I do not agree with Nick


Nick Clegg’s lecture to Conservative MPs yesterday was far from helpful. His instruction that we should stop playing games about the EU and concentrate on “boosting business, creating jobs,helping with the cost of living” is especially rich coming from a Lib Dem who has promoted policies of dear energy for years.

The Coalition rightly stated at its outset that the overriding objective was to get the deficit down. Conservatives proposed a major slimming of government itself, cutting the overhead and cost of administration. To lead this, we proposed removing 50 MP posts. Surely if we are going to tell the public sector to do more with less, we had to show that we could do that ourselves by raising MP productivity. Mr Clegg has now voted that down, showing that he and his party have no wish to provide leadership by showing how we can cut our costs.

Mr Clegg has also been the leading exponent of diverting the Coalition away from its vital tasks of curbing the deficit and promoting growth. He forced upon the Coalition the idea of an AV referendum. Conservative MPs gave him his way and voted for the referendum. The British people rightly rejected the whole idea of AV. It was a big diversion of political and government energy. It was another needless public spending cost.

Then Mr Clegg decided to divert us all by trying for his version of Lords reform. The Conservative Manifesto had said we would see if there was a consensus for some reform, recognising it could only be done with cross party agreement and with the agreement of the Lords. Mr Clegg failed to secure the Lords agreement or the agreement of Conservative backbenchers. He rejected wise advice from Lib Dem peers to reform tenure, retirement  and conditions of peers’ jobs. He instead  went for a reform which was never going to pass the Lords. It ended in tears after further diversion of political and government effort.

Conservatives who press the government on the EU do so over issues like migration and energy prices which are very relevant to the central economic task that concerns most voters. What is Mr Clegg’s excuse for his diversions from these matters?  And how does he explain his refusal to put through a major freedom bill at the start of the Parliament, when he had Conservatives egging him on to do so? Why couldn’t we have enjoyed a great package of more cvil liberties and more economic freeedoms, as part of the recovery of our nation?

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  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Well said!
    i suspect that looking back it would have been much better politics to have let Gordon stay on for a bit and then forced an election with a Conservative majority. As it is, our political scene is very depressing.
    Mr Farage has really taken over a lot of the conservatives.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      There is a way back though Mike, but that all depends on Mr Cameron giving real Conservatives, real Conservative policies.


      • Johnnydub
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        which Mr Cameron seems, against all common sense, to show very little inclination to do…

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Johnnydubb – His recent Churchill impersonations do not square with the fact that he has put blood, sweat and tears (and a party split) into his plans to have bearded men walk up church aisles in wedding frocks nor for unwittingly paving the way for fathers marrying sons and mothers marrying daughters (for inheritance tax avoidance purposes of course.)

          And he calls us fruitcakes ?

          • stred
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            Anyone hear the PRM on R4 telling us why he is so keen on gay marriage? It was because “young boys in school no longer have to be ashamed about who they love” (or something similar) Fortuntely I had not had my breakfast at this point.

            He really ought to claim credit for the North London set and the help they gave to the process, along via the European Council, and bravely ignoring the swivel eyed loons and bigots that thought civil partnerships were ok.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Clegg has done the nation a single great service by showing what a disaster coalition governments are and burying the Libdems for the future. The general rule is that if the Libdems are in favour of something it will be a disaster. The ERM, the EU, the EURO, expensive “green” energy, the “fight” against the global warming exaggerations, the ECHR, open borders, over regulation and taxation of virtually everything.

    Just about their only good policies were civil liberties/freedom and an EU referendum, but they clearly do not actually believe in those at all, they were just lying for electoral advantage and not ever expecting to have to deliver.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      The Tories problem is that Cameron clearly is a Libdem at heart and soul too.

      Why on earth has he returned from France just for this dreadful, but minor in the scheme of things, murder in London. One assumes it is to use it as a distraction from the real and substantive problem he really should be addressing.

      Namely the need to fire the half of the state sector, who do so little of any use and cut taxes. This in order to revive the economy also to address the EU renegotiation fig leaf if he is remotely serious. I assume he is not, given his usual distraction techniques and actions so far.

      What powers does he want back? When will he tell us? I assume in “Cast Iron” promises before he is kicked out in May 2015.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: “What powers does he want back? When will he tell us? I assume in “Cast Iron” promises before he is kicked out in May 2015.

        If your assumptions are correct then I would be far more worried about what Ed Millband might make – sorry but the right are doing exactly what the left did in the early to mid 1980s, tearing themselves apart, in the 1980s it gave the Tories 13 clear years before Labour even came close to winning an election, far more dangerous are the stakes today though, 5 plus years of a europhile, Eurocentric government and there might not be much point in electing our own government again.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          Indeed absurdly dangerous. I see no escape myself, thanks to Cameron losing the election and proving to be a Libdem, in rather poor tory disguise.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic: But who split the vote on the right, that wasn’t Cameron’s doing, the roots for that are way back before he was even an MP. Sorry but you have the wrong fail guy – what ever Cameron had said or done between 2005 and 2010 some it would not have been good enough for some, because they want to be sitting were Cameron is (now) sitting…

          • Acorn
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic, my future on this site is limited, as we get nearer the general election. I had great hopes of a new dynamic Conservative Party emerging, with modern economic ideas and a zest for liberty. Alas, I am now fairly certain, that is not going to happen, there simply isn’t the intellectual capability and confidence. You only have to look at the mess they are making of Education and Health.

            I would be interested to know how many of your posts fail JR’s moderation criteria. If none, then I assume JR is keen to get rid of Cameron as leader, as he always lets your posts appear. (messages within messages etc.)

            My posts that blow holes in JR’s pre-war economic theories don’t make it to press. As Krugman said; ” … this week if you went back through all the clever counter intuitiveness of past years, you’d find that a lot of it was every bit as sloppy and ill-informed as what we’re seeing now. The difference is the existence now of a policy blogosphere (in economics, of course, but in a number of disciplines too), which makes bluffing harder.

            In the past grotesquely ill-informed articles on, say, the [US specific deleted but think of stuff like Iraq and WMD – Acorn], could sit out there for years, with only a handful of specialists aware of just how bad they were; now the pundit emperor’s nakedness is all over the web within days if not hours.

            And if this leads to hurt feelings – well, this is not a game. We’re having a discussion about policies that affect tens of millions of people. And you have no business participating in this discussion if you’re so busy trying to sound clever that you can’t be bothered to do your homework. Even so, the degree to which bad/false ideas can be used to support political goals is still pretty frustrating.”

            Reply I post many things I disagree with. I edit to remove smears and allegations about people I cannot check out, and to remove links I have no time to read.

          • zorro
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Fortunately, Clegg has fully exposed the Cameron delusion in action…..So no-one has an excuse in 2015…..and he will no longer have a human shield.


          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            @Acorn: What you seem to be suggesting is that you want to post personal or party manifestos on John’s site, well sorry but if that is your intention then I doubt that many sites will accept your comments if – best go find your own blog spot, that you can then stand by legally and personally yourself.

            Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean that it is true or that republishing it won’t cause problems for others, this includes URL style links to it, and quite frankly if any of us here want to read conspiracy theory we are all both adult and intelligent enough to seek it out without your help. That is not to say that you can not highlight such issues, just the way you have been doing so is obviously causing technical, time or legal issues.

            Oh and before you suggest that I must be some kind of “stooge”, I to have had words, comment and even posts rejected.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Jerry – In a sane world it would be for the Europhiles to leave the Tory party.

          The truth is that we’ve had it. And the ironic thing ?

          Demographics show that people born of right-wing, paternalistic religions are outbreeding the rest of us. The feminists, the gay rights movement, the soft-on-crime movement will find themselves oppressed within 50 years time.

          It will take over 200 years to unlearn the new faiths and win back liberties – as long as it took us to unlearn Christianity.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Electro-Kevin “In a sane world it would be for the Europhiles to leave the Tory party.

            Kevin, by that logic Mrs T herself would have had to leave the party in the mid 1980s, after all she was the UK PM who helped create what the EEC has morphed into, I of course refer to Single European Act (SEA) that paved the way to border-less trade within the member states, the Euro and EZ, and the EU its self…

        • APL
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Jerry: “sorry but the right are doing exactly what the left did in the early to mid 1980s, tearing themselves apart ”

          It wasn’t the ‘right’ that deposed the most successful Tory leader in the post war period, thereby triggering this bitter internecine dispute.

          It wasn’t the ‘right’ that snuggled up to Labour in ‘Blair’s Big Tent’ during his first administration rather than toe the established Tory party line.

          No, it’s not the right that is tearing the Tory party apart, it is the very successful attempt by the Left of the party to suppress the right of the party, that is causing the strife.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            @APL: What you actually mean is that it wasn’t YOUR flavour of right wing politics – and quite frankly, for the majority in this country I suspect, much of YOUR so called Conservative values are not Conservative values at all but something further to the right.

