The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It's Hard to Draw Red Lines With Your Snout Still in the Trough

Having stuck to their principles on so much else, the Deputy Conservatives are now arguing over whether to surrender over Europe. Nick Clegg, ever the middle-aged man in a hurry and still remarkably susceptible to the lure of a red box and a pinky-purple Daveybloke dimple, believes deeply and sincerely that the nation's interests would best be served by throwing his European principles overboard now, while presumably keeping agreement to a snoopers' charter in reserve for those bumpy bits at mid-term. Vince Cable, the left-wing firebrand who did so much for hard-pressed British taxpayers by selling Royal Mail from under them at mates' rates for Conservative donors, believes deeply and sincerely that the nation's interests would best be served by not being quite so uncompromising with the willingness to compromise. Britain's future in Europe remains reasonably important to the Deputy Conservatives, although it falls short of being red-line material because red lines in the wrong places lead to red boxes in the wrong hands; however, it remains to be seen whether Europe will turn out to be as unimportant as free education, parliamentary reform, indefinite dention of refugees, the protection of the poor and vulnerable, or preserving the NHS and the justice system.


  • At 1:09 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There used to be two fundamental beliefs of the LibDems (and of the liberals before them): electoral reform and Europe. Jeremy Thorpe refused to go into a coalition with Ted Heath because the latter wouldn't accept his thick bundle of proposals about electoral reform. This time there isn't a word from the LibDems about electoral reform, even though the electoral system is producing some weird results. Presumably the LibDems have made their peace with a system that allows them to be the junior party in any coalition government that comes along.

    And while they talk a lot about stability, they appear to be quite happy with a destabilising referendum on EU membership.

    Having said that they won't be part of a coalition that includes UKIP, I expect by Monday they'll think of a reason why they should be.


  • At 8:06 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    Well, quite. The "new politics" turned out to be much like the old, whereby the standard response to a decine in public support is to throw out every policy that might differentiate one party from the rest. Labour took twenty years to do the job; the Lib Dems managed it in a tenth of the time.


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