahead of themselves in prophesying that they will oust the Liberal Democrats as the UK’s third party.
Yes, the Barnsley result was a shocker for the Liberal Democrats. But as a political party we have a philosophical basis and one which is both broader, more intellectually coherent and more optimistic than the narrow anti-Europeanism of UKIP. Our roots go back not just to John Stuart Mill but beyond to the thinkers of the Enlightenment and to John Milton.
Thirteen years of New Labour, with its encroaching state authoritarianism (not to mention an illegal war), disqualify Ed Miliband’s party from any early return to the moral high ground. The Conservative Party continues to contain too many people with sharp elbows prepared to let the devil take the hindmost.
Liberalism, with its 20th century contributions from Keynes and Beveridge (it would be handy if Clegg & co. paid more attention to these) remains the party of both individual liberty and societal fairness.
I for one shall “keep the faith”.
And so say all of us