Crafty Nick-head merks whole country

I read the news today, oh boy.  10,000 holes in Cleggs integrity… and though the holes weren’t very small, I couldn’t count them all…  Now we know how many holes it takes to get him in whitehaaall.  In a week when students were said to be childish, unprofessional and ungrateful, riotous arsonists, the only fumes they’re choking on are those from the smoke of Nick Clegg’s pants on fire.

The Guardian has published news that the liberal democrats had, pre-election, decided that their party-wide, lifelong, democratically endorsed pledge toward free higher education funding was not only destined for the scrap-heap, but an easy sacrificial lamb.

All in secret, this was spearheaded by Nick Clegg, who in video after video stated that the liberal democrats would never, ever, ever break their promises to the electorate – it was after all a time for a new frontier of honest politics and responsibilities to democratic election shouldered with pride; even if uncomfortable.   He would take the strain like Atlas, carrying the world on his shoulders for us all – a man to unite the people, a shining example of hope for the hopeless.

After making these secret agreements to break the pledge against fees one particular video, in retrospect, makes me feel furious bile urge its way throughout my entire system.  He sent a personal video to the NUS conference, outlining how damning and disgusting the idea of raising fees was.  To the crowd in attendance this was the equivalent of Gandalf smacking his staff on the ground and bellowing “NONE SHALL PASS!” at the pro-fees posse.

Clegg clenches his teeth for a photo before running off to the loo to wipe his botty on a pledge he never intended to keep

Picture the scene: a hush falls over 1000+ students – representing 7,000,000 – eager to see if one political leader in a generation would have the guts to say “hey you know what, for once we’re going to be on YOUR side”… and he did.  Imagine the elation and hope.  Probably the lib-dem best ever recruitment day.  What they didn’t know is that he had his fingers crossed, like one of the snivelling bullies at school that swear blind they’ve not seen your pencil case, when in fact they’ve pissed in it and put it in the bag of the girl you fancy.  I imagine.

How DARE someone take place amongst those who are supposed to be devoted to this country and its people who doesn’t believe in the latter, or indeed patronises them so much as to send videos of himself to their kids and future graduates promising them sweeties when he’s actually going to feed them a shit sandwich.

How DARE he parade around University campuses willy-nilly garnering the trust of those who aren’t so used to government betrayal and will now no longer trust a politician for a very long time – if at all?  Those record figures for young turn-out are long gone now.

Lastly, how DARE he keep a straight face and lecture in Parliament on Wednesday about Phil Woolas lying to his electorate, when he put not only himself but his ENTIRE PARTY into exactly the same hot seat(s)?? No wonder he stammered a bit, it must be hard to gargle the bullshit whilst you’re shafting the nation.

I believe in democracy, I believe in accountability and most of all I believe that we need to be able to remove MP’s who have not only lied, but conscientiously made an effort to lie and withheld their policy from us to steal election seats from other people.  Time to get this Machiavellian monstrosity out of our lives, using the right to recall.

So Nick, now that we all know you’re a cheat and confidence trickster, how are you going to lie your way out of this sticky situation?  If the right to recall policy doesn’t go through Parliament because of last-ditch attempts to save yourself from an absolute rinseout next election, you’re in serious trouble.  Talk about your catch 22.

With some reservation I ask: could it bring down Government?

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About jcwcox

I'm a current student of Exeter University, studying Philosophy and Politics part-time at distance. I used to be heavily involved with the student movement and still dip my toe in, having been a sabbatical officer for 2 years and then on the NUS NEC. I am a member of no political party, and am currently looking for a job in the third or public sectors. View all posts by jcwcox

7 responses to “Crafty Nick-head merks whole country

  • tom reid

    Perhaps it’s Clegg’s acceptance that the very principled, unbending approach to politics that the Lib Dems have held so dear for years on end is invaribly completely impractical and that having agreed to share power with the Conservatives and finding a ruinous set of accounts greater than was expected by anyone, it is this (granted – fairly substantial) change in policy that is the only way the Lib Dems can ever be in power.

    Mindlessly standing by one’s principles is all very good but when they are completely impractical and unachievable compromise is needed.

    Surely the question to ask is – in an ideal world would Nick Clegg like to abolish tuition fees? Most probably yes. Is this feasible. No. Has he all along intended to make a complete u-turn? Who knows. All that is certain is that no one could believe that state of finances found after the last election and that it became immediately apparent that abolishing tuition fees, however desirable, was a non-starter.

    • jcwcox

      I take your points Tom, but in actual fact this blog post isn’t completely surrounding the ideals of tuition fees, though of course it’s a major slab of evidence that I am citing. It is in fact the total disregard for the electorate, democracy, commonly held beliefs in accountability as well as demanding that there be consequences to those who have been caught out.

      Say what you like about the other parties, however I’m astonished by the sheer duplicitous nature of releasing videos and propaganda stating that fees would never be increased under a liberal democrat government – and more importantly that individual liberal democrats would never support them. That is a coalition proof promise right there, and, as Alan stated, what kind of opposition are they to suddenly stumble across the inadequacies of their policy after election?

      Actually that last point is moot as they had already conceded in secret that they couldn’t achieve what they said they would – and said it anyway. No two ways about it, that’s shameful.

