Tuesday, 20 November 2012

What the hell is Nick Clegg playing at?

The other day the Independent reported that our dear leader is discussing a trade-off for the next budget where unemployment benefit and income support for poor people would be frozen (a real terms cut) in exchange for slightly higher taxes on wealth. This is new flexibility from Nick Clegg which is, apparently in order to "ensure the pain of the cuts is shared fairly."

This makes my blood boil. What on Earth is fair about extra wealth taxes if the money raised does absolutely nothing to protect the poorest?

Could someone please explain the logic of this to me? The government has X amount it needs to save. The Tories, being Tories, want to save this amount by slashing benefits and support for poor people (but not for pensioners as they're the group most likely to vote Conservative). We, on the other hand, being Liberal Democrats, would much rather get X by raising taxes on unearned wealth for those with the broadest shoulders.

So how, for Pete's sake, do you get from that to deciding that a "fair" solution is to hit the poor and fail to protect them, but try and tell them not to worry about being in poverty because some rich people are going to have to pay a little more tax as well?

Time and time again Nick Clegg has reassured us by saying that we are not in government just to reduce the deficit but also to make Britain fairer in the process. That the deficit cannot be balanced on the backs of the poor

But Nick seems to be consistently failing to actually understand what this means on a pretty darn fundamental level: Fairness is about protecting the poor, it is about protecting the vulnerable. It is not hitting the poor to placate the prejudice of Tories while salving your conscience by raising stamp duty slightly.

And it most definitely is not making token objections to Tory policies for "differentiation" purposes while presiding over a Britain where poverty and inequality are rising and thousands more families are becoming dependent on food banks.

And that's not even mentioning the way in which our MPs and peers, in spite of an overwhelming defeat of the leadership at conference on this issue, are rapidly riding roughshod over the fundamental principles of members to commit themselves to supporting the authoritarian wet dream of secret courts which put the state above the law - a scheme denounced as illiberal and dangerous by organisations like Liberty and, more importantly, opposed by Liberal Democrat members themselves.

Or without mentioning, for that matter, the "shares in exchange for giving up employment rights" scheme currently being implemented by Vince Cable and opposed by 92% of Lib Dem members.

This behaviour by our leadership, and by Nick Clegg in particular, is really only deserving of one label and that is spineless.

That and complete, arrogant disregard for the will of party members who have made clear, time and time again, that, while they are mature enough to compromise, they also have red lines which must not be crossed. Not that that or internal party democracy mean a thing while Nick Clegg seems determined to cross every single red line the party membership has.

So, I have to ask, what the hell is Nick Clegg playing at?


  1. Good,fair comment George.Glad to see you posting honestly as always.

  2. "The government has X amount it needs to save. . . So how, for Pete's sake, do you get from that to deciding that a "fair" solution is to hit the poor and fail to protect them, but try and tell them not to worry about being in poverty because some rich people are going to have to pay a little more tax as well?"

    I think you need to go back and read this sentence again, as you've just had a shocking failure to grasp logic.

    If taxes are raised on the wealthiest, benefits will be cut by less than if taxes are not raised on the wealthiest.

    Now, that may not be your perfect solution. But please stop pretending there is a Lib Dem Government. One can criticise our MPs about what they've compromised over; but that's not what you're doing. Time and time again you throw your toys out of the tree because there has been a compromise at all. As a pluralist, that hugely depresses me.

  3. "Now, that may not be your perfect solution. But please stop pretending there is a Lib Dem Government. One can criticise our MPs about what they've compromised over; but that's not what you're doing. Time and time again you throw your toys out of the tree because there has been a compromise at all. As a pluralist, that hugely depresses me."

    At above.Do the compromises affect you.If people with your attitude continue.The LibDems will cease to exist.

    You just don't get the Corby result do you.The massive swing to Labour,in a Tory area.Is not about the European Union,or UKIP would have won.

    Its because people are seeing the Propaganda that IDS and Clegg spouts for what it is.

  4. The penny has finally dropped. Student fees, NHS Bill, Tax cuts for millionaires... Clegg is not a Liberal. Those of us with any sense left the party long ago.

    [A former LD Parliamentary Candidate]

    1. Hear hear. I am no longer a Lib Dem thanks to smeggy cleggy

  5. There is nothing Liberal and nothing Democratic left within the Libn Dems while Smeggy Sleggy is at the helm (actually he is not at the helm - Scameron is!)
    He has taken this once Great country and trashed it.

    Systematically dismantling every part of what made this once country Great - No longer are we in Great Britain - Now we are just in a whole heap of sh*t - Thanks to Clegg and Co - Who have no balls or backbone!

    He has trashed the NHS - selling it off by chunks to his eton pals with their hands right in that pot.
    He is trashing the welfare state - same thing - selling bits off by fake assessments that mean endless round and round WCAs for some sick people who win at appeal then within 2weeks get another ESA50 - Wasting more time and money - Straight in to the hands of his eton pals though - So 'Dave' is patted on the back again

    He is busily boxing up little chunks of britain, selling it all off to friends. And thre will be nothing left of 'Great' Britain after this 5yrs in 'power'

    He has taken all rights that the publc once had and stomped on them. No right to disagree with anythign the oh so powerful etonites say. After all - we Plebs mean nothing in the Uk today.

