Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Nick Clegg and David Cameron - joined at the hip for the next five years

Whatever the colour of your politics, if you live in the UK you should want to see a strong Labour party in the House of Commons. In the interests of democracy, it needs to be testing the (unelected) Conservative-LibDem coalition every step of the spending cuts to come.
This means Labour has to elect David Miliband as its new leader. Only he has the experience to stress-test Coalition policy – and the broad electoral appeal, which will be needed in five years time.
He can’t count on the Coalition falling apart before then. The speech of Nick Clegg, the LibDem leader, to his party conference yesterday pinpointed how he had provided what it had been lacking for 65 years – ministerial power.
His appetite for office has been exposed as being redder in tooth and claw than that of Tory leader David Cameron. At least with the Tories you know they are sworn the enemy of the public sector and no friend of the welfare state.
For all his talk of principles, Clegg has done a 180-degree turn on the timing of the deficit reduction. This link to the Left Foot Forward's website is being charitable when it finds Clegg’s reasons for adopting the Tory timetable as not stacking up.
There can be no dispute, however, about the sorry mess the last government made of Britain’s finances. Only today saw August’s public sector borrowing hit a record £15.9 billion for the month. Interest charges on government debt at £4 billion are nearly treble that of a year ago.
On the other hand the Coalition’s efforts to compare the state of our economy with that of Greece don’t survive the barest inspection.
Regardless of any noises to the contrary after decades in the wilderness Clegg, Vince Cable, Danny Alexander and the rest are not going to squander theirs and their party’s big chance even if it has meant abandoning chunks of their election manifesto.
For the next five years old Ben Franklin's bitter quip, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately," will be the Coalition's guiding maxim.

1 comment:

  1. OK GC. But hase Dave got the stomach for the bare knuckle fight to come? asks Jaffa.


What do you think? GC