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New Government – Week 1

May 16, 2010

Well.  Quite extraordinary.  In the space of a week I have gone from totally horrified at the prospect of the coalition government, through gradually more confident that the decision has been taken for the right reasons (and in the context of the mother of cleft sticks), to proud with knobs on of the way that the Lib Dems under Nick Clegg’s leadership have handled the negotiations and have become part of the new Government.

Amazing to have read the number of Lib Dem manifesto commitments agreed to in the document produced by the negotiators which will be the policy framework for the new Government.

Wonderful to see Liberal Democrats in the Cabinet and in various junior ministerial roles.  Although, as Simon Hughes MP has rightly said, the new politics has failed to deliver a Cabinet which, in respect of social profiling, mirrors the country that it seeks to serve.  More must be done, and faster, to correct this.

I must say that I have received a number of pretty filthy emails about the Lib Dems having taken the position they have taken, but I come back to the same key points…  We are in the throes of one of the most serious financial crises in our history.  We Lib Dems had an obligation to opt for the most stable electoral outcome for the country.  What we have done is immeasurably better than the Tories being given free policy rein as a minority administration.

And as Charles Kennedy said in the Sunday Observer today, we must not let the Labour Party mischievously and with high opportunism castigate us for acting in the country’s interest (and in the context of the electoral numbers) when Labour so clearly opted for Opposition, to its own strategic ends.

The real progressives are the ones who will not sit by and let slip from their grasp the opportunity to legislate on behalf of the disadvantaged.  We Liberal Democrats will be the ones to make sure that the new coalition now holds fast to its social conscience.

I am fiercely proud of the party on the day it has undertaken its coalition conference in Birmingham; and where it backed Nick Clegg, and the coalition. 

We have fought an election to make Britain fairer.  Now we must take this fight into Government. 

We fail at our peril.


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  1. Afterthought permalink

    True words written, and in a spirit of truth. Well done.

  2. hi nick – sorry not been in touch but divorce is proving more time consuming than anticipated.

    regarding the fairer vote scheme, I absolutely agree – tactical voting, something even the media accept as a fundimental feature of the General Election, a practice that slips through voting boroughs every time, is not representative; its technically illegal – it defies the very essence of the freedom to vote.

    The BBC allegedly advise people in certain constiuancies to vote for a party they do not support, in the hope it may scupper the party they most oppose.
    Democracy Captain? Not as we know it.

    Meanwhile when I read your invitation for the public to pass comment on the current voting system, I thought I may raise the issue of the Magistrates Court. This self appointed quango, who’s qualifications may include membership of elitist Golf Club, and mandatory ownership of pertinent postcode or ride on mower, have the right to destroy lives. They travel in threes as a rule, incapable of making a finite decision unless the police tell them what to do, though have been known to get very excited when left unsupervised. If they preside over a non criminal matter, they become dangerous unleashed creatures, desperate to define their territory, knowingly unchecked. Their lack of knowledge of the law is no mystery, but their ability to dish out frivolous orders, which carry serious consequences if not fulfilled to their stated criteria, can and does destroy lives. Mainly the innocent. The creatures of mental inertia lurk in the shadows of the courts, often heard squeeling excitedly when released into the grounds to stretch their legs.
    The Magistrates Court may have many people with brains, but chances are they are in the back offices. The previously latent fossils, sporned from frustrated lives and self appointed power frenzies spring to life with a heady rush of legal injection; unfortuneately its not the death row version. The Magistrate as we know it should be shot, stuffed and later mounted in the Natural History Museum, allowing a complete reform of the Magistrates Court.
    Such a reform is long out of date and amidst unpopular downsizing of government departments, and spending freezes no longer exclusive to Iceland, nows the time to look at the Penal system.

    cheers, alli

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