    Oh well. Who cares if 72 people lose their lives to the WCA fiasco? (soon to be 73 when mine comes)
    Who cares ig the NHS goes private and the plebs have no health care - they are just plebs
    Who cares if the one fine Great Britain ends up being a shadow of its former great self? As long as profits are high and the millions ar made - The little PLebs mean nothing - We can make them into glue or somethign for more profit

    This once great country makes me ashamed to be British now

    I know you are a different one Potter :-) I know you are not cut from that dirty etonian cloth.

    I only pray YOU can make a difference........ Somehow

  6. This alone speaks volumes about the man.

    "Nick Clegg warns of riots before election, and condemns them when he is in Government."


    On the riots & his history of arson:


    What is the world coming to when we are governed by such self-serving liars determined to destroy our public services & peoples lives along with it?
    A world where sick, disabled & poor people are scapegoated & denied their most basic rights of survival.
    A world where Tony Blair is Peace Envoy for the Middle East.
    How is this atrocity taking place & the crimes of the elite not only go unpunished but are allowed to proliferate on such a scale?

    This country needs more of the likes of George Potter & of Dennis Skinner to name two of the few decent, honest folks who genuinely care & speak up against these fascists.

  7. Another good post, George.

    I fail to see what Anon is on about in the second post (presumably a different Anon from the first one). It is logical, if you are a fair and decent person, to say...so far and no farther. The poor cannot afford to give any more. Many of them are at subsistence level. But the rich have money that they can never use. They have properties that they never visit, lakes and lochs that they never fish, cars that they never drive. They can give up more than the poor earn in 40 years and not notice its going.

    So, you would think that, if a country was in such a bad state that it had to take money away from people who earn only £60 a week, and put them out of their homes and on to the street, that the country would be in such a terrible state that no one would be considering spending £100 billion on new nuclear weapons, or sending aircraft to the middle east to meddle in a war that they don't understand.

    But no. Wrong again.

    Despite starving people to death, cutting their benefits and making them homeless, GREAT Britain has to be a nuclear power, has to be involved in every war, has to tell the European Union what to do, has to know better than everyone else. No back seat for the Eton boys. Fur coats for them, and no pants all round.

    I don't know what Nick Clegg is playing at. No idea. He's looking to get a terrible kicking at the next election, and all the hard work of many decades and many people will be trashed for the want of a backbone in the leadership. For want of the nerve to say: "confidence and supply, and no titles". That could have made them heros; that could have guaranteed a legacy.

    In Scotland Rennie has become a laughing stock as Clegg's Scottish mouthpiece, and the party whose policies I most empathise with (after the SNP), has become a laughable rump.

    But we mustn't forget the part that Labour played in all this. 10 years of Gordon Brown's madness and inability as a financial manager played a large part in binging us to where we are.

  8. I am a bit surprised at the LibDem party allowing Nick Clegg to carry on down a road to electoral oblivion.
    It reminds me of Custers Last Stand,or the Charge of the Light Brigade.A ostrich in the sand mentality.

    They have a go at you George,for saying what most people think,rather some have a go at you.But if this carries on,it will be people like you what have to rebuild the LibDems.

    Because,if and likely they will lose badly,they cannot continue down a right winged road.

    Tories who voted LibDem,did so to take the Nastiness out of their party.But the LibDems,on Welfare anyway,are just as bad as the most rabid Tory.So they will vote Ukip for a protest vote now.

    The Labour people that voted LibDem have long gone.So that leaves just the LibDems,and many of them are disillusioned and have left,or at least are not happy with the LibDems direction under Nick Clegg.

    So were do the LibDems go to from here.I think it time members stood back and took stock of the situation.

  9. He's being a leader of your Party, George. This sort of behaviour is exactly why I left the Labour Party in disgust after less than four years as a member. And it's no less than should be expected by anyone with a real insight into how politics currently functions in this country.

    You reap what you sow, after all. You work as part of Party actively complicit in dismantling civil society and 200 years of social and political progress, and you can't expect that people on the outside looking in will appreciate your thinking.

    Remember the Great Reform Act, by any chance? The Tolpuddle Martyrs? The Jarrow march? The works of J.S. Mill, Bentham, Kant, Popper and Isaiah Berlin? I'm guessing you've studied all of these. Now compare our shared historic legacy with the work your Party is complicit in.

    1. Yes - I kind of agree - The Lib Dems are complicit in the mass trashng of the UK. They are also complicit in the murder of so many people who have died or committed suicide due to the WCA!

      Standing by and doing nothing like slegg is - and letting this happen makes you as much a murderer as someone with a gun who shoots someone in the head.

      You need to get Clegg to LISTEN to sue marsh - and stop this mass dismantling of the once great island that is - was should i say - Britain.


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