            Tory values look after the poor, the sick, the weak, don’t believe me, go read the 1945 Tory manifesto (in fact any of them from the 1950s will do…), what people like you preach is something else. This is actually not only damaging the Tory party but also preventing UKIP from further and perhaps full success.

          • APL
            Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – blathering on about any topic you choose at random, but mostly topics unrelated to the post you reply to.

            Jerry: ” are not Conservative values at all but something further to the right.”

            In the process unthinkingly regurgitating the fallacy that extreme right is the opposite of extreme left.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 26, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            @~APL: Resorting to personal abuse only weakens your own arguments still further…

      • Disaffected
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Cameron comes home to talk serious about an appalling event, yet he cannot, and will not, get rid of Abu Qatada and the like who preaches hate towards UK citizens. ECHR, wake up, and get rid of it. The UK managed perfectly well until 1998, get rid of the HRA as well. We now know theses were the tools of New Labour to silence the public against mass immigration. The politicians who created disgraceful situation need to be held accountable, even by making retrospective legislation.

        Now, what is Cameron going to do about Labour’s disgraceful policies? When is he going to get rid of the HRA and get the UK out of the ECHR? We need new laws to make it hard for these people to operate/hide behind religion and to have proper sentences that are fit for purpose. That includes deportation without reference to the EU or ECHR.

        As for Clegg, he wanted immigration before the last election, he wants ECHR, EU and the rest, use the opportunity to show what an out of touch lost cause the Lib Dem party actually is. A sordid party with sordid MPs.

        • Life logic
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Cameron seems to think his job is to be a PR spokesman commenting on current events rather like a silly weather girl on the weather. Can someone please tell him his job is to steer a sensible course and actually lead. If he is going to rush home on every savage murder to direct COBRAS and make statements on tv he will not get anything useful done.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Your mention of retrospective legislation is a good one.
          A Law of Political Responsibility was introduced at the end of the Spanish Civil War by the internationally recognised Spanish government which effectively punished many of those leftists who had wrecked the country both during and prior to the war which commenced in July 1936. By the begining of the 1960s most leftist insurgents had been either eradicated or imprisoned.
          The possibility of retrospective legislation, which would make certain politicians and political parties responsible for past crimes against their own people, would undoubtedly concentrate the mind.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            @Max Dumbar: Franco did more damage to Spain than any “Lefty”, Franco held the country back both economically and socially for years, only accepting some change in the 1960s – due to the need to encourage the tourist trade. About the only good thing that can be said about Franco is that he kept Spain out of WW2 – sort-of…

          • uanime5
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            1) Retrospective legislation is a human rights violation.

            2) If retrospective legislation was introduced to punish those who damaged the economy expect anyone who was involved in denationalisation to be punished.

            3) After the Spanish Civil War ended Franco established a fascist dictatorship. Unsure why you’re advocating replacing democracy with a dictatorship.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          The UK managed perfectly well until 1998, get rid of the HRA as well.

          The UK was not managing well before the HRA was introduced because if you wanted to enforce you human rights you had to keep appealing your case until you got to the ECHR. Something that proved very expensive due to the amount of legal aid required.

          Also before the HRA the UK had the second highest number of appeals to the ECHR (Turkey had the most). Yet further evidence of how badly the UK coped when people couldn’t enforce human rights in the national courts.

          We now know theses were the tools of New Labour to silence the public against mass immigration.

          The fact that you failed to provide any evidence to back up these claims indicates that you’ve just made this up.

          We need new laws to make it hard for these people to operate/hide behind religion and to have proper sentences that are fit for purpose.

          These laws already exist and Abu Qatada was convicted for breaching them. Once he served his sentence he was released.

          That includes deportation without reference to the EU or ECHR.

          There’s no reason to deny people their human rights simply because it upsets right wing crackpots.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Halve the state sector you have been challenged many times on this fantasy and still have no answer. As I have pointed out to you. You are to fat to survive in a Russian style economy. The economy would collapse if the state was to halved and civil unrest would follow. How would this be paid for? Just ranting propaganda again from someone who cannot even tell us which country he lives in. We know its London anyway. Ram it.

        • Life logic
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Halving the state sector would generate jobs and help law and order not hinder it.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            You are living in a dream world. What about the immediate mass unemployment for a start and the loss of ability to pay rent and mortgage and the idea that everyone should just accept this. The idea that the private sector would just fill in the gap is your biggest fantasy

    • Mark W
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Bang on the money

    • uanime5
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      You forgot trebling tuition fees and the NHS reforms, both of which the Lib Dems supported.

      Unsure if the Lib Dems favoured academies and the Work Programme, both of which are costly failures.

      • Bob
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        “You forgot trebling tuition fees”

        Well the money for the increased foreign aid budget had to come from somewhere.

        • APL
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Bob: “Well the money for the increased foreign aid budget .. ”

          Someone has to pay for the ‘women only’ Afghan Ferris wheel.

          • Life logic
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            the woman’s only Ferris wheel is probably better spent than most of the money.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        I had an operation at a local NHS flagship hospital in 2009, but wasn’t called back for follow-up treatment. That resulted in me needing another operation in 2010 for the same thing, but again, I wasn’t called back for the necessary follow-up treatment. That in turn meant I had to have three more operations in 2012, and another one a few weeks ago, where just one might have done. Even the senior consultant described the hospital managers as ‘a useless lot’. My own GP was even more scathing in his criticism.

        Despite all the top-heavy NHS management, from the Labour years, they failed this patient. So I would say, from my own experience, that the NHS needed reform.

        • stred
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          I complained about the NHS writing to patients on doctors lists advising them to attend for medical checks, despite the fact they had left the country years ago. The letters arrive in my ex- rental house with the NHS logo stamp. Three years ago the NAO found that GPs had many ex patients on their lists and the BMA told us that this no longer happened.

          Last week I received yet another letter for Emilie, who worked here for 6 months 18 years ago then returned to France. Now they come from a more distant health trust, who no doubt have inherited the old wrong lists. This is for one address only. In the others, the tenants put them in the bin for me.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    John–I suggest you stop being so polite about “Nick” and “Mr” Clegg. The man is an unmitigated and wrongheaded (individual-ed) with no redeeming features whatsoever. His party (1% and 7th place) are a joke and it passeth all understanding that their puny level of support should be allowed to create havoc just because the two party system was in balance last time. To me it is just another misjudgement by Cameron to allow this to go on. Cameron should tell Clegg how it’s going to be and if Clegg doesn’t like it see how he likes an election up him.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Postscript–Your editing, which I usually find thoroughly amusing BTW, is much more effective in getting the message across than the replaced word.

      • stred
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Yes. I called the EU unelected president ‘that little Belgian ……’ last year. The word referred to words left out ed) seemed quite mild. John cut it with’ (insult)’. I hope people didn’t think I had used anthing too rude, but it gave much more scope.

    • JimF
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      It has to be said that the LibDems even securing the level of support that they did in 2010 was the result of
      a/ a sweet-spot in the economy manipulated by Brown
      b/ Nick was seen as the acceptable boy from Sheffield rather than the Eton chap or the Kirkcaldy disaster
      c/ Farage hadn’t yet taken the saddle at UKIP
      It is impossible to imagine this gloss-paint thin image washing with the electorate again. They can now see that lucid though his speech is, everything he touches is hollow and turns to dust.

    • Life logic
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and we only have to suffer Clegg due to Cameron allowing him equal TV billing, his ratting on the cast iron promise pre election and his big tax, fake green, pro EU socialist agenda.

  4. Javelin
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I think the attack yesterday shows that the ECHR is in conflict with the Governments primary responsibility to protect its citizens and must be withdrawn immediately.

    Reviewing the online papers 99% of comments say Cameron is “talk and no action”.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      @Javelin: The events of yesterday show nothing of the sort, stop using a death to advance a political agenda, doing so makes you not much better than the terrorist – or at least doing their work of stoking up hatred.

      We know nothing about these two men (yet), they might well be born and bread UK citizens, what would repealing the ECHR done to help, we can already keep criminals in prison for the rest of their natural lives and please don’t suggest a return to capital punishment, that just creates martyrs and the “innocent dead”.

      • Hope
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        By getting out of the ECHR it would help get rid of people who convince vile idiots like these to cause and inflict pain others ie Abu Qatada and others. Wake up Jerry. Sentencing is not fit for purpose and the criminal justice system is a joke. Lawyers are the only people to gain from it. Criminals do not stay in prison for their natural life, very few do more than ten years for the most serious offences. Their life style is better than it would be outside. No consequences, no deterrent and it takes forever to get them a custodial sentence.

