Clegg’s desperation…

Yesterday, LibDems looked on in despair as protesters (I was one of them) voiced their own despair at this government’s actions. Today, I have seen LibDems returning to their safety strategy of denial; denying the protesters represent the voices of real people, slandering today’s lack of protesting as a sign of weakness (one even saying to the rain) – ignoring the magnitude of Friday and Saturday’s protests. It is also interesting that now for the LibDems, successful conference days are those where there are no big protests outside and that it needs reporting. Not even the Tories protected themselves behind an iron cage when they faced protesters outside their conference. 

Nick Clegg speaking at the Liberal Democrat’s conference demonstrated the utter confusion surrounding what the LibDems now stand for, as he referred to how the LibDems now represent the ‘radical centre’ ground:

As liberals, we place our faith in people. People with power and opportunity in their hands. Our opponents try to divide us with their outdated labels of left and right. But we are not on the left and we are not on the right.”

Still the same old LibDems pretending to be different (something I used to believe). Pretending they aren’t breaking nearly every pledge voters crossed an X by their name for as the chance for power results in them assisting with the full-scale attack upon the communities and people who once saw Clegg and the LibDems as the saviour of a ‘new politics’.

What struck me about yesterday’s protest was the similarity it had with the protest that occurred during the coalition talks where pro-pr campaigners chanted and pleaded with Clegg not to sell out. Then, Clegg embraced the microphone to cheers, but now, he doesn’t dare look at protesters in the eye, he ignores our demands he locks us out with iron and runs away ignoring the sheer irony of his actions. Wasn’t it only a few months back that Clegg was also adopting the left vs. right line, telling those to the left in the LibDems they aren’t welcomed? The ‘centre’ is just a desperate method Clegg is utilising to fend off the right and left backlash.

Apparently, to Clegg, the increasing public opposition is:

“showing that new politics, plural politics, coalition politics, can work for this country. And it terrifies them. There are enemies of reason across the political spectrum.”

Nice play on the Thatcher’s “enemies within” line there. What terrifies us is your utter departure from reality. And again, Nick Clegg repeated that pathetic alarm clock jargon, ignoring the reality of many people who are unemployed, losing their benefits or being forced onto less supportive benefits. Let’s get this right. It’s not that people deny compromise has sometimes got to take place, but what the LibDems have done is a complete politic body transformation. And his cheek to use Sheffield as an example of ‘efficiency’ re LibDems. The Greens put forward an amended budget to focus on protecting key services whilst cutting the top council’s pay, for instance; did the LibDems listen? No. And Labour abstained.

Clegg accuses Labour of taking the moral high ground then preaches about no LibDem council cutting Sure Centres, for example. This ignores how in places such as Sheffield, whilst no overall control, LibDems voted against the Greens attempt to reverse the 21% cuts to Sure Centres! Read here for more.

You can sum up Clegg’s speech with one line from it:

People who are fed up with politicians taking their votes for granted.

How ironic and disconnected.


9 thoughts on “Clegg’s desperation…

  1. You ignore the decisions that the conference actually made this weekend, which do not fit your sell out narrative.
    I do not know how else you expect Lib Dem conference representatives are supposed to respond when people are hurling abuse at them. It seems like dammed either way.
    One protester did politely ask me whether the Lib Dems will save the NHS. I reassured her that we would amend the conference motion to ensure we do. And we duly did.
    If the protesters had been more like her they would have been more effective than those shouting “Tory Scum”.

  2. Geoffrey,

    You seem rather divorced from why people are there. What you have DONE already is what people are protesting and angry about. You went back on what you stood for. I do question the wisdom of the NHS ‘reversal’ when it had to take Lansley this long to realise that most of the medical profession hate the reforms (nor did he say that they had influenced his decision, only the libdems – in an obvious PR friendly movement given the protests and pressure upon the LibDems). The NHS isn’t the only thing. What disgusts me the most is the attacks upon welfare. People expected such actions from the Tories, not the LibDems.

  3. I am not at all divorced from what people are thinking. I live on a Hackney council estate. In the past I have been attacked by gangs of youths. My neighbour helped me identify who they were and the police successfully intervened to stop them doing that again. But that same neighbour herself has to visit her son in prison for drug dealing. Personally I have been unemployed, one stretch was for 2 years.
    So I know what it is like, and I certainly do not support the welfare cuts. I strongly believe the same is true for most of the membership of the Lib Dems.
    Being a pluralist is not a soft option as the Greens in Ireland have found out. It means working with people you do not agree with. It means sometimes they get their way when you dont want them to.
    That may make us seem powerless, but certainly no more so than those who are now in opposition. At the September Lib Dem conference I went to fringe meetings about the Robin Hood tax and not replacing Trident. Many left of centre pressure groups see the Lib Dems as their way into the coalition, but they need people inside the Lib Dems to help them achieve their objectives as well.
    I am clear that despite what you say the Liberal Democrat party are still a left of centre party even if the leadership and much of the blogosphere is not. When it comes to fighting back against many of the policies of the government, one way to do so is join the Lib Dem left.

