Lord Lipsey in his BBC Radio 4 debate with Brian Cave came across as absolutely rigid in his opposition to UK voting rights for British Citizens resident overseas. This doesn’t seem so surprising now when reading the review of his autobiography in The Economist July 21st, 2012:In the Corridors of Power – An Autobiography. By David Lipsey.
This suggests a certain inflexibiliity and resistance to change and is perhaps one reason for him disarmingly admitting in his autobiography that his own work on voting reform “must rank the greatest failure among a number of failures in my political life”.
Although Lord Lipsey has been at or near the political coalface since the early 1970s, he says that his ideas have remained broadly constant while the political landscape has changed dramatically”……. “without having changed my mind much on much”, over three decades or more.
It could be added that the global economy in which the UK operates today and the corresponding environment in which government policy is made has also changed dramatically over the last three or more decades as well.
This particularly applies to the case of the British citizen overseas, with modern communications and the internet blurring the traditional definition of an expatriate, the latter well able to remain informed on and concerned by developments in his or her country of birth, even after more than 15 years abroad.
Over the past three decades to again quote The Economist’s review… ”political parties have become less ideological. Politics these days is about what works”. In the same way the British citizen resident overseas cannot be categorized as of predominantly any particular political persuasion and is no more “cut off (from the new professional political class) than the people who send its members to Westminster”.
If you agree, we would appreciate you adding your vote here in support of the removal of the 15-year-limit on our national voting rights.