Liberal’s to the Slaughter

Since the introduction of this Coalition Government, the Tory’s and their new lackeys, the Liberal Democrats, have been at pains to tell us this version of government will work and it will work for the good of the country. Listening to some of the Liberal Democrat party’s conference in Liverpool, it’s hard to see that happening.

There are fault lines in the coalition that may or may not be fixed. On electoral reform, trident, big government, schools and others the governing party’s are at odds.

Never in my lifetime has the government of the day been talking at odds with each other, and it’s not even a year old!

Prior to the election, Clegg, a minority leader thrust into the limelight by two party’s struggling to define themselves to the electorate, was advocating the same fiscal deficit reduction that Labour government was. Miraculously, once the ink was dry on his confirmation as Deputy Prime Minister, the shackles were off. The debt would be reduced at all costs’ and, as a consequence, thousands of public sector workers jobs are at risk. Pandering to a Tory Prime Minister started to become easier for a Liberal.

The vote against the Tory’s education plans proved the party won’t be cow-towed by its leaders at Westminster. Perhaps there is redemption there. But how many will have jumped ship before the inevitable parting of the ways happens?

The different approaches to electoral reform reveal a red line which both party’s won’t or can’t cross. The Liberal’s wanting the Alternative Vote (although not their preferred choice) and the Tory’s railing against it; yet another example of a government at odds with itself.

Clegg said he believed in big government. If he does, then what is he doing sat next to the man who wants to destroy big government? His message was that he wanted to pass power back down to the councils. Words spoken many times in the past but never quite fulfilled because that would give councils too much freedom and autonomy from the centre. Lose control of the local and the centre will inevitably follow.

His party are unconvinced by his assertion that he is doing the right thing. They’re following like lambs to the slaughter. This Liberal Democrat party is creaking at the seams. The response to his annual conference speech was evidence that the party is anything but supportive or really behind him. They must be gagging for the old days to return under Ming and Charlie, where opposition to the Tory’s was a given. Watching the speech you would never have guessed that this was their first leader in more than fifty years to be in government. The euphoria that should have been raging around this conference has been replaced by the proverbial damp squib. He looked more like a leader on borrowed time.

A Liberal Democrat leader pleading for his party to hold its nerve was a man desperate to convince. Normally these speeches are preached to the converted. Not this one.

He talked about both party’s having their own dimension and their own soul which made them intrinsically different and apart. But if he ties his party to the Tory mast, then the electorate won’t see them as different. Come the election, in one year or five, the voters will see the Liberal’s as Tory’s and the Tory’s as Liberal’s. They are one of the same, inextricably linked by a mutual need to grab power at all costs’.

How many times in the past has a Liberal leader showed his party speech to his Tory opposite before? My guess is never. This shows how much this Liberal is in thrall to his Tory master. Will he ever say anything that hasn’t been sanctioned by Cameron? One suspects not.

Clegg, Cable, Alexander and Huhne are but an iceberg away from their own titanic disaster and its one they’ve sailing into willingly. Their political obituaries are being written already.