I’ve been watching bits of media coverage of the 2014 LibDem conference in Glasgow. Danny Alexander’s (Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the coalition government) claims to ‘own’ the so-called recovery plan: “it wasn’t Cameron and Osborne (Conservative Prime Minister and Chancellor respectively) it was Nick and me” (Nick Clegg is LibDem leader /coalition Deputy Prime Minister) . Meanwhile Nick is trying to disclaim responsibility for the negative effects! I’m sorry, Nick but “we did the good bits but not the bad bits” won’t wash. The LibDems chose to go into coalition with the Tories, not Labour, they chose to go along with policies they now find repugnant. Now there is an election looming they are suddenly more like Labour really, all warm and socially cuddly. They are even suggesting they lean toward policies that are oddly reminiscent of Labour proposals they rejected in order to gain power with the Tories! My late, lamented, Mum used to say “scratch a Liberal and you’ll find a Tory underneath.”: she was no fool.
The only saving grace for the Tories is that elements of the Labour party might not want to win this time round: I suspect they don’t really have the stomach for imposing more cuts. I think they’d rather let the ToryLibs take the blame for another dose of austerity and win an outright majority next time: they want to inherit a ‘fixed’ economy without the blame for the pain. It’s hard to think of another explanation for sticking with ‘Wally the Unelectable’ as leader. What odds on a new Labour leader after May, another (but febrile) coalition that will last only 2 years and an election in 2017 – about the same time as the hokey-cokey vote on EU membership?
By the way, Scottish ‘friends’ already know what a “cleg” is; for eveyone else, a cleg is a type of annoying horsefly: it will give you a nasty bite if you let it, but they are dozy and easily swatted. Ha Ha.