  • Alan Roberts

    Believe it or not, I don’t like to be party political in these affairs, I’m much more a fan of debating policy and solutions.
    However, in this case, it is a case that the targets should feel the lash – the profile of insincerity and misleading promises is such that it would be immoral of US as the electorate to NOT do this.
    Add to this the excuse for having to break their pledges- that in opposition they never knew the scale of deficit we faced. What kind of opposition party do we have here? Don’t make bold promises if you don’t know half the facts. Don’t lie to first time voters on the issues they care about only to simply turn your back! My friends in Liberal Youth are there because they believe in the Liberal Democrats. Many spend a lot of their time devoted to their party, recruiting, debating. Many must feel aggreived by this u-turn, as Clegg’s deceit reflects on them.

    Thankfully Tim Farron was elected President of the party and, like an increasing number of LibDems, intends to keep their pledge. We must also ensure that those in the Labour and Tory Parties honour their pledges also, or they too will face #rightorecall

    • jcwcox

      Couldn’t agree more alan and I’m glad you are commenting on here, it helps greatly. As for the liberal youth I do feel sorry for them. As I said above, this is probably the end of young voter turn-out for a while.

      Tim Farron could be a good catch, but then what basis do we have for judgement of previous liberal democrat leaders? Gutted for him.

      I think you’re right to point out the moral imperative of right to recall and I would argue that this is possibly the most important type of protest we will use, due to it’s efficacy and use of the system – combining serious consequences with legitemacy doesn’t really tend to happen around here does it?

  • atheistD

    Probably the only reason he signed these pledges is the fact he never thought himself electable. It is easy to pander and say the “right” things when you have no shot at power.

    “With some reservation I ask: could it bring down Government?”
    No John, the only thing that will bring down the beast is refusal to pay taxes and widespread disengagement with the system.

    You continued to defend democracy, but what you have here is the democracy you are so keen to fight for. It will never change. Even the right to recall will do little for that. As long as people vote away their right to rule their own lives we will all be servants of the state and beholden to its whims.

    • jcwcox

      Hmm I can’t presume to know what Nick Clegg was thinking in the run up to election, but as Alan says: recruiting thousands of campaigners, putting livlihoods into the melting pot for an election campaign and spending millions on the process indicate to me he thought he at least had a chance at winning. Couple this with the pre-election hype about how well the Liberal Democrats were doing and you’ve got a very real chance that this particular politician was naive enough to believe his backdoor antics would never reach the light of day.

      I suppose the democracy I’m fighting for isn’t particularly the democracy we currently find ourselves governed by, but the ideal of democratic rule in it’s essential form – that of voters being convinced of the efficacy of their representatives by a hopefully well meaning manifesto and policy line-up.

      X-factor and popularity politics aside, that ideal (see video above) was what the Liberal Democrats crowed about as their largest and most impressive moral foundation – the staggering failure of which is an unwelcome sight to behold.

      Also, you hint at a disappointment: “As long as people vote away their right to rule their own lives”, not meaning to sound too stubbornly in defence of a system that is given to this kind of flaw – what else could we have that removes said flaw?

  • tapping

    Persuading people to engage in democratic processes is really, really difficult. This will stay in the minds of all of those first-time voters that we cajoled into voting last May for a long time to come. Will it play on their mind in such a way that inspires them to engage even further with Politics? Enrage them enough to become that in which they have no faith in order to change it from the inside? Doubtful.

    I don’t want to patronise people who don’t vote. Most of the time it’s not because they “don’t understand how it will affect them” or that they are lazy. It’s because Politics has become a Punch and Judy experience. My experience is only recent, maybe it’s always been this way, but watching Clegg cheer cuts – watching anyone cheer cuts for that matter – doesn’t fill me with any sort of inspiration to engage in Politics.

    It’s hard to pick a party, and I admire people that can pick one and stick to it, even if it is sometimes misguided.

    But what for the future of politics? Will this breed a more practical approach to being in opposition? One where the country’s finances are open and public and used appropriately when making decisions about what policies Parties propose? Will it create a House of Commons filled with people who have experience of what it really means to be a ‘normal person’, who are honest and have foresight and conviction and resolve? Or will it remain filled with those who went to nice schools, in nice areas, who went to good universities and never worked a day in their life (being a sabb doesn’t count)? Probably the latter. But Politics today has no room for the good kind of politician. Parties make up economic and complicated excuses – faaar too complicated for us pesky peasants to ever understand at any rate – about why they can’t keep their promises, why they can’t listen to the million people outside their window screaming into oblivion. And then they make it seem as if they had no choice. As if someone or something somewhere that they did not see coming – that no peasant such as you or I could ever have seen coming. It all seems very unpredictable, unsafe, normal people don’t feel clever enough to get involved – like we could never be intelligent enough to understand or foresee the obstacles ahead. And that is comfy for them.

    Realistically, the things they are talking about are you, and me, and other people and other things that we use, things that we encounter, things that we worry about. We’re intelligent enough to make decisions about those things, but for some reason we rely on certain people in society to tell us the truth about those things so that we can use that to make a decision. If we can’t even rely on those people to tell us the truth – or worse still – to respect our opinion and intelligence enough to warrant being told the whole story. Then how can we expect any of those normal people that we want to see in parliament because they’re so kind and honest and thoughtful to ever get there?

    The answer is that we need to stop worrying about what the politicians are saying now, and concentrate on making sure that the next generation don’t even get the chance to be duped by a Party – don’t get the chance to be lured into finger pointed and punch and Judy politics by the people they look up to. We need the next generation to be able to start from scratch, to be engaged from the word go. Not just voters, but politicians, civil servants, no lies, no gimmicks, just facts, just solutions. But I guess one things for sure – that wont happen if there’s no state for them to engage with in the first place. Why would we want to inheret a rotten system? Because that’s what we’ve got and we need to work with it.

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