Wednesday, 19 May 2010

NEW POLITICS® in action!

Yesterday Mr Clegg endorsed David Cameron's flagship "big society" theme.

In a U-turn, the Liberal Democrat leader told a Downing Street seminar for voluntary groups he hosted with the Prime Minister: "What I'm discovering is we've been using different words for a long time – it actually means the same thing. Liberalism, big society. Empowerment, responsibility. It means the same thing." So there you are it’s all the same thing really. So what is the point of voting for the Lib Dems then? Everybody might as well have voted for the Conservatives and saved us all this bother.

Mr Clegg took a rather different approach to Mr Cameron's big idea during the election. On 2 May, he said: "What is this 'big society'? It is a big society with a price tag attached. It's a bit like inviting someone to a party in a pub and finding that it's your card behind the bar paying for everyone's drinks." What’s so “New Politics”® about a U Turn then? That is certainly not a new political manoeuvre.

Mr Clegg is also expected to announce today what he will label a "big bang” of political reform. It looks much more like a damp squib with a load of Tory looking aspirations to roll back surveillance society and buried in it the vaunted referendum on changing from FPTP to AV (not even the AV+ advocated by the Jenkins Commission). That is a change from one majority system to another, no mention of PR at all. How is that going to maximise choice and make things fairer? Also in there is this gem of obfuscation: moves to “a wholly or mainly elected House of Lords”. What does that mean then? Not a fudge is it for some tinkering round the edges by any chance? Isn’t “New Politics”® wonderful?

Here is a list (from the Independent) of the other key aspects of the Big Bang expected to be announced by Deputy Dawg:

* scrapping the identity card scheme and second generation biometric passports;

* removing limits on the rights to peaceful protest;

* a bonfire of unnecessary laws;

* a block on pointless new criminal offences;

* internet and email records not to be held without reason;

* closed-circuit television to be properly regulated;

* new controls over the DNA database, such as on the storage of innocent people's DNA;

* axeing the ContactPoint children's database;

* schools will not take children's fingerprints without asking for parental consent;

* reviewing the libel laws to protect freedom of speech.


  1. So Munguin, all along the Tories really have been the Whigs or Liberals or Liberal Democrats, and they, in their various forms, have acutally always been Tories. And all these elections where we thought we had "choice"...we didn't actually... ah, I see.

    Methinks we may have been sold a pup. Most of the great list of awesome big bang is common sense that either only a moron wouldn't deal with, or that was going to happen anyway for lack of funds.

    I'd like to see the cost cutting start right away with the Leader of the Commons reading out the government's proposals instead of millions of pounds being wasted on a Queen's Speech for the second time within 6 months.

  2. No point in comparing this with the 1832 reform act. That was passed by the Whig PM Earl Grey. But was opposed by the Tories,just like Nick's big bang non-PR referendum will be.

    No big bang more like a pathetic fizzle. No PR just a different majority system and not even the least that the Lib Dems would have accepted from the Jenkins Commission, less than that!

    Nothing clear about getting rid of the unelected Lords just moves to make it "wholly" elected. Whatever that means. I suppose it means that Baroness Warsi can keep he unelected position for the rest of her natural,and she is only 38.

    The rest of the big bang is just sweeping away the worst excesses of the moribund Labour government which our majoritive FPTP system kept in power for too long. As you say common sense things.

  3. PR is not something I support, therefore it pleases me to see the LibDems constrained from their PR clamour.

    That said, it enables us to get on with important things, like the Great Repeal Act which is coming. This will role back the dark spectre of the police state, no more ID cards, pushing back the DNA this not something to celebrate in this 'New Politics'?

  4. Sold a pup? I should say so. This coalition is not what people voted for, despite the acclamation of the media for weeks beforehand and the protestations of the politicians.

    DM-T is an optimist and I wish him well.

  5. Dean: PR was a key element in the Lib Dem programme and they sold it down the river for a deputy's badge. I'm amazed Dean that you are not for something like PR that gives voters choice and makes MPs work for votes instead of expect them as of right.

    As I have already said the things you term the "Great Repeal Act" are just the common sense roll back of the outrageous excesses of a government that our electoral system kept in place for far too long. Every government does it. There is nothing "great" about it. Just standard practice. And if that is "New Politics"® then it is an even more shallow veneer than I at first suspected.

  6. Vienna: more importantly this coalition is not what Lib Dems voted for. It is an insult to our intelligence to dress all this political scheming and smoke and mirrors up as something new. New Labour did that and look at the pretty pass we have come to.

  7. What I'm discovering is we've been using different words for a long time – it actually means the same thing.

    Nah! what he means is he 'Misspoke' just like that there — Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut,

    And lets be honest Clegg comes across as a big a dickwit as the attorney general..


    More an Orange peel than Repeal......

    Police state since when did the Torys stand against the Police??? the thin blue line...
    Between the Toffs and us.

  8. Mr MixedPickle: you read the New York Times I am impressed. I think that in that case it was downright lies really.

    In the case of the “New Politics”® it’s a matter of political expediency that the Lib Dems and the Tories are seen to be singing from the same hymn sheet. There is NOTHING new about that and it is an insult to our intelligence to pretend otherwise. As time passes I can’t help wondering what the Lib Dems actually get out of this alliance except a bonny deputy badge for their leader. A fudge on PR. A fudge on the House of Lords. And a raft of common sense policies dressed up a big bang that the Tories would have passed anyway. All that is thrown in with a very dirty political trick of having fixed 5 year terms that will mean that in 2015 the general election will be on the same day as the devolved administrations elections. That is clearly a cynical ploy to bump the nationalist off the agenda. So much for the “New Politics”® respect agenda.

  9. Munguin

    Oh! yeah he is a born liar alright.

    Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

    What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

  10. Mr MixedPickle: he is a politician after all their dalliances with the truth are usually few and far between.

  11. What was it Heseltine said of the differences he felt between Conservatives and LibDems?

    "The only difference I ever could emphasis was that I was going to win"

    Hmm, perhaps there is little longer term need for this 'third party'? Why not get back to the good old days of Tory vs Labour?

  12. Dean: can you please make up your mind if you are for or against this coalition and the new politics. If you will forgive me saying you seem to blow hot and cold at times.

  13. The coaltion may be useful if it helps destroy the LibDems

  14. Besides, I support my Party being in government, but as to the coalition -- the jury is out.

  15. Dean, fair enough.

    My criticism here is mainly of Lib Dem hypocrisy and their selling their voters down the river for a deputy’s badge.

    I don’t criticise the Tories for making the best of a bad situation (for them) but I do criticise David Cameron for jumping on a “New Politics”® band wagon as if it was his idea all along. Especially when he does not seem to have sold this idea to his grass roots supporters like you. And, also when the so called new politics looks pretty much like a different take on an old branch of the old politics, its hypocrisy to say otherwise, and |I feel at liberty to point that out. Politics is politics: it is a hard game where you need a tough skin, and where all is fair. But a bit of glitter and tinsel does not make it new!