The Plastic Hippo

March 14, 2011

Truth, dare, kiss, tell, promise

Filed under: Education,History,Politics,Rights — theplastichippo @ 12:34 pm

History, according to Winston Churchill, is written by the victorious. In these strange days, the defeated, the disgraced and the disingenuous can now shred the evidence of wrong-doing and incompetence so that everyone ends up a winner. From Walsall to Westminster and from Tipton to Tripoli, history will show that there are no losers. Except, possibly, the fatalities.

At the Liberal Democrats spring conference in Sheffield and behind a £2million “ring of steel” to protect him from the people he represents, Nick Clegg faced the party membership. After taking an almighty kicking from the delegates over his supine acceptance of the privatisation of the NHS, the Deputy Prime Minister tried to reassure the overwhelming majority of angry Libdems that he had not sold the soul of the Liberal Democrat party for a brief moment of power. History re-written. Sadly, Satan in the form of Andrew Lansley and the Conservative party whips will be waiting for him when he returns to Westminster.

His speech betrayed his and his cabinet colleagues real motivation: power before principle. With the Libdem manifesto torn up and thrown out of the window and the coalition agreement ignored, Trident, tuition fees, Operation Merlin and the destruction of welfare is now part of the perceived liberal mind-set. Clegg attempted to defend his seat at the top table. He said:

“Never, ever, doubt the value of being in Government. Would a Government without Liberal Democrats have ended child detention? Got an extra ten billion out of the banks? Would it have held a referendum on the voting system? Or put up capital gains tax? Ordered an inquiry into torture? Brought in a pupil premium? Or replaced Control Orders? Would a Government without Liberal Democrats have cut taxes for the poorest?”

The answer to all these tub-thumping questions is, of course, a resounding “no”. None of these things have actually happened. Illegal child detention perpetrated by the likes of our very own Serco, continues, Operation Merlin allows bankers to keep giving themselves outrageous bonuses and the demand for Proportional Representation watered down to AV, with boundary changes chucked in to benefit the Conservatives, is likely to be rejected in the cobbled together May referendum. Capital gains tax is not relevant to major corporations or, indeed, most cabinet ministers who avoid paying tax. An inquiry into torture? Oh look, torture.

The pupil premium is worthy of Kafka. No details of how this is going to work have been announced other than it will be based on the current erroneous system of the number of children entitled to free school meals. With families being cheerfully labelled as “deprived”, the word from the chalk face is that the funding for FSM children within a Local Education Authority will be divided amongst all schools in that authority. So, schools in affluent areas where mummy drives to school in the Range Rover will receive pupil premium funding and other schools battling real poverty will have their funding cut. Nice one, Nick. You must be proud.

Control Orders?…err…no. They are still in place. Cutting taxes for the poorest? At this point, the party faithful in the hall must have been crossing their legs in embarrassment and wondering what on earth they would say to their friends and relatives upon escaping the Sheffield “ring of steel”.

Clegg, in desperation, summoned up the shades of Lloyd George, J M Keynes and William Beveridge to rally the masses. The cadavers of those gentlemen may even now be stirring to rise and wrap their skeletal fingers around the throat of the Deputy Prime Minister. Does Mr Clegg think his party membership are stupid?

He probably does. If, however, the endangered species of Liberal Democrat MPs and local councillors think that their electorate are stupid, then they too will face an eternity of wandering the after life to a Thiller backing track. After being economical with the truth, Clegg will not dare take a stand against his Tory masters and we can kiss goodbye to jobs, services and dignity. He may tell his party to stand firm against criticism and promise the earth as long as they support him. If the Liberal Democrat party develop some backbone and return to the principles that gave them some credibility, it is unlikely that Clegg will survive beyond lunchtime on May 6.

The coalition government is failing. Failing to the point where lives are now at risk. Fine words from the wealthy and powerful will never assuage the misery we are about to face.

If history is written by the victorious, it is worth noting that the people writing history at the moment did not win the last general election. As Mohandas Gandhi said:

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”

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2 Comments »

  1. I love the way he brought up Keynes. This is from a leader who until the election was saying we are going the same as Greece and Ireland who actuially implemented the very opposition of Keynesian policies.

    Comment by ian — March 14, 2011 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  2. As a Conservative voter I too wish the Lib-Dems would leave this coalition as soon as possible and it won’t be before time.

    The Lib-Dems are really holding back the true spirit of Tory policy on the nation – it is like having New Labour in power again to my way of thinking. True Tory policies have to be meeted out soon to bring dear old blighty back from the brink of bankruptcy and only a true Blue Tory led government without the Lib-Dems can do that really !!

    Comment by IAN PAYNE — March 22, 2011 @ 3:14 pm | Reply


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