My own personal blog. UNISON National Convenor & London Regional Council Officer & Chair of its Labour Link, Newham Councillor for West Ham Ward, Vice Chair of Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Pension trustee, Housing & Safety Practitioner. Centre left and proud member of Labour movement family. Strictly no trolls please.
So Nick Clegg makes a pledge, never expecting to be in government, finds himself there due to being in coalition with the Tories he has to break it. rewind 15 years - Tony Blair Labour had "no intention" of bring in tuition fees. Unlike Mr Clegg he wasn't shakled by the Tories he had a majority of 179 & what did he do - he introduced tuition fees. fast forward to 2001 Mr Blair pledged in his manifesto not to introduce top up fees - whoops in 2004 he did oh and his majority 166. So Clegg joins coalition breaks pledge due to the Tories. Blair makes pledges - no coalition required with majorities of 179 and 166 he just broke his pledges - still imagine all the lies he would of told if he'd had to rely on the Tories - oh yes he did once the invasion of Iraq
You’ve picked the wrong person to defend everything that Tony Blair did but apart from some quibbles about pledges and time lines I accept there is some merit in what you say.
Not sure about the "never expecting to be in government" bit? with opinion polls neck and neck at the time that would seem pretty unlikely.
I also understand that in any coalition (or majority government) you have to make compromises.
But...what really, really sticks in the throat about Clegg's direct public "promise" to young people over tuition fees is the charge of hypocrisy over all his pre-election claims of being different from the same old "tired politics" of the past. He's not. He has nobody but himself to blame for this and has to take the consequences.
While apologies and humility from any Politician’s is good. He deserves everything he currently gets - and I don’t think people will forget or forgive.
But people re-elected Labour despite it's broken promises over tuition fees again and again, so why not Clegg and the Lib Dems?
One possibility is that the next election could produce a Labour/Lib-Dem coalition and it will be interesting to see if Clegg is got rid of to make that happen.
The breaking of the Lib Dem pledge has reinforced the view for some that politicians cannot be trusted. We have always known that of the Tories, Blair turned the Labour Party into liars and now the Lib Dems are exposed.
The standard response is that the new leaders are different but the new generation of politicians at both national and local level are the sum product of the style and behaviour of those that went before, and it will take a long time to change the new nature of British poliics.
I'm with you John. Clegg has apparently caught the vibe for politicians apologising. The best of recent times was probably Australian (Labor) PM Kevin Rudd apologising for the Aboriginal stolen generation. To be fair Cameron made a fair stab at Bloody Sunday and wasn't that bad on Hillsborough. But when Clegg does it he doesn't need parodies because he already seems like a parody. He lacks gravitas, he lacks credibility, and I suspect he's not long for that job.
I don't accept that the Labour Party has been turned into "liars" but would agree that in the past presentation sometimes triumphed over content.
I actually thought that Cameron got it right over Bloody Sunday and Hillsborough.
Interestingly on “Today” yesterday BBC reporter Nick Robinson stated that the LibDems did not even mention tuition fees at all during the coalition negotiations in 2010. It just wasn’t important to them.
My real problem with Clegg is political. He is a fiscal conservative (small c) and has allied himself to the Tories in their ideological attempt to deal with the deficit by austerity measures which are driving our economy into the toilet.
I’d much rather he apologised for his economic policy and then did something about it.
remember "no more broken promises".
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