        Law makers like Huhne did 8weeks of an 8 month sentence. He should have been made an example of because of his position and a deterrent to others-or at least to the other Lib Dems!

        • Jerry
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          @Hope: Wake up yourself, never heard of the Internet, stop being so stupid. 🙁

          The ECHR is not causing radicalisation nor these terror attacks,. nor does it prevent us dealing with any home grown (UK born and bread) terrorists.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        “Stop using a death to advance a political agenda”.
        Does that also apply to the Saint Stephen Lawrence never-ending-bore-fest?

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Jerry – The Left are the masters at using death to advance political agendas – including the unashamed use of both World Wars by proponents of the EU.

        The HRA (apropos the ECHR) has been used extensively by dangerous agitators to remain in this country against the general will.

        “Not much better than the terrorist”

        Control yourself, man.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          Other examples of where the Left have used death to further political agendas:

          – Lady Diana
          – The Queen Mother’s funeral
          – Stephen Lawrence
          – Blair Peach
          – Cynthia Jarrett

          This is not to say that these shouldn’t have been used politically but to prove the point that Javelin is entirely within limits in using this latest death in a similar way – a precedent set long ago by leftists.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            @Electro-Kevin: Talk about the pot calling the kettle black – Duh!

            You might need to think about what you just did yourself Kevin…

  5. Mark W
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    JR, brilliant. Conservative HQ should publish this as a script to use for the next two years. It’s refreshing to hear a Tory fighting.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink


    Its simple, Mr Clegg is better at getting his own way than Cameron.

    Whilst Mr Cameron continues to allow himself to be out manouvered, (Boundary changes now a distant dream). The coalition will always be a fudge against some of the real decisions needed.

    • Life logic
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Cameron’s beliefs are the same as Clegg’s, as far as I can see. What is the difference apart from when he is pushed, by his sensible wing, into a few worthless words on the odd occasion.

      • Hope
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Cameron uses the Lib Dems to con his own party to bring about change in
        His party. Unfortunately for Cameron he has been found out and found out to be useless. Lord Howe aptly demonstrates the extremes that Europhiles will go for their disloyal cause. Cameron chose his advisers like Heseltine, Major and Clarke. It was not an accident. Clarke does not even have a job, other than to keep his eye on the Eurosceptics. Look at the composition of Cameron’s think tanks and cabinet. He thinks he has the power to change Christian beliefs by the imposition of gay marriage, I bet he does nothing about the Muslim religion or extreme factions of it. Sums up all you need to know about him. Two more elections and he is history, thank goodness.

    • zorro
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Nick will agree with that one.


  7. Javelin
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Just head a senior researcher from the Quillian Foundation – Muslim think tank

    The evidence since 9/11 is over whelming. Some Islam preachers in the uk in mosques and universities have encouraged people to attack non Muslims (etc ed)

    If the ECHR is stopping the Government from taking action then it needs to be removed and replaced with a version that will low MI5 to protect us. I guess the law needs to be revised to give long prison sentences to religious preachers who encourage violence. I think for the moment the response needs to be narrow but if the ECHR stops it it needs to go.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      So want want to replace a law that gives everyone rights with one that will only give rights to people you approve of. Personally I’d rather live in a society where I’m free, rather than a society where everyone is forced to obey the dictatorship you’re proposing.

  8. Boudicca
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    You might not agree with Nick, but unfortuantely the arrogant and incompetent man leading your Party did and presumably still does, as he seems determined to keep this atrocious coalition going for as long as he possibly can.

    • John Bracewell
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Also, there are some newspapers stating this morning that coalition governments are here to stay with Clegg maybe holding the balance of power again in 2015. If so, it would be a coalition with Labour and thus possibly without Clegg, maybe the ex-Labour Cable, what a disaster that would be! After this period of poor coalition government, I cannot see how Cameron and Clegg could carry on for another 5 years, they have already more than exhausted any common ground there may have been between them.

      • Hope
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Our salvation would be a government under Farrage. The other three are exactly the same. The Lib Dems are a fringe extreme party of green energy quacks with no substance. We saw that with the vote on gay marriage. Cameron sided with Labour and the Lib Dems

        • Hope
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          The lib lab con only present EU law and policy so they offer no choice.

  9. Andyvan
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It was Cameron that brought the idiot into government because he couldn’t beat the worst administration this country has seen in modern times.
    As the senior partner in coalition it is Cameron that has failed to keep him in line.
    It is the Conservative party that allows him to remain in government.
    Perhaps Tories should have the gumption to call his bluff. Force the legislation you want and if he blocks it call an election. Campaign on an in out referendum, tax and spending cuts on a big scale and actually sound as though you mean it. If the country votes against you pack your bags and live abroad for a few years whilst Millipede and Clegg wreck the economy even more. If people cannot understand what socialism has done to them let them have what they want good and hard just like France is getting- 100% tax for some people, wholesale emigration of the talented and rich and the ruination of the economy. Sometimes you have to let people have what they want to show them the errors of their judgment.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      If people cannot understand what socialism has done to them let them have what they want good and hard just like France is getting- 100% tax for some people, wholesale emigration of the talented and rich and the ruination of the economy.

      Making things up isn’t a substitute for real research. France isn’t taxing people at 100%, the wealthy are not leaving in any significant numbers, the talented have no reason to leave (the 75% tax level is unlikely to ever affect them), and the economy is stable.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        A lot of unemployment In France uanime5.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I assume Clegg is merely positioning himself for a possible coalition with Labour after the next election and his empty posturing can be ignored. It is amusing how the LidDems have been telling us for decades about the great benefits coalition government would bring to us and when they get one they can’t stop moaning.

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Most of us never have had any time for Clegg, the question is though why did Cameron go into coalition with this man?

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Second question – why does he remain in coalition with this man?

    • Life logic
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      simple – They are both Libdems pro EU, quack green, tax borrow and waste men in their hearts and souls. it is in their genes to prefer primitive emotions to logic.

      • Chris S
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        Let’s face it, if the other Miliband was in charge of Labour, they might just as well have make it a three way coalition as all three leaders would be in almost complete agreement on everything !

        This state of affairs would be very dangerous and deeply undemocratic.

        The reason that the Eurozone is in so much trouble is because none of the parliaments in any of the main countries driving the project had an opposition party challenging the policy, asking the difficult questions or offering an alternative to voters.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Like your ‘logic’ like cutting the state in half with no consequences for the country except an economy being immediately set free and jobs created providing services and wealth for all? Is that what would logically happen.
        Nuclear power stations built by private companies to sell cheap power to millions on the dole and so on. Illogical and you know it (abuse left out ed)

  13. Ben Kelly
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Nick Clegg took advantage of his apparent reasonableness during the debates prior to the last election. By offering an alternative to the incumbent shambles and a conservative party still feared by many of the electorate due to the more effective communication ability of the left Mr Clegg offered the desparately sought alternative to enough voters.

    Unfortunately after the excesses of the labour years stiff medicine was required, the conservatives I feel were not prepared for the fall out required by real spending cuts so used the coalition as an excuse to raise taxes and keep on spending. Had Mr Clegg and his ilk been put in their place at the beginning of the administration this article would not have been required.

    It seems it suits the front bench that the article is relevant.

  14. Old Albion
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    At the last General Election, the Lib-Dems were as usual ‘also-rans’ But because the limp Conservative party was unable to win a majority, a Coalition was created.
    Nick Clegg is now drunk with power. He never believed he would get a place in the Government, but he has. He is not wasting his chance to foist his political foolishness upon us.
    He is a Europhile, he dreams of a United States of Europe. He waits for his turn to join Europe in some high-faluting position. Assured of a life on the gravy train.
    We need a General Election. We need a party who will remove us from the EC.

    • Chris
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      What puzzles me about Clegg is his apparent smugness and the security in his position that he seems to feel. It is as though everything is signed, sealed and delivered for him, and that his future is “safe”. Does he know something we don’t?

  15. Disaffected
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The Tory party went into agreement with someone who cannot be believed or trusted. This was one many of very poor judgements by Cameron. He could have followed the actions of Steve Harper in Canada, gone alone made a play how bad Labour made of running the country and if people liked what they saw he could have held an early election to get the majority the Tory party sought. He lacked courage and conviction and got his just rewards in the form of a useless coalition. The economy is worse, more EU and all it entails, ECHR, immigration up, welfare bill up and no substantial cuts despite the chit chat. What is even worse, having recognised the economy to be the number one priority and then he let Lib Dems lead on energy to show he was”Green”. This was about changing the Tory not about the country’s national interest.

    Lord Tebbit has pointed out many times how he and his advisers do not think through the consequences of their decisions. When will Cameron learn from his vast amount of mistakes?

