The worst way we could ever find out about how much the Lib Dems influence this Government

So, the conventional wisdom in some parts these days is that we Liberal Democrats have abandoned our principles and turned into Tories overnight.

Except the Tories don’t think so. Tim Montgomerie, editor of  Conservative Home, laments that  “with every passing day the Liberal Democrats are dragging the Coalition further away from the Conservative manifesto” .

Sarah Teather is cited as one of the greatest offenders:

The Lib Dems are resisting nearly all pro-family measures. Sarah Teather within Michael Gove’s department is the leading obstacle. Sadly Mr Gove has become her leading defender and a leading opponent of another department taking over family policy; reversing his pre-election position that his department should focus only on education.

Well, I won’t be complaining about that one.

And he’s not too happy about all the green stuff we’re responsible for – and has some praise for Chris Huhne:

 Reducing Britain’s carbon footprint is the lowest priority of the new generation of Conservative MPs but the arithmetic of the Coalition has tipped the balance in favour of unilateral action on global warming. Huhne may be unpopular with Tory activists but I’d suggest he was one of the government’s most effective ministers.

He talks about how we’ve thwarted their disastrous NHS reforms with the possibility of more to come.

 This is a process that isn’t over yet. Baroness Shirley Williams and other members of the Lords may yet further dilute Andrew Lansley’s reforms.

Go, Shirley, is all I can say.

And, my favourite bit on how we’ve stopped them in their tracks on immigration.

 the Coalition is unlikely to fulfil Cameron’s promise to reduce net immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. At every turn the Lib Dems have frustrated Damian Green and Theresa May’s efforts.

 Ending child detention is a big thing for me, and we’ve certainly done loads on stopping their stupid immigration targets, but I don’t want you to think that this Government in any way has a humane and decent immigration policy. The UK Borders Agency still treats people unfairly and administers a system that is illiberal and just plain wrong doing things like this. I want to see us doing more on this.

To top it all, the Spectator are having a wee cry into their beer about how Nick Clegg is responsible for steering the coalition away from watering down human rights laws.

Clegg has played an adept hand to frustrate the Tories so far. Now he has made a statement of intent with a great pail of yellow paint.

Every single Liberal Democrat campaign should be making sure local people know that there is a fair amount of unease in the Tory party about how we are stopping them doing their worst. We have to win this argument. The dangers if we do not are huge. If the Tories manage to get an overall majority at the next election, they will be in a position to do what they like. Let’s not find out the hard way what they would be like on their own.

About caronlindsay

Scottish Lib Dem internationalist, mum, LGBT+ ally, Doctor Who, Strictly, F1 and trashy tv addict and blogger. Servant to two spaniels. She/her.
This entry was posted in Coalition Government, Nick Clegg. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The worst way we could ever find out about how much the Lib Dems influence this Government

  1. tris says:

    I don't think anyone would say that they haven't had some influence, Caron. I certainly wouldn't.

    Given that the right wing of the Tory party would take away almost all rights from anyone who isn't aristocratic or who has less then £5 million, Clegg's interventions are a good thing.

    But they can't take credit for all the non-hard right policies. One of the facts that Anne Widdecombe was laughing at the other day is that Cameron can't get a majority of his OWN MPs to vote for the repeal of hunting with hounds in England amongst otehr things.

    His A-list of candidates, from which so many of the new intake came, are rather less old school Tory than even he wanted. Hoist by his own petard, as it were, because it was he who wanted them that way, in order to ameliorate the vile image that Tories have in parts of the UK, and to encourage some ordinary people to vote for them.

    However, Clegg has clearly agreed with policies to reduce pensioners' winter payments, increase students' fees, reduce housing benefits, allow Atos to cause misery across a wide range of chronically and even terminally ill benefit claimants, to save money so that the painfully rich can continue to live in paradise. He has also promoted Cameron's Big Society nonsense, which a ruse to get volunteers to do what the state should be doing…etc, etc.

    As a Scottish Nationalist with no particular green inclinations, I used to take the Liberals very seriously. They would have been my second choice, probably first choice if they hadn't been wedded to mother England. Now I equate Clegg's actions to Alex Salmond accepting a seat in the English House of Lords and taking £300 a day for doing sod all.


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