Ashdown warns of anarchy

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Indy Politics

Sir Paddy Ashdown blamed the recent fuel protests on a lack of "creeds and beliefs" in British politics that was prompting anarchic sentiments across the country.

Sir Paddy Ashdown blamed the recent fuel protests on a lack of "creeds and beliefs" in British politics that was prompting anarchic sentiments across the country.

Although the former Liberal Democrat leader stopped short of criticising Tony Blair directly, he said that politics was now the "stuff of managerialism", which was failing to capture the public's imagination.

Addressing The Independent's fringe meeting on globalisation, Sir Paddy said: "The protests we saw last week were not only a form of dissatisfaction with the Government but also with political parties. It was an expression of an anarchic sentiment against politics. We have to think how we are going to restructure democracy."

Sir Paddy broke ranks with his party when he urged Liberal Democrats to accept the Government's plans to water down its proposals on electoral reform as a "gradual, first step towards reform". He pledged his support for any moves to bring in the Alternative Vote system despite his party's firm opposition to the method because it is not strictly proportional.

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