From my thread on this question:

I acknowledge that it’s a fair question to ask – although I didn’t expect anything like this level of interest in my original blog from people with much more of a profile.

I have always been a liberal-minded social democrat. I left the Liberal Democrats in 2010. I couldn’t back the distributional impact of the Coalition’s tax, spend and especially welfare policies. Politics requires trade-offs, but for me attempted mitigation was outweighed by policy difference.

I’ve never actively made a point of my previous history for a couple of reasons. As a former staffer, I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to use it against the Lib Dems. Unlike my (small) role in Labour, my ‘mandate’ had only ever come from the party. I also think the moral issues with the state of today’s Labour go beyond partisan splits, differ from essentially economic disagreements, and thus change the balance of merits of speaking up now rather than then. Finally, for personal reasons I had no desire to revisit 2010.

I have never condemned people for changing parties: I am not a hypocrite. It was wholly legitimate for Aaron Bastani to change his party affiliation as his views and the political circumstances changed. Politics is supposed to be, at least in part, the business of changing minds. Personally, I want and always have wanted to see a government of the reforming centre-left: committed to narrowing the gap between rich and poor, upholding constitutionalism and the rule of law, and championing an internationalist Britain anchored in the Euro-Atlantic world.

Liberal-minded social democrat seeks readers.

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