Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Austere Truth

So Nick Clegg has made his speech and aimed a few jibes in my direction. Not intentionally, I admit I'm not high on his list of adversaries, but he's made a few things crystal clear to me and my fellow whingers.

Firstly, it would seem that those sympathetic to the Labour view on the national debt (which I vaguely recall being the old Liberal Democrat view on the national debt) have been identified as refugees from the old Labour party, finding temporary succour in the arms of a real centre left party. I have some sympathy with his view but can't but help feel he insults me and other life long members of the Liberal party. I understand the coalition was always going to be hard work, a gamble forced on Clegg by a confused and worried electorate. My complaints lie in the difference between the views of the coalition and the views of the Tories. I can't get a cigarette paper between them. I simply can't see how we would have been worse off with a single ruling Conservative party.

Nick Clegg concentrated on the dire state of the economy and used it to justify most of his actions, trotting out the same platitudes his elders and betters use. We know Labour left us with an economy in tatters, at least I do. I don't blame global events, I blame the Labour party fair and square. OK with you Nick? But what was it the Labour party did to bring about this state of affairs? Where is the discussion on cause rather than the easy one on blame?

The Tories seem clear. They blame Big Government and Gordon Brown's obsession with micro-management. I suspect they concentrate on Mr Brown to deflect attention from Blair, the old Cameron, who presided over a credit filled boom based, by and large, on the free market economic dreams of the Tory right. Like Thatcher before them, Brown and Blair stoked the fiscal fires by burning the forests more quickly than they could grow replacements. I believe they used the money raised as wisely as they could but the billions that left the country, and the reliance on the financial sector, took its toll.

David Cameron, using the theories of his irritating chum Phillip Blond, claims we need a Big Society, a community of volunteers. I don't mind the idea of the Big Society but none of the Tory policies seem to have anything to do with it. They want small government like all right wing parties and if you have small government you need Big Society, its a matter of emphasis. Small government is the ideological Utopia, Big Society the instrument to disguise its importance.

My Liberal Democrat party didn't like the small government plan, they saw through its vested interest. Support of the indivdual to live his or her life without injuring the rights of others, thats what I thought we believed in. So when Nick Clegg peppers his speech with the accepted truths of his Tory backers, he plays the Ogron to their Daleks and he cheats the country of the open debate on economic theory that we really need.

Yeah I know, I'm a dreamer. But think about what we're getting - and here I should declare I'm a public servant - the advance of extreme right wing policies based on the already right wing policies that have got us here in the first place. In a nutshell, saving money on services, at the expense of PAYE tax payers circulating money within the local and national economy, without addressing wealth creation or raising revenue through taxation.

Tottenham have drawn level against Arsenal. I probably need to concentrate on that. Until next time....

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