Tuesday, 26 February 2008

In his own words - what not holding a referendum would mean

It appears Nick Clegg's use of the Ming dodge for breaking his manifesto promise of the referendum for the Lisbon treaty constitution unravels when check what he's said on the record before the last election.

"The real reason, of course, why the government does not want to hold a referendum is the fear that it may lose ... Nothing will do more damage to the pro-European movement than giving room to the suspicion that we have something to hide, that we do not have the 'cojones' to carry out our argument to the people."

Hat tip to Conservative home - who are themselves quoting a Guardian Comment is free article by Niel O'Brien.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Nick Clegg supports racism in candidate selection

From the horse's mouth so to speak: -

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg
has written to Keith Vaz supporting his 10 Minute Rule Bill to allow for the creation of shortlists on the grounds of ethnicity in the selection of parliamentary candidates.

He has also said that the Liberal Democrats may have to consider all-minority shortlists in the future if the party cannot increase the number of MPs from ethnic minorities.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said:

"We need urgent action to tackle the woeful under-representation of Britain’s ethnic minorities in Parliament. All political parties are letting Britain down. If we want to represent modern Britain, modern Britain must be represented in us.

"Legislating to allow all-minority shortlists is a crucial step, which should be used as a backstop to force parties to act now. We can no longer tolerate a political system that does not represent Britain as a whole.

"The Liberal Democrats have taken a number of steps to boost ethnic representation in our ranks: the creation of a diversity fund; the employment of dedicated staff to increase candidate diversity; and plans to establish a Leadership Academy to give targeted assistance to candidates. But we need to go further, faster.

"That is why I believe, if existing and planned resources fail to make the difference in the coming years, the Liberal Democrats will be duty bound to consider using the powers in this proposed Bill."

Of course what Clegg is proposing is illegal currently under English law and would be blocked by European law. So this is the usual cynicism then.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Lib Dems may support Conservative Govt.

Nick Clegg is taking his liberal principles to their logical conclusion and speculating about supporting a Conservative government.

The problem will be the two parties members - who spend most of their time opposing each other. The campaigning style and tactics of the Lib Dems are especially despised by the Tories ( and Labour for that matter ) and the Lib Dems often present themselves as an alternative party of the left.

Sparks are likely to fly.

Update: And here they are:

"A senior Liberal Democrat MP warned that Mr Clegg's move could split the party. He said: "I am pretty annoyed, to put it mildly. He hasn't discussed this within the parliamentary party. It would take some swallowing for the majority. We knew he was going to be like this. We knew he would be a maverick putting forward frankly right-wing ideas. There are a very significant number of centre-Left politicians who would find it totally unacceptable."" - Quoted in the Daily Mail ( From Conservative home ).

I suspect the truth is many Lib Dems thought they were only ever in politics to govern with Labour at the national level. The dynamics of this are going to be intresting.

Nick Clegg is perhaps trying to avoid the mess they made in the Scottish and Welsh devolved governments by just being Labour's hired help. But it won't go down well with the yellow groupies.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Nick Clegg facing his Maastricht ?

Apparently some Lib Dem MPs think you can just dump manifesto promises because your leader tells you to.

About half Lib Dem MPs are considering rebellion.

I wonder if Nick Clegg ever took a oath of loyalty to the EU when he worked there as a civil servant - though as a atheist he should have no problem breaking his word since his views have no moral foundations. ( It is fundamentally impossible for an Atheist not to have variable views and morals since they are by definition in possession of partial truths and not reliant of any firm doctrine.)