Posts Tagged 'Liberal Democrats'

Reversing the CO2 madness on energy – it can be done

It can be done, oh yes.

On Friday, Sean Carney writing on the Emerging Europe blog in the Wall Street Journal, explained that:

Support for the European Union’s climate and energy policy eroded further Friday as the Czech Republic became the latest member to denounce subsidies for clean but costly renewable energy and pledged to double down on its use of fossil fuels.

It followed Poland’s declaration that it would use its abundant domestic coal supplies for power generation rather than invest in costly renewable energy facilities. Spain abolished subsidies for photovoltaic power generation in July and the U.K.’s power markets regulator last month froze solar power subsidies for the rest of the year.

If renewables gave value for money and provided a reliable source of energy, this would not be happening.  But the reality is these subsidy sinkholes are good for nothing but making landowners and renewables companies a huge amount of money, robbed