    Your blog yesterday highlighted an area where the UK should mind its own business. Blaire and Cameron bring this vile behaviour to the streets of this country by their stupid and senseless interventions around the world. Sickening. It has become clear politicians cannot be trusted on key issues and referenda should become part of the system ie EU, public debt, war.

  16. Jerry
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Attack being the best form of defence and all that of course…

    Sure the LDs have some awful policies, but so do the Tories, and you are quite correct to point out just how dear the LDs environment policy is with its inflation causing energy price hikes but surely all this misses the point that Clegg was making, so nicely summed up on the cover of the current Private Eye edition, a picture of both Clegg and Cameron together with a speech balloon coming from Cameron saying that “I can’t work with the Tories any more”!

    What do people like you John not understand, Clegg -most likely for wholly party political reasons I accept- is attempting to keep the coalition together, but of course if the back bench Tories would prefer a general election now and the next five years sitting to the left of the speaker….

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Jerry–Not at all necessarily so–With half an ounce of luck the remnant of the (non) Conservative party together with a tumescent unmentionable party combined with the annihilation of the Liberals might see it all come right.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Jerry, I agree with that for the most part, but who can say what the outcome of an early General Election would be?

      It could work the other way. People seem very much against the EU right now, and would be likely to vote for a solidly Euro-sceptic party. If the Tories gave us policies the majority would warm to, they could then take power in their own right.

      The difficulty, as always, seems to be their reluctance to take the plunge. And let’s not forget that Mrs. T won three elections on the bounce, but Heath and Major were both dumped as soon as the electorate found out just how pro-EU they were.


      • Chris S
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you, Tad but there has to be a deal with UKIP first.

        I don’t believe the Conservatives are electable in many Northern seats whereas UKIP would be. Ditto in the West Country and parts of London.

        Just take one example, Eastleigh is perfect :
        52% recently voted for the Conservative and UKIP candidate whose personal manifestos were almost identical yet the Lib Dem won with 32% ! I can see this repeated in quite a few seats. SOme COnservative voters wil switch back at a General election but not enough to win the key number of extra seats needed to dump the coalition with the Libdems.

        A deal needs to be done for only, say, a core 100 seats but this would have to include ensuring that UKIP have a proportion of definitely winable seats.

        Without it, I fear, we will get a LibDem/Labour government, economic meltdown and more Europe, rather than a referendum.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Many people are saying the same thing Chris, but do you think the Tory leadership is listening, and should there be two logos (UKIP and Conservative) against one solidly Euro-sceptic candidate’s name?

          Duplication does seem odd if it lets in the pro-EU lefties by default.


          • Chris S
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            Tad, I’m afraid that those operating mainly inside the Westminster Bubble don’t realise what’s going on or if they do, they are ignoring it or are in denial.

            I’m afraid that they will continue to ignore the signs at least up until UKIP sweep the board in the Euro elections, thinking that all their lost voters will come back for the General Election.

            Reading and listening to those who have moved across, I’m afraid they are so disillusioned with DC that they won’t go back, whatever the consequences.

            There are probably now four classes of constituency :

            1. Will elect a Conservative almost whoever was put up as candidate.

            2. Could well have previously elected a Conservative if UKIP don’t stand but if the Right of centre vote is split, the LibDems or even Labour could get in eg : Eastleigh

            3. Three or may now be a four way marginal : Conservatives or UKIP might have a chance but not if both stand.

            4. Conservative name too toxic to attract more than a hard core minority of better off voters.

            In these constituencies the Conservatives don’t have a chance but UKIP policies will appeal to mainly Blue Collar workers ( probably hurt by immigration ) and the party might just have a chance if Miliband doesn’t back a referendum or fails to offer a credible policy to sort out immigration issue.

            A deal needs to be done over at least a proportion of constituencies in categories 2 and 3 and all of those in category 4.

            We might then end up with enough right of centre MPs for a UKIP/Conservative coalition which everyone except DC’s most liberal colleagues and Ken Clarke will be very happy to support.

            Voters in category 2 and 3 with a Conservative candidate will be happy to vote Conservative again knowing that UKIP will ensure true blue policies will be followed.

            I really can’t see any result other than a Lib/Lab coalition or even an outright Labour victory with a small majority if nothing is done before 2015.

            Of course if the Scots vote to leave, the Conservatives should be fine with so many Socialist-leaning seats leaving the Commons, England and Wales will then have a Conservative majority Government, we will get a referendum and we would be more likely to vote to opt out of Europe.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            @Chris S: “I’m afraid that they will continue to ignore the signs at least up until UKIP sweep the board in the Euro elections, thinking that all their lost voters will come back for the General Election.

            Until UKIP win seats at GE Westminster they will carry on being seen as a protest vote and nothing more, many people use both Euro, Local and By-Elections as a way of protesting but revert to political type/party upon the GE.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          If Consevative Party policy on Europe moves in the right direction, it won’t need a deal with UKIP. And if it doesn’t it won’t get one.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            @Lindsay McDougall: So basically never mind what most of the right wing want [1], are you seriously suggesting that if UKIP don’t get what it wants they will then act like the spoilt child?…

            [1] the clue is in the votes at the last GE

  17. Malcuk
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    firstly I have to note that when ever Clegg comes on my tv, I just have to change channel before I start ti heave. It is not any better when Cameron comes on either!

    The fact that Clegg got his AV referendum within a few months of coming into office leaves a huge hole is Cameron’s decision to hold off our EU referendum till 2017.

    I cannot reconcile the two facts, one almost immediately and the other held up for years. Can kicking at its worst, and another nail in the coffin for your party.

    Time is runing out for changes at the head of your party, all that is happening is that the Conservative share of the votes will continue to drop (and the Gay marriage vote will have confirmed many that the 3 original parties have lost the plot).

    The future looks bleak indeed…

    • uanime5
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget about voting for police commissioners in 2012 and the Scottish referendum in 2014. It seems that such things can be arranged if there’s sufficient motivation.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    “Conservatives proposed a major slimming of government itself, cutting the overhead and cost of administration. To lead this, we proposed removing 50 MP posts.”

    I’m afraid that proposal showed up those leading the Tory as the hypocritical schemers that they are.

    The current lot of MPs having made themselves highly unpopular, the call was not for better MPs but for fewer, as if 600 mediocre MPs would make better laws than 650 mediocre MPs, and as if the same cost savings could not have been made without reducing the number of MPs and therefore the democratic representation of the people.

    While the real purpose had nothing to do with better or less expensive government but was internal to the Tory party, to put the frighteners on troublesome Tory MPs who might find that they were unlucky when they needed to find a new constituency; and whenever it was asked why the parliamentary constituencies could not be adjusted to be more nearly equal in size of electorate without any change to the total number there was of course no answer, because there was in reality reason at all why the two changes should be linked.

    And how could the Tory party honestly demand wholesale boundary reforms on the grounds that on average it took rather more votes to elect a Tory MP than a Labour MP, when the Tory party remains opposed to proportional representation and is perfectly content to see other parties much more seriously disadvantaged by the present FPTP system?

  19. stred
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    To say nothing about his promise to have a clear out of regulations and u turn after a few months. His personal presentation and performance diverge even more than Mr Cameron’s.

  20. Javelin
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I read this in the telegraph … I would ask you to support Mr Heaton and look at drastically reducing the number of laws being created. Specifically giving lawyers a brief to rewrite these laws to make them simpler.

    The original English text version of a 2002 European directive on the maximum levels of pesticide residues in food had 1,167 words. After Whitehall had worked it over, it ended up with an incredible 27,000 words of regulations on how it should be implemented in the UK. On average, the UK produced 2.6 “implementing documents” for every Brussels directive – compared with one in Germany.

    Mr Heaton, First Parliamentary Counsel and top civil servant at the Cabinet Office, is determined to impose some rhyme and reason on our complex, often incoherent laws. He says that even barristers and judges sometimes find them incomprehensible, let alone the rest of us. Now he has launched the Good Law Initiative in a bid to generate a wider debate about what can be done.

    As a first step, he has published a review into why our laws are so complicated and inaccessible. It makes scary reading. You soon realise that the small businessman is getting off lightly. In 1959, Parliament agreed 1,163 pages of new laws. Fifty years on, the figure had almost doubled to 2,247. Every year new laws and amendments to old laws result in more than 30,000 changes to the rules and regulations that govern our lives.

    • Javelin
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      This is the website on the good law initiative


      Here are a few of the major EU directives. Part of the problem is that EU law is based on statute and not case law. The UK has now shifted so creating vast swathes of new laws that “even the judges and barristers find confusing”.


      • uanime5
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Part of the problem is that EU law is based on statute and not case law.

        What is that even meant to mean? Why is it causing a problem?

