Hey Ho, Hey Ho …
- The Guardian reports that the UK electorate is angry at politicians for being slippery, lying bstards. I think that politicians should be concerned at the level of hatred and subsequent non-participation. How can they claim a mandate or that representative democracy is working? (That’s putting aside for the moment that it is working for the filthy rich and disenfranchising the poor as is the intention and that representative democracy should perhaps be considered as only a pretence.)
- There are only four tax inspectors chasing the biggest tax evaders. Isn’t it obvious that it would be worthwhile investing in catching big tax evaders? “Labour pointed out that the four officials dedicated to the tax fugitives compares with the 450 HMRC staff involved in administering the withdrawal of child benefit from higher-rate taxpayers.”
Recovery ‘built on housing bubble and consumer debt. “… The recession was worsened because of a “massive build up” of household debt before 2008, and that is due to rise again to 160 per cent of income by 2018. It means the rapid growth could prove “unsustainable and bittersweet,” according to the Institute for Public Policy Research. …”
- Fascist blind old cnut David Blunkett says that satirical programmes should be more tightly controlled because they are “… damaging both to the political process and to [political] individuals.” Perhaps they should do away the comedy and satire and just call him a Fascist blind old cnut? Did you hear the one about the Conservative deputy prime minister who claimed at this years Liberal-Democrat conference that he had always been a Liberal? Who was that he worked for? Is that satire?
- Here’s another one. The Liberal-Democrats lie about their membership numbers.
- Chilcot Inquiry to have limited access to Bush-Blair documents. I wonder how that will affect Ed Milliband & Co.
How the Orange Bookers took over the Lib Dems
What Britain now has is a blue–orange coalition, with the little-known Orange Book forming the core of current Lib Dem political thinking. To understand how this disreputable arrangement has come about, we need to examine the philosophy laid out in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism, edited by David Laws (now the Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Paul Marshall. Particularly interesting are the contributions of the Lib Dems’ present leadership.
Published in 2004, the Orange Book marked the start of the slow decline of progressive values in the Lib Dems and the gradual abandonment of social market values. It also provided the ideological standpoint around which the party’s right wing was able to coalesce and begin their march to power in the Lib Dems. What is remarkable is the failure of former SDP and Labour elements to sound warning bells about the direction the party was taking. Former Labour ministers such as Shirley Williams and Tom McNally should be ashamed of their inaction.
Clegg and his Lib Dem supporters have much in common with David Cameron and his allies in their philosophical approach and with their social liberal solutions to society’s perceived ills. The Orange Book is predicated on an abiding belief in the free market’s ability to address issues such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government and prisons.
The Lib Dem leadership seems to sit very easily in the Tory-led coalition. This is an arranged marriage between partners of a similar background and belief. Even the Tory-Whig coalition of early 1780s, although its members were from the same class, at least had fundamental political differences. Now we see a Government made up of a single elite that has previously manifested itself as two separate political parties and which is divided more by subtle shades of opinion than any profound ideological difference.