The Curmudgeon


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cleggy in the Middle

And after all he's done for them. Nine whole percentage points in the polls and the Liberal Democrat rank and file have ignominiously slapped down their leadership's unreserved backing for Twizzler Lansley's demolition of the National Health Service, on the staggeringly naïve grounds that nothing of the kind is mentioned in the coalition agreement; and Shirley Williams has ordered Daveybloke's orange muffler to prepare his constitution for some nasty medicine and go back to his government for further instructions.

Presumably the long-term response will be to try and organise future Liberal Democrat conferences into the sort of balloon-and-bluster hybrids of corporate training day and Ku Klux Klan rally whereby the Labour and Conservative leaderships commune with their servitors. The MP for St Ives made a good start with a Blairite re-writing of history, claiming that William Beveridge, Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan were political blood-brothers to the likes of Wee Nicky and Vincent Cable. Clegg himself is to respond with his characteristic mix of forceful clarity and clarificatory forcibility: "We have our own label: Liberal," he will say, which is certainly true, just as Labour has its own label (viz. Labour) and attacks the working classes, and the Conservatives have their own label (viz. Conservative) and display no interest whatever in conserving anything at all, be it pensioners or the planet. "We are liberals and we own the freehold to the centre ground of British politics," Wee Nicky will continue, even as the Reverend Tony in the days before his ascension; and then Wee Nicky will continue yet further in the same vacuous vein: "Governing from the middle, for the middle", alarm clocks and all, and so forth. I can only hope that Wee Nicky wrote all this himself; to think of him handing over money to someone for churning it out would be almost too misanthropic an enterprise even for me.

In the immediate aftermath of his humiliation, Wee Nicky extruded his own personal interpretation of the coalition agreement, which called for an end to large-scale, top-down meddling with the NHS: "Yes to reform of the NHS", by which he presumably meant yes to large-scale, top-down meddling with the NHS. "But no to privatisation of the NHS". Well, I wonder what Wee Nicky could possibly have meant by that.


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