Dear Nick: full text of Alexis Rowell’s resignation letter to Lib Dems

THE full text of Alexis Rowell’s resignation letter to Nick Clegg. As revealed here last night, he has left the Lib Dems to stand for the Green Party in next month’s Highgate ward by-election:

Dear Nick,

I’m afraid I’ve decided to leave the Liberal Democrats. My principal reason for doing so is Chris Huhne’s support for nuclear power. Opposition to a new round of nuclear power stations has always seemed to me to be a key Liberal Democrat policy and a potent symbol of Lib Dem values. Before Fukishima I could think of many reasons why the Lib Dems were right to oppose nuclear power.With that tragedy still ongoing, and rivalled only by Chernobyl in terms of its adverse impact on nature and mankind, the list grows ever longer.

When I was interviewed as a potential Lib Dem councillor candidate in 2006 I said that the only thing I could foresee which would make me leave the party was if it decided to support nuclear power. The party hasn’t, but Chris Huhne and the Lib Dem coalition negotiators have.

As I think you know I’ve also been quite unimpressed with the coalition’s general record on environmental issues. The bar set by the previous government was low but so far, in the opinion of all too many environmentalists and commentators, you’ve sailed under it.  I joined the party primarily because of its environmental policies, and I worked tirelessly in Camden in 2006-10 to promote sustainability with a Lib Dem face, so this feels like a personal betrayal.

However I’m also horrified by what the coalition’s policies are doing to the social fabric. I recognise that any government would have had to make difficult decisions, but I’m still shocked by the fact that you signed the foreword to the bill to privatise the NHS, by the draconian frontloaded cuts to local government, by the free schools policy, by the virtual abandonment of state-funded higher education, by the lack of any action on banker bonuses and exorbitant pay in general, by the decision to fully privatise the Royal Mail, and by a host of other free market or libertarian policies which I didn’t vote for and which I can’t support.

I hope one day you manage to find your voice in the coalition and that it ends up being the progressive voice of the Liberal Democrat Party that I joined when Tony Blair launched his illegal war in Iraq. However for the moment I can see no value in your being Deputy Prime Minister or in the Lib Dems being part of the government. Your participation is not only legitimising the Conservative Party’s confused and troubling agenda, it is also destroying the Liberal Democrat party and its progressive soul. I therefore feel that I have no choice but to leave.

Yours sincerely,

Alexis Rowell

Liberal Democrat Councillor, London Borough of Camden, 2006-10

4 Comments on Dear Nick: full text of Alexis Rowell’s resignation letter to Lib Dems

  1. Wow. And spot on in the main, although I’m not personally anti-nuclear on the basis of safety only of cost. Fukushima simply couldn’t happen in the UK, there are no fault lines that would cause a quake of that kind anywhere near us and we use a different, safer generation of nuclear stations here. On a cost basis though, and considering that the anti-wind lobby is almost wholly funded by Nuclear businesses, I’m of a mind not to build the things. Wave, tidal, wind; that’s the way to go.

  2. Theo Blackwell // August 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm //

    Presumably if this is all about Lib Dems u-turns on nuclear power and NHS privatisation the intrepid Alexis would’ve resigned months ago when these policies were so publicly debated – rather than minutes before a selection meeting for a by-election.

    I’m just sayin’

  3. Ian Wright // August 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm //

    Dear Alexis; What took you so long? Was it was ok for the LD’s to get into bed with the Tories in the first place? then was it ok for Vince Cable to violently attack the trade unions? then was itOK for the coalition to introduce the massive spending cuts which disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable? And then why was did it take you two or three months (or is it now more?) since the wife cheating/ lying to the DVLA’ing Hulme announce his U turn? The LD’s have always been opportunistic, and untrustworthy. I have to admit I got a copy of their manifesto when I was disinchanted with Labour but thank God I did not join them.

    In respect of Actor Tim’s comments- yes there are no fault lines in the UK (that we know of, although we have had some minor tremours here) but I am sure one year ago we would have thought Fukushima would not have happened in one of the most technically advanced societies in the world. So now we have had Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chenobyl, Fukushima, so where next? Nuclear is unsafe, dirty and expensive so ‘No Thanks’. Anyway folks; time to join the Green Party; the only radical alternative.

  4. Michael Way // August 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm //

    The words ”mountain” and ”molehill” come to mind regarding your rambling comments about multi-partygoer Rowell

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