        For those who don’t know about these two types of law “statutory laws” are created by the Government, while “case law” is created by the courts. However this distinction is often blurred when Governments codify case law by turning it into statutory law. It can also be blurred if the Government asks judges for advice before making statutory laws.

        If EU law seems more like statutory law than case law it’s probably because most EU countries use a Civil Law system which doesn’t have case law. Interestingly they also tend to have fewer statutory laws as well.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Wrong on at least four points.

          Must try harder.

          • uanime5
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Given that you were unable to state what any of these errors you claims are in my post it’s clear that my post was free of errors and that you didn’t like that I knew the difference between statutory and case law.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 25, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            Not unable to do so, just can’t be bothered to keep correcting all your numerous errors especially when you learn nothing from being corrected. You could of course go through your comment yourself and check for the errors, now that their existence has been pointed out.

    • stred
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      It was reported that the reason there cannot be any divorce because of adultery between homosexual husbands is the inability of governmet lawyers to define the act. It is hard to believe that the man in the street would have had any problem defining it. Had the Whitehall lawyers managed to put it down on paper, it would have been interesting to see how many pages it would have taken.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that this claim was invented by the tabloids because it would be easy to define adultery between two adults.

        • stred
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          I heard about the lack of reason for adultery in the HOC debate. Realisically it might be a bit embarrassing and complicated and as many government lawyers are ladies, it may have been dropped even though 10 page may have been enough.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      It’s in the nature of EU Directives that they usually require expansion of the details for effective national implementation.

      Article 288 TFEU:

      “To exercise the Union’s competences, the institutions shall adopt regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.

      A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

      A directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods.

      A decision shall be binding in its entirety. A decision which specifies those to whom it is addressed shall be binding only on them.

      Recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force.”

      Regulations are far more numerous than Directives, being directly applicable they may or may not require specific action by government for their implementation or for their enforcement, but usually require no action by Parliament.

      I read that the proposed new law on the presentation of olive oil on restaurant tables has been dropped:


      “In a humiliating U-turn, Dacian Ciolos, the European commissioner for agriculture, admitted that the proposed ban on traditional olive oil jugs, had provoked popular loathing, or “misunderstanding”, from the people that he said wanted to protect for their own good.

      “It was a measure intended to help consumers, to protect and inform them but it is clear that it cannot attract consumer support,” he said.

      “As a consequence, I am withdrawing the proposition. I wanted to come here today to demonstrate that I’ve been very alive to the current debate in the press.”

      Interesting that it started with the commissioner for agriculture.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Regulations are far more numerous than Directives, being directly applicable they may or may not require specific action by government for their implementation or for their enforcement, but usually require no action by Parliament.

        How exactly did you get this wrong when you had the definition of a regulation? Regulations apply to the UK as soon as they’re created so they never need to be implemented by national Governments. Though they do need to be enforced.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          If there are existing regulations which are inconsistent with a new EU regulation then the government will have to take some form of action even though the Regulation is directly applicable. As what has now become a hypothetical example, at least for the time being, if the existing UK food hygiene regulations as communicated to those running restaurants permitted them to supply their customers with olive oil in refillable containers, then the government would need to amend those regulations to reflect an EU regulation prohibiting that practice and communicate that change.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    You make excellent points. I am unclear what Mr Clegg aimed to achieve by his remarks. The UK relationship with and membership of the EU is certainly not a “game” nor is it a “game” to try to improve the terms of that relationship. It can only be considered a “game” by someone who seeks not only to preserve the status quo but to promote the ever closer union and discredit those who want to travel in a different direction. He also grossly misrepresents the implications of a change in that relationship. It is Mr Clegg who is playing games by his remarks.

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    It was indeed rich of Clegg and Cameron to drone on about concentrating on the main issues the day after they had wasted parliamentary time on the same-sex marriage legislation for which neither they nor Labour had a manifesto based mandate. Your article gives further evidence of Cameron’s weakness in constantly capitulating to Clegg. As for the EU, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are joined at the hip in their determination to ensure that this country remains imprisoned in that anti-democratic organisation.

  23. JimS
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I used to think Nick Clegg was stupid, just a joke, then he became part of government and now I can’t understand why anyone would want anything to do with him.

    An honourable opponent deserves respect but this is a man with no principles, no beliefs, no honour. He doesn’t speak for me and I can’t believe that he speaks for anyone else either.

  24. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I do not agree with John.

    His aversion to AV indicates he is happy with our current political system. I am not. Power rotates from Labour to Conservative and back. The only votes that actually count are those of a small number of people in marginal constituencies. This system has spawned a professional political class who do a PPE degree and then become a ‘professional politician’. The state we are in – borrowing £150 billion a year to prop up a state we cannot afford – with the next generation priced out of housing and unable to leave home and start families – with mass immigration and multiculturalism promoted – with no long term energy, education, health and defence strategies etc. – with the wishes of the people ignored – is a direct product of our current political system.

    Look at the things we were promised – recall of MPs if they do not perform – have we had it? NO! Bonfire of the quangos? NO!

    And it goes on and on an on. The litany of broken promises.

    When UKIP surged in the recent local elections, people kept saying it was a ‘protest vote’. As if everyone who votes Labour or Conservative actually backs them! How many people vote Labour because they hate the Tories? How many people vote Conservative because they want ‘anyone but Labour’? How many times do we hear people say that voting for X is a ‘wasted vote’! The nerve of it! Hey! We have a twisted and undemocratic system and, if you vote for them, you are WASTING your vote.

    No, my fervent hope is to see our political system radically changed to be democratic and accountable with long term planning.

    Reply The electorate agree with me over the voting system.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      The electorate were told a pack of brazen lies by a Tory party front organisation, lies which were uncritically repeated and even embroidered by its friends in the mass media, and I expect much the same kind of thing to happen if we ever have a referendum on whether to leave the EU.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply. No, you cannot say ‘the electorate agree with me’.

      67.9% of the 41% that voted agree with you. So, 27.8% of the electorate agree with you.

      And that 27.8% are the supporters of the two main parties who have played pass the parcel with political power since the Second World War. You both have large activist bases, you have a large number of people who would rather have ‘you’ than anyone else.

      The only reason you are happy with the current political system is that, every now and again, you take your turn at being in power. If you were a member of any other party, you would not take the view you do.

      Fortunately, Mr. Farage looks set to upset the apple cart. Let’s see what you have to say about the voting system when, by 2020, you won’t have won a General Election for 28 years.

      It’s time to vote for what you believe in, not what you don’t believe in (which is how our current political system largely works).

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      The electorate agree with you that AV was not a good substitute. They were never offered PR.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        To convert to proportional representation is dangerous . If all were reasonable , sensible voters then PR would be the most democratic. Unfortunately we have a large proportion of hot headed groups who would vote with religious, vindictive and utterly senseless motives.

    • Ben Kelly
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      @ Mike Wilson

      My vote counts each and every time and I sit in a safe seat. You would only consider it to not count if you only vote to win. I vote to register my opinion.

      I find single issue parties particularly useful in this respect. I have not voted BNP ever but sufficient numbers did in previous elections to get immigration discussed during the 2010 general election (that bigoted woman ring a bell?). The greens actually have an MP, several indepaendants have held seats in the past and despite having no MP in any of our national parliaments the number of votes cast for UKIP has put Europe front and centre. Those are not wasted votes, even voting Monster Raving Loony Party registers unease with the system.

      There is little wrong with the voting system it is the attitude of many voters, disinclined to use their votes for any but the winning party, that is the real issue.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Your vote does not count if you live in a safe seat. I could vote for ANYONE other than Tory in Wokingham until hell freezes over (or until UKIP destroy the Tory party) – and my vote does not count. The MP will never represent my views as he belongs to a party I do not support. You vote to ‘register your opinion’????

        Where is the box to tick that says ‘none of the above, they are all useless?’

    • uanime5
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The electorate only rejected AV; those the Conservatives were happy to use AV to elect police commissioners despite public opposition to it.

      As the public haven’t had a chance to vote on AMS, STV, or PR it cannot be said that they prefer any of these to FPTP.

  25. Ralph Musgrave
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    JR: What makes you think, “the overriding objective is to get the deficit down”? Why does a big deficit matter?

    First, it does no need to result in more debt. As Keynes and Milton Friedman pointed out, a deficit can accumulate as extra monetary base rather than extra debt (a point which is obvious to anyone who understands economics).

    Second, recessions are caused by inadequate private sector spending: i.e. excess private sector saving (saving of money rather than saving of physical assets like houses etc). Now if there is a DESIRE to hold money or government debt, those “holders” wont charge much for “holding”: witness the fact that the REAL or inflation adjusted rate of interest on UK, US, German and Japanese debt is ZERO.