    1. Well why act as though you are surprised why people are protesting? People have had it. There was so much unfairness before you guys started, you’re just adding on top of the poverty, inequality and damn ignorant richness we have destroying our society.

      The Greens in Ireland fell into the same mistake LibDems have. Pluralism does not mean supporting things to this magnitude when you don’t agree with it. The Greens in Ireland were wrong to allow IMF to wield its damaging conditions upon Ireland. Nor should the LibDems here be supporting what this government’s doing.

      It’s beyond me why you think the LibDems are centre left after initiating £81bn cuts, attacking vital services the public sector, welfare, education, the NHS. The LibDems are nothing more than a fig leaf.

  4. Hi Jane,
    This is not an appealing subject to me, but a good blog-post nonetheless.
    In particular, I enjoyed reading, “utter departure from reality”. And I absolutely love your last line!

    Just chipping in a few short comments, as sort-of feedback.
    I regard Clegg as a liberal pro-Europe Tory, and not a true Lib Dem; his political roots lie mostly in the Peelite Tories of the 19th Century.

    Clegg did indeed state last Autumn that there was no future in the Lib Dems being a left-of-centre party. Seemingly his dream was to have the Lib Dems as a right-of-centre pro-Europe party, in coalition govt with the Conservatives. Snag is, he didn’t run this one by his party membership when seeking the party leadership. The Lib Dem party are, as Geoffrey observes, a left of centre party.

    In his arrogance & vanity, Clegg must believe that he’s a born leader and can take his party with him.
    I disagree, and think he has overreached himself … at other people’s cost.

    The “pathetic alarm clock jargon” is indeed deeply offensive!
    But it isn’t new or original; it was, apparently, used by Sarkozy in 2007 (alarm clock France, in his case).

    1. Thanks for the comment, glad you like the blog.

      I agree with your analysis of Clegg. However, I think whilst many of the party members in the LibDems may have been centre left most have now left the party. I admit, there are still some in the LibDems like Geoffrey trying to make things ‘better’, but i never see that happening whilst working in line with the Tories. The thing is, however, many of the LibDems I see are sticking up for actions I never imagined I would see them do. For me, when I joined the LibDems, it meant something fresh, progressive and yes, to the left. But I just look at it now and it’s just not the same party any
      more. Slightly depressing but true.

      And that is interesting, re Sarkozy. Doesn’t surprise me, however.

  5. Thanks for your reply.
    Yeah, the situation with the Lib Dems is somewhat weird, and difficult to pinpoint.
    After the coalition agreement, opinion poll ratings plummeted and it seemed that half of Lib Dem voters had switched to other parties, mostly Labour.
    I assumed (wrongly?) that the remaining half would be centre left anti-Labour or modestly centre right.
    The spring conference seems to indicate that the remaining activists are centre left – though, as you say, some of those with a position in the party are prepared to defend the indefensible.
    And the party leadership is detached in a disgraceful way. Weird!

    Surely this cannot continue? – something has to give out.
    Perhaps things will look clearer once the AV referendum is out of the way?
    Oh, and there’s the local election results to come in May. hmm.

    * Off Topic *
    Yes, Jane, I do like your blogs. I’ve bookmarked your site in my favourites and intend reading through some of the more recent blogs. Your writings remind me I’m not alone in my outlook, and help me retain my sanity, lol.

    I read the blogs of other writers, too, and particularly like Owen Jones and Adam Ramsay (I assume you will know the latter if not the former).

    1. Np, thanks for commenting and replying yourself!

      Yes, it’s hard to work out. I would personally say there are some left libdems but most will have left. But then, the anti-Labour factor does have a part, many wont want to join Labour (I was one of them). But the Greens are like a radical version of the LibDems, so they are definitely a choice! Or working within Labour to reform it is an option.

      Yes, maybe the spring conference was also a realisation that they are doomed if they don’t reform; but i think even with reform they are doomed lol!

      And who knows, but every time they experience a defeat or a protest they seem to find some way to excuse it!

      And thanks, I am glad you bookmark my blogs and they are useful in some way:)! Let me know what you think about some of my other blogs!

      Yes, I know of both of those writers; I have only just recently heard of Owen Jones though! But both, good writers:).

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