Thursday 7 April 2011
Clegg Unto The Breach
Nick Clegg and his loyal band within the Liberal Democrat party at present are taking heavy fire from all sides and it seems that some may be lost to political history. He and they are beginning to look like The Forlorn Hope of old military engagements, a group of men sent in first or to undertake some exceptionally dangerous duty.
My problem with the Liberal Democrat’s is that as whole hearted supporters of the EU this is wholly inconsistent with any reasonable definition of “democracy” and their passion for intervention, regulation and general nannying is anything but “liberal”.
To put my prejudices to one side, their situation is that after the election last year they were given an ugly choice. One was to join Brown and his bully boys and girls in their quest to destroy the life, culture and prosperity of the UK in the pursuit of personal gain.
The other was to join a bunch of smoothies who already had cash in hand in a new (well, not quite new) vision of a nation made for freeloaders. The hope was that they would be able to put enough bits of their own policy into the new administration to maintain their popular support in the hope of future gains.
We have forgotten that having help to cause the world financial crisis, New Labour, when it realised that in 2010 it would be out of power then concentrated their efforts at handing over the functions of government to agencies headed up by their own people, wild spending plans and legislation designed to booby trap and damage any real policy initiative or progress of their successors.
So the difficulties of the Lib Dem’s at present are not down so much as to their own actions and policies nor to the inevitable errors made by a new government or a civil service rebuilt on the New Labour model, that is incompetent, over complicated and designed to spend rather than manage. Anything will do and it must be good if the figures are big enough.
A major problem is that things are not getting any better in the world outside and beginning to impact adversely. The government, still hamstrung by the past, is struggling to make progress and not helped by the Prime Minster’s ducking and diving. Worse, is that the complexity and sheer scale of the problems has begun to defeat them.
As for any serious debate about most of the issues it is no good looking to the media or to any “expert” group. The former has retreated into “story of the day” to the exclusion of everything else. The latter are still working on dogmas, data and detail that is out of date and wholly misleading. Nobody seems to have a grasp of the overall picture and few can say anything sensible.
During the summer Parliament will be absent more than it is present and will have little to say or do when it does meet. We seem to be in a position when the breach in the wall that we are attacking will need to be taken and the government do not seem to know how to do it. Neither Clegg’s Forlorn Hope nor the Tory Lightweight Infantry behind them seem to be up to the job.
Apparently the French equivalent for a Forlorn Hope was known as Les Enfants Perdus, The Lost Children.