    And if elevated holdings of debt or base result in excess demand in two or three years and cause inflation, government just needs to raise taxes and confiscate money or government debt from the private sector. That extra tax will not be a “burden”: it would be implemented just to prevent excess demand. I.e. ironically that extra tax would make us better off in that it would forestall excess inflation.

    Reply The Coalition Agreement said the main task was curbing the deficit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      “As Keynes and Milton Friedman pointed out, a deficit can accumulate as extra monetary base rather than extra debt (a point which is obvious to anyone who understands economics).”

      Of course, just keep printing as much money as the government needs to fund its extravagance, don’t bother about the inevitable inflationary effects as you debauch the currency, forget about the money issued still being a claim against the Bank of England even if it doesn’t appear as part of the official national debt, just quietly agree that if necessary you can let the Bank continue to operate with increasingly negative net assets, ie having gone bust and then going more and more bust.

      All sound practice and a sure route to long term prosperity.

      • APL
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “don’t bother about the inevitable inflationary effects as you debauch the currency ”

        A lesson Japan is being taught as we write.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          And our new Governor of the Bank of England holds up Japan as a role model! What’s his name? Carnage?

    • Gary
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      “recessions are caused by inadequate private sector spending”

      Your premise is wrong. And it follows that the rest is wrong. Recessions are caused by the PRIOR claims on future production to the point that future production can never satisfy those claims. It is a fractioning of equity so that each unit of future equity production is burdened by more claims on it than the value that it can deliver. This is another way of saying : there is too much debt for the productive economy to support. Economic activity that was premised on the economy delivering on the debt has to be retrenched. A recession ensues.

      Infinite debt can never be met by finite constraints on growth, not least finite incremental improvements in productivity and resource recovery.

      Printing money increases the supply of money lowers the price of money (rates) that money is loaned at and that causes debt to be over-issued.

      “REAL or inflation adjusted rate of interest on UK, US, German and Japanese debt is ZERO”

      You are looking for the effects of the over-supply(inflation) of money in the wrong places. Currently we have the biggest price bubble in the largest market in the world, the govt bond market. That is not measured in the so-called “basket” of goods, which is completely useless. When , not if, that bubble bursts that money only has one place to go and that is into general prices. Then we will have hyperinflation.

      You have been misled.

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    There’s a lot of other people who don’t agree with Nick too John, but he seemed credible just before the 2010 election, and this is the key to getting rid of him. He’s lost his credibility!

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting, to see him lecture Tory MPs. Tell me, who arranged the meeting, and was anyone allowed to ask questions afterwards? I’d certainly have one or two questions for Clegg to conjure with!

    I keep saying the Tories need to show what they would do differently were they allowed to govern in an unfettered way, and not hampered by the woolly liberals. The Lib Dems are in favour of the EU, but presently, the Tories are tainted by a kind of guilt by association. To be fair though, even Clegg indicated recently that Britain’s relationship with the EU needs to change, but he seemed reluctant to want to go further, and that rightly makes people suspicious.

    Yet the absence of any clear blue water and proper Euro-sceptic policies, allows the Conservative Party’s association with the Lib Dems to go unchallenged. People think the Tories are just the front end of the same pantomime horse (what’s that telling us about the Lib Dems?). And who can blame people when they hear David Cameron say proudly he is in favour of staying in the EU?

    If he wants a different relationship, he should tell us what that new relationship would look like. If he’s already undertaking that change, he should give us an insight into what he aims to do, so that we too have a chance to influence that debate. After all, it’s our future too. We’re all in this together. To leave things as they are, is to cause confusion and mistrust.

    In essence, if the Tories under David Cameron truly are a united Euro-sceptic party, then let’s see it. Give the people something they can vote for, and it seems from the evidence available, that a solidly Euro-sceptic stance that put Britain’s best interests first, would be a real vote-winner.

    Tad Davison


    Reply There was no meeting, just a press release

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Seems odd, the Deputy PM putting out a press release criticising the MPs of his coalition partners. If Cameron had put out a press release criticising the LibDems in similar terms no doubt Clegg would have been outraged.

      • John Bracewell
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Cameron would not have dared!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I misunderstood you John. When you said the word ‘lecture’, I took it literally. I had visions of Clegg standing in front of a gathering, and Tory MPs throwing shoes at him!


  27. Peter Davies
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    There is something seriously wrong with a Tory party who won over 300 seats to allow themselves to be manipulated by a small party with only 57 MPs in the HOC.

    Why did they offer them so many ministerial posts to the Lib Dems and why did they not push through the boundary changes before the AV and HOL business?

    Someone as the top of the Tory party is seriously short of nous if they can’t firstly beat Gordon Brown outright and then feel they have to offer the world to an odd and irritating political party to get themselves into power.

    There are many good Tory politicians with experience (including the host of this site) who would make far better ministers than many of those holding cabinet posts in the coalition.

    The Tory backbench group that consistently protest against the many things wrong in UK democracy appear to be consistently outmaneuvered by a party with half the amount of MPs of a third of that Tory group – something is clearly wrong.

    I find the Lib Dems totally contradictory – on one hand they say they believe in democracy and freedom, so want an elected HOL and AV etc, on the other hand they want the UK to fully integrate into a Marxist superstate thus making all our domestic institutions subservient to powers we have no real say over making national democracy a sham.

    People see through these antics and the more the DPM carries on the more people will realize that he cannot be trusted. Come 2015 I suspect there won’t be too many Lib Dems left to worry about including I suspect the DPM’s seat who will no doubt take off back to Brussels to get back onto that EU gravy train before it derails.

    Reply Lib Dems can sometimes beat the Conservative backbenches by getting Labour to support their cause.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      “There is something seriously wrong with a Tory party who won over 300 seats to allow themselves to be manipulated by a small party with only 57 MPs in the HOC. ”

      No, there IS something FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with a system that gives over 300 seats to a party that polls 10.6 million votes but only 57 to a party that polls 6.8 million votes.

      Do explain what is ‘right’ with that.

      • Peter Davies
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        You are talking about the system, I am talking about the party – both separate issues

        • uanime5
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          In other words Peter Davies you have decided to ignore the problems with the electoral system because they destroy your anti-Lib Dem rant.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      why did they not push through the boundary changes before the AV and HOL business?

      The Conservatives seemed more concerned with privatising the NHS and trebling tuition fees than the electoral system.

  28. Gary
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I am all for distractions to govt as long as it renders govt moribund. Even if it is in the form of Clegg. The more govt is distracted from meddling in our lives , the better.

  29. JimF
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The Conservatives should never have tied themselves to this man. The Clegg veneer was only ever thin, and now it is washing off and your policies are linked with their daft ideas.
    Cameron’s judgement could have been to leave the disaster in place. There would have been little difference in policies 2010-2013 anyway, and he could have swept clean next year.

  30. MajorFrustration
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Another spot on comment. But unless you and others do something about the leadership then things will continue as they are. But has anybody any balls?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Labour has Balls – and, with a bit of luck, he’ll make them unelectable.

      • APL
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Mike Wilson: “Labour has Balls .. ”

        Now all they need is some backbone.

  31. Jon Burgess
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Well, your lot aren’t really that much better are they? Wasting parliaments time with essentials that weren’t essential enough to make it into your manifesto – like gay marriage? Finding it difficult to even contemplate things that were – like tax breaks for married couples. You seemed to have no problem in cutting defence spending but felt it necessary to ring fence overseas aid and the NHS budgets. All good reasons why you have fewer members and fewer voters than when the dreaded Broon was in No 10.

    The Tory ship is slowly sinking and you have your leadership to blame for that, not Nick. And I will rejoice when it finally goes under because only then is there a chance that a proper conservative movement might emerge to replace it. So please carry on as you are.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe Nick Clegg is as bad as the picture which is being painted, but his European views are idealistic and not realistic.

  32. David Saunders
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Hear, hear, JR but no good so long as the self described ‘liberal Conservative’ tries to call the tune. How can a leader who ballsed up the 2010 election, entered a dysfunctional Coaltion over the head of his MPs and Party and continually picks fight with his core supporters, have any credibility in winning the next election? Answers on a postcard.

  33. Robert K
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    From Martin Wolf’s column in the FT this morning, referring to the Ashmolean debate: “Those arguing in defence of austerity were Meghnad (Lord) Desai and Sir John Redwood MP.”
    I hadn’t realised that you had been awarded a much deserved gong. (I assume that the FT or even Dr Wolf would not make an error in this matter? 🙂

    Reply I have no knighthood. Nor did I argue for austerity, only for controlling the public sector deficit.

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    You are quite right. We will be much better governing on our own when the time comes. So, a few questions for you:

    Why are people like Andrew Lansley urging that we hold preliminary talks with the LibDems about a joint programme for the next parliament?

    Why are we not considering a much looser form of alliance after the 2014 European elections, so that both Conservatives and LibDems can recover their identities?

