Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Post#147 Nick the Giant Killer (Anastasia speaks on Nick Clegg)

Do the boys and girls in Oz get news of the current political jinks in England? Here is my personal assessment of the most recent episode in our national soap opera. :-)

The British people like an underdog; they always have. We warm to the little person, the abject outsider, something foreigners will never understand about us. Who but the British would have taken a failure, an embarrassing failure, like Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards to their hearts? He’s a joke, yes, but he is our joke!

Now he’s joined by another; he’s joined by Nick Clegg, the little man, the underdog and –dare I say it? – the colourless mediocrity. Still, he has new admirers after he appeared as Jack the Giant Killer in the recent telly debate. I didn’t watch the whole thing, merely edited highlights, so I’m not really in a position to comment on all aspects of his performance as a debater.

I attend debates in the Union, though, and often vote for a motion that I happen to disagree with because I was impressed by the skill of a particular speaker. There is no harm in that. But the government of this country is a much more serious matter than a Union debate. If people are to be swayed by the ‘Mark Anthony factor’ they really do need to stop and think, think not about the man but the ideas. And the ideas embraced by Clegg and his party are, in my estimation at least, a real danger to this country.

I’ll come on to this in a moment, First let me say a word or two about the debate itself, the dynamics of this futile exercise. I think it’s worth reminding people that we do not have a presidential system in this country: we vote for the party, not the leader. In the circumstances of this gladiatorial contest Clegg, no matter what, was bound to have come out at an advantage.

The reasons for this are simple: people are still alienated from mainstream politics in the hangover from the expenses scandal, so the outsider was always a favoured bet over the chief contenders. That he spoke well merely added to this advantage. That Gordon Brown took on the part of Uriah Heep, ever so ‘umbly trying to ingratiate himself with Clegg added to it still further. This was the worst part of all, the part that made me cringe with embarrassment, the way in which the haggard, tired-looking Prime Minister tried to flirt with the Corporal – “I agree with Nick; Nick agrees with me.” The man is obviously so desperate to hang on to power, no matter what it costs. A deal with the Liberal Democrats offers him one way of doing this.

I am convinced, no matter how much Clegg denies it, that a hung Parliament will mean a Lib-Lab pact; that a hung Parliament will mean ‘voting reform’, which essentially means tinkering with our political system to the permanent advantage of the Liberal Democrats; means that we will never have strong and stable government again; means that we will bring back to permanent power a party that last won an election a hundred years ago. Now is the time for those swayed by the Clegg factor to look long and hard at just exactly what he and his muddle-headed party represent.

So you want to vote for the Liberal Democrats? I take it, then, that you are in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament, joining the Eurozone, becoming part of a European super state, removing the right of this country to opt out of European regulations on justice and home affairs, granting citizenship to illegal immigrants, an increase in air passenger duty to levels that would make travels by ordinary people all but impossible, committing the country to a green energy policy that would effectively mean a return to a pre-industrial economy, and a property tax, supposedly on the ‘wealthy’, but one that would inevitably be extended downwards as a Lib-Lab government shrunk the economy of Britain?

If we are unable to make up our minds in a decisive fashion on 7 May that’s what we will get, at least to some degree, as Brown and Clegg haggle over the distribution of power and the price of office. Vote Liberal Democrat by all means, vote for the suicide of this nation.

All great fun. :-))


Michael said...

Electoral reform could be as simple as introducing preferential voting. That's a fairer system than first past the post in deciding an electoral contest between left and right.

Anastasia F-B said...

The trouble is, Michael, any kind of 'electoral reform' is almost bound to secure the permanent domination of British politics by a flabby centre alliance.

Retarius said...

I don't like anything I see about the UK system, actually. No house of review, 5-year terms, voluntary balloting..four years is bad enough. I'd dread having to choose which of your current choices should have five whole bloody years!

Anastasia F-B said...

I feel sure your system must be better. It certainly can't be worse!