Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slasher Nick's coming! Clegg it!

Less than two months before the election and it's time for Nick Clegg to tell us who his political heroes are. This will really be one in the eye for those who say the Lib Dem leadership is trying to move the party to the right. How foolish they will look when he praises Ghandi or Keir Hardy or Arthur Scargill.

But who to choose, who to choose, who to choose.... hmmm. Madame Thatcher? The politician he most wants to to align himself with is Margaret Thatcher.

But hold on, no, perhaps he's admiring the fact that she was firm in her views but not what she actually did. Oh. No. Actually he "admires" the way she took on "vested interests", otherwise known as the trade unions.

The Spectator reports;

Age, he claims, has taught him the point of Lady Thatcher. And, indeed, he now seems to see her as something of an inspiration.

‘I’m 43 now. I was at university at the height of the Thatcher revolution and I recognise now something I did not at the time: that her victory over a vested interest, the trade unions, was immensely significant. I don’t want to be churlish: that was an immensely important visceral battle for how Britain is governed...

This is what I sometimes don’t understand about the Cameron-Osborne act. A real liberal believes in genuine competition...

‘What I find so striking is that the spirit — dare I say it — of the battle against the dominance of one vested interest, the trade unions, is exactly the same spirit we need now.’
He also brags that not only is he more free market than the Tories he wants to institute more cuts than them too and will not raise tax by one penny in order to offset the hardship those cuts would unleash.

I'm of a different opinion to Mr Clegg. I think I detect a nuance of a hint of a sliver of a difference between us. However, to be fair to the Lib Dems the members are closer to Labour than the Tories and many have good progressive instincts, but they are lumbered with a bungling, cack-handed right wing leadership. Frankly, despite my disagreements with them more generally, they deserve better.


Joe Otten said...

Do you think the unions of the 70s would tolerate your policies if you were in government?

More cuts than the Tories? Do you have a source for that? Thought not. In any case there will have to be cuts whoever wins the election, and that is the fault of this government borrowing heavily in the good times.

More free market than the Tories? Yes. They are socialism for the rich. We're not.

As for hardship - it is our policy to raise the personal tax allowance to £10,000. What exactly do you think higher taxes would do to "offset hardship"?

What exactly would Greens' dithering over whether or not they want the recession to end do for hardship? The unions of the 70s would be right not to stand for it.

Red Green Nick said...

I think Clegg want to follow the German FDP's kind of Liberalism, he is obviously to the right of his party.

ModernityBlog said...

There is a tendency to make out 1970s unions as bogeymen, normally by people who were born after the period, are on the right, are anti-union, read the daily mail or have little real knowledge of the period.

It wasn't half as bad as it is made out.

Not forgetting that many Brits know how the Liberals and the Tories will gladly forge alliances, as they often do in local government.

I'm sure someone to remind us of all of Lib Dem debacles, cuts into living standards, etc there are so many I forget all of them.