    Why did we agree to fixed 5 year terms in the first place? It takes the flexibility out of British politics and apes one of the worst aspects of the American Constitution.

    Why is the Conservative Party not actively discussing how to win back UKIP supporters, without whom it won’t win outright (or even at all)? There really is no point in pretending that this can be done other than ON MERIT.

  35. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Well I think it’s a good idea to try to connect politics back to its roots.

    And I love the reception Nigel Farage got in Edinburgh.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you should have a nice chat with Nick about it; he’s rather glum these days & could use some savvy/sassy advice.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      I will simply point out that the reception Nigel Farage got in Edinburgh has led to two men being charged, one with breach of the peace and one with assault; so be more careful before you decide to “love” it.

      I’ve just had a quick look at your website:

      “I’m also a lecturer in education and have particular expertise in education discussion forums.”

      and wonder how you would react to the same kind of reception.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      The reception he got from whom? A bunch of noisy and obnoxious hard left student politico activists who were there to insult, shout down and intimidate, or from the people who came to hear what he had to say?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Do you recall what the demonstrators were saying about the Union Jack? And that immigrants were welcome in Scotland, but the English Mr Farage wasn’t?

      As a lecturer in education, is it not incumbent upon you to exercise impartiality, and shouldn’t the authorities be made aware of your views?

      • Peter Davies
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Here here

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      In somewhat similar circumstances, Enoch Powell grabbed the nearest microphone and said “BETTER men and women than you gave their lives so that this country could preserve its freedom.” It must have cut like a knife and it was meant to.

      Again, during the February 1974, Enoch addressed a meeting of the ‘Get Britain Out’ movement to support Labour’s campaign and dump Heath’s Conservatives. Inevitably, a voice from the hall called out “Judas”. Enoch looked towards the sound and replied “Judas? Judas was paid. I have made a sacrifice.” Before that meeting, the polls were predicting that Heath would win a majority of 60. Enoch woke up the morning after polling day and read the headline “Heath’s gamble fails.” Enoch ran a bath and sang the entire Te Deum.

      Enoch never took any prisoners and I still miss him terribly. We could do with an0ther like him.

      Nigel Farage should remember the golden rule: make sure you can answer back.

  36. Wokingham Mum
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg is not stupid. He is positioning himself for the next election. He is out manoeuvring and undermining Cameron. He is enjoying aggravating and highlighting minor divisions within the Conservative party. Conservative policies are watered down, undermined and u-turned, not all but most LibDem policies, green, EU, etc slide through.

    Clegg has the balance of power, he knows there will not be a ConDem coalition after the next election, he’s courting Labour. UKIP are a gift for Clegg. For example, Conservatives were out voted and out manoeuvred on the Gay Marriage vote by the LibDems, Labour and sadly the Cameron & Co party.

    Never under estimate Clegg. Cameron & Co are no match for Clegg. Conservative backbenchers, rank and file and probably some MP’s know this and why, they also know the solution, just don’t leave it to late.

  37. uanime5
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    To lead this, we proposed removing 50 MP posts. Surely if we are going to tell the public sector to do more with less, we had to show that we could do that ourselves by raising MP productivity. Mr Clegg has now voted that down, showing that he and his party have no wish to provide leadership by showing how we can cut our costs.

    Clegg’s plan for the House of Lords reform would have reduced the number of Lords from 900 to 450 and would have made them democratically elected, rather than appointed by the Prime Minister. The Conservatives voted this down. So it’s hardly fair to complain about the Lib Dems not reducing the number of MPs by 50 when the Conservatives prevented the Lords being reduced by 450.

    The Conservative Manifesto had said we would see if there was a consensus for some reform, recognising it could only be done with cross party agreement and with the agreement of the Lords. Mr Clegg failed to secure the Lords agreement or the agreement of Conservative backbenchers.

    This bill passed the second reading in the Commons with a majority of 300 votes but was was not given a third reading in the Commons because 91 Conservatives MPs objected to it. So John unless you’re claiming that the clear will of the majority of Parliament should be ignored because the Conservative backbenchers don’t like something there is no need to have the support of all the Conservative backbenchers.

    As this bill was never put to the Lords it’s impossible to know whether they would have supported it or not. You’ve also ignored that due to the Parliament Act this bill could be forced through the Lords so the consent of the Lords was not required to pass this bill.

    Your attempts at rewriting history are not fooling anyone. This bill had enough support to pass but was withdrawn by the Conservatives for political reasons.

    Conservatives who press the government on the EU do so over issues like migration and energy prices which are very relevant to the central economic task that concerns most voters.

    Given that non-EU migration hasn’t been reduce from hundred of thousands to tens of thousands, despite a promise from Cameron to implement this reduction by 2014, it seems that even if the UK left the EU migrations levels are unlikely to change.

    Also Hunt’s attempts to blame GPs for an increase in the number of people going to A&E to distract attention from his botched implementation of the 111 hotline isn’t fooling anyone. Yet another example of how the public sector has to pick up the pieces when the private sector fails.


    Re[ply Mr Clegg wished to replace Lords just on expenses with super Lords on fat salaries.

    • Chris S
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      uanime5, I am so fed up with reading your repeatedly twisted version of events and completely wrong assertions that I am not even going to bother to answer this latest piece of garbage.

      I will only say that you have completely avoided answering John’s highly relevant point about Clegg reneging on the Coalition agreement to cut the number of MPs. This would undoubtedly saved a considerable amount of public money and was necessary to show that the House was doing it’s bit to cut the deficit.

      The reduction in the number of MPs was a stand alone element in the coalition agreement and had nothing whatsoever to do with Lords reform the passage into legislation of which was absolutely NOT in the coalition agreement.

      Try coming up with a believable answer this time !

      • sjb
        Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        See the third bullet point on p27 of the Coalition Agreement, ChrisS. The draft bill was published on 17 May 2011.

        I shall try using your “stand alone element” argument when I receive my next utility bill.

        • Chris S
          Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          You are clearly not reading the same page 27 as I am.

          I quote :

          “We will bring forward a Referendum Bill on
          electoral reform, which includes provision for
          the introduction of the Alternative Vote in the
          event of a positive result in the referendum,
          as well as for the creation of fewer and more
          equal sized constituencies. We will whip
          both Parliamentary parties in both Houses
          to support a simple majority referendum on
          the Alternative Vote, without prejudice to
          the positions parties will take during such a

          Correct me if I am wrong but the Conservatives ensured the referendum took place and Clegg lost it.

          Note it refers to a BILL being brought forward to implement both parts of this paragraph

          Crucially, nowhere is this paragraph linked to Lords Reform which is not even mentioned in the next paragraph.

          Turning to the Lords reform paragraph, I quote :

          “We will establish a committee to bring
          forward proposals for a wholly or mainly
          elected upper chamber on the basis of
          proportional representation. The committee
          will come forward with a draft motion by
          December 2”

          NOTE : A committee will bring forward proposals and a DRAFT motion will be prepared.

          There is no mention of a BILL and nobody is to be whipped to support any legislation on this subject.

          You are simply wrong and Clegg is in clear breach of his party’s commitment. Cleggs idea of morality and ethics is just about as good as the previous LibDem minister for Climate Change currently languishing in the arms of his mistress wearing his electronic tag.

          If I had been PM I would have brought forwards the boundary commission bill and mandated all ministers to vote for it as is clearly specified in the agreement.

          I would have made it clear that any minister that did not vote in favour would be sacked, including Clegg. In that event, I would then have called an election.

          • Chris S
            Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            As a man without principles and a total lack of credibility, is it small wonder that almost every Conservative MP now regards Clegg with utter contempt, as do I.

          • Peter Davies
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            Why did Cameron not ensure this was pushed through before the AV referendum?

          • uanime5
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            Your attempts to twist the Coalition agreement are fooling no one. The Coalition agreement stated that both parties had to obey the entire agreement, not just the parts they liked. So when Cameron refused to support the Lords reform he had no right to complain when Clegg refused to support boundary reform.

            Throwing a tantrum in a fit of pique will not change this. Nor will calling an election which is likely to reduce the number of seats the Conservatives have.

            Reply Conservatives did not agree to support a particular version of Lords reform, merely to seek a consensus

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        I did answer John’s pint by pointing out the flaws with it. The fact that you didn’t like that the Conservatives’ refusal to support Lords reform resulted in boundary reforms also being scuppered is your problem, not mine for pointing out this flaw.

        The fact they you’re fine with Cameron reneging on his promise to reform the Lords but object to Clegg reneging on his promise to reform boundaries shows that you are the one who lacks a coherent argument.

        • Chris S
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          Can you not read simple English, uanime5 ?

