Tom Pride makes an astute and much overlooked observation here:
“(not satire – it’s the UK today!)
The Social Democratic Party – which eventually joined with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats – is often regarded as a failure by political pundits from all sides of the political spectrum.
I’m not so sure.
For example, Andrew Lansley – who introduced the NHS ‘reforms’ which have effectively led to the privatisation of the NHS – used to be a member of the SDP.
So was Chris Grayling – who as employment minister introduced the slave labour scheme known as ‘workfare’ – and as justice minister is cutting the right of legal aid for the poorest.
Finkelstein is also executive editor and chief leader writer for the Times – effectively making him the mouthpiece of British establishment thinking.
Of course the present government is propped up by the Liberal Democrats – who could end the government and its extreme right-wing agenda today if it wanted to. But the most influential voices supposedly on the left of the Lib Dems – propping up Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander’s insistence on the party becoming Tory-lite – are Vince Cable and Shirley Williams, both former SDP members.
Even one of the most influential voices in the Labour party and supposedly also on the so-called left – Polly Toynbee – used to be a member of the SDP.
And no she hasn’t changed all that much – here’s one of her articles from as recently as 2011:
In fact, the more I looked into it, the more I found the SDP popping up everywhere.
The SDP a failure?
On the contrary, looks to me like they’ve got the country well and truly sewn up between them.” (http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/how-the-sdp-took-over-britain/) And for anyone interested in reading more on the topic Jon Lansman on Left Futures here takes a look at some familiar SDP faces: (http://www.leftfutures.org/2011/03/where-are-the-social-democrats-now/)
and back in 2012 David Lindsay said much the same (http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/really-shocked-me.html).