          I quoted the relevant paragraph on Lords Reform in full above. Unlike the para on boundary changes which clearly commits the coalition to supporting a bill, nowhere does it say that there would be a bill on Lords Reform, just that proposals would be brought forward and a consensus sought. JR confirmed this in his reply to your post.

          There can be no doubt whatsoever that DC kept his side of the agreement on Lords Reform but there was no consensus. Labour would not support it along with many Conservatives.

          Clegg on the other hand has reneged on a clear commitment.

          I cannot see how it is possible to come to any other conclusion.

          If you disagree, please show us the relevant wording in the agreement that supports your case.

    • Credible
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


      What do you define as a ‘fat salary’ ? Is a ‘super Lord’ some kind of action hero. We could certainly do with some of them!

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        A better question is do 900 Lords cost more than 450 super lords?

        • Bazman
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Depends on the canteen.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      The Lords reform bill would have been talked out because Mr Cameron would never have dared to impose a guillotine. The rebels had the glorious example of the Enoch Powell / Michael Foot unholy alliance, showing just how effective a filibuster could be.

  38. Bert Young
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    In reaffirming the Coalition both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have committed political suicide . The LibDems have become inconsequential in the judgement of the public ( Opinion Polls ) , and , the Conservative Party has absolutely no chance of success unless a deal can be reached with the ever popular UKIP . To simply coast along to 2015 in the hope that a couple of rabbits can be pulled out of the hat to swing the electorate back to the Tories , is wishful thinking ; something drastic is called for . In my discussions with various friends ( business leaders , the odd entrepreneur and academics ) the unanimous conclusion is for Cameron to be ousted – one way or the other, as quickly as possible .

  39. Peter Richmond
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg and his lib-dem colleagues gained their influence on the wave of euphoria that followed his appearance in the TV debates ahead of the last general election. However his bubble has clearly burst. The man is completely unprincipled – a total joke! Hopefully his constituents will see it the same way at the next general election and throw him out. (And thankfully, that other lib-den leadership contender Chris Huhne is also now out of the way.)
    Let us pray that the outcome of the next general election does not lead to a lib-lab coalition with Milliband and his merry men plus a rag tag and bobtail group of other jokers but a government which can implement the kind of policies you favour and generally advocate in your blog. Five more years of coalitions such as mainland Europe seems to have almost all the time will be insufferable. And while I am ranting on, I do hope that our leaders don’t offer Clegg some European sinecure when he loses his Westminster seat. The man should get a proper job for once.

  40. Swivel eyed loon
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Clegg will vanish into the EU after 2015. The LDs will be history.
    Cameron needs to be replaced ASAP. But I fear it is too late.
    Labour next time gentlemen.

    Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    It was the Con/Lab alliance that foisted the AV referendum on us . The Libs wanted PR on the paper but the big two did not want that as it was a little too democratic for their liking . However it is the Con party that needs PR now as in the next General Election UKIP will help to sink the Con party under FPTP . Who cares ? Nobody , because the Con and Lab differ in name only . Both EU puppets .

  42. Matt Gibb
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg is a poor politician and is way out of his depth. He simply doesn’t grasp the detail of the issues, and fundamentally understands neither democracy nor economics. He got to his position not through WHAT he knows, but through WHO he knows.

  43. REPay
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The sooner Mr Clegg packs his bags for his plum tax-free job in Bruxelles the better. The well-heeled Lib-Dems can afford luxury policies for the rest of us while wishing to shift ever more power away from our nation-state, too small for these Tuscan dwellers. Great Liberals like Gladstone used to believe in small government and balancing the books. The Lib-Dems today are as statist as the Labour Party.

  44. Paul
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Like the majority of today’s politicians, Nick Clegg has no experience of the real world and is totally out of his depth. Labour and the Lib Dems are riddled with career politicians. The Conservatives do at least have more people who have done things outside politics. However, all three big party leaders are all college boys who have virtually the same view on every single issue. The problem the Conservative Party has right now is, as always, David Cameron. He has to go before 2015 if the Conservatives wish to govern as a majority after the election, and Osborne can go with him.

  45. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Nick won’t be around after the next election; of course nor will the Modern Party. Either it’s the Tory proper party or its Labour & Mr. Ed. But will the remnant of the Mod Party invite Milliband to lecture on Socialism?

  46. Credible
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Removing 50 MP posts is simply gesture politics. It will make absolutely no difference to the debt or deficit and it will be no example to anyone as long as the cabinet consists of so many millionaires.

    Reply Removing 50 MPs takes 8% of the costs of Parliament and requires MPs to work smarter and mroe productively. That is exactly the kind of lead we need to show. An 8% cost reduction across the public sector admin would be a big win.

    • chris S
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Hear Hear !

      The cost saving by axing 50 MPs amounts to approximately £10.75m a year.

      Credible must think that’s not real money. It certainly isn’t “gesture politics” :

      There are 26 million households in the UK.
      Taxation could be reduced by £1 on every household in the country for every two cost-saving projects such as this one that can be implemented.

      There must be thousand of similar schemes that could be introduced with just a little effort.

  47. forthurst
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    “I do not agree with Nick”

    …but you are not David Cameron and you did not ask Nick to give this lecture on his behalf to his tiresome inheritance of mad swivel-eyed loons.

  48. bedhindthefrogs
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Once more a highly biased blog by a party that is trying to blame all its failures on its coalition partners

  49. Jon
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    For those of us who don’t like the transfer of power to the EU his stance and that of Labour maybe a good thing. The patronising repetitive lame retorts they give must only add to the numbers who are eurosceptic.

    I think we should worry if they ever come up with an intelligent response. Let him, Mandelson and the like wind up the voting public on this issue all they want. Let the enemy do your work for you. Doesn’t mean they aren’t very irritating meantime.

  50. Stevie
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Cameron should call a General Election whilst he still has Conservative voters if he waits for another two years many more will have departed to UKIP. Can he not see what’s happening to his party.

  51. Wokingham Mum
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Time to consider
    Interesting to note that those that stepped in to help that poor soldier and comfort and confront the murderers and shot the attackers were women . Is it time for another Maggie T?

  52. Max Dunbar
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    The Lib-dems may say that they are liberals but they do not act in a liberal way.
    They are anti-business and anti-capitalist, pro unlimited immigration, hold multi-culturalism as an act of faith, in favour of ever more legislation to curb freedom of speech, wish to impose punitive taxes based on envy, coercive and moralising, doctrinaire and unrealistic, out of touch with human nature, divorced from reality and sickeningly smug and self-satisfied.
    In short, the Lib-Dems would be better to be back on the sidelines where they belong discussing global warming or their favourite gay issues.

  53. John Wrake
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    It can be quite depressing to read in so many comments an embedded view that our troubles stem from this or that tactical error, or that the troubles stem from this or that Party Leader.
    When a gang burgle your house and make off with your possessions, finding out which of the gang carried the crowbar, which one put your silver in the sack, which one suggested starting on a bedroom rather than the dining room, is not your real concern. Your proper concern is with establishing that there has been a theft, identifying the perpetrators and getting your property back.
    I have suffered a theft – the theft of my birthright. I am an Englishman, a subject of my lawful Sovereign, bound and protected by the English Constitution. My freedom has been fought and died for by my ancestors and by my family, some as recently as in my own lifetime. Those who claim to lead this nation have deprived me of what is mine, or have condoned the theft by others. That is a crime under Common Law.
    I want my birthright returned to me now, without delay and prevarication. Who else feels as I do?

    John Wrake

  54. William Henwood
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Clegg has been a failure from the start. Where he gets his ideas from bewilders me?

    His policies will lead to the destruction of our Iron and steel industries.

    He is the only party to ever appoint a minister of anti business.

    Would be intesting to list anything that he may have done that is constructive

  55. David Langley
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The EU is not a “Diversion” nor is it a “Game”. Its a very serious issue that does divide the British public, not gay marriage as Cameron espouses. The Liberal party does not have a mandate to govern or lead the people of this country and of course neither does the Tory party.
    We have reached a stage of new ideas for leadership which of course in an era of instant communication can be disseminated across the borders of the world let alone our own country.
    These new ideas focus on what it right for us all now and in the future. Policies that transcend party divides which frustrates all observers of the current idiotic political scene, who see clearly that its not about policies but power that motivates our current leadership.
    If we were allowed to vote on major policies put forward by this or any government continuously through secure protocols such as those used by on line banking. I think pollsters and MPs would soon find out what we want.

  56. David Langley
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    What Clegg has learned by his adventure into grown up politics he will use to good effect should he survive as leader and the Libs survive as a party with MPs. At the next election he will be ready with his power pack of policies to attach himself like a leech to the party with the most votes offering partnership again.
    As the old saying goes “With friends like him who needs enemies”. The lure of power and a five year sinecure will always win over the sucker who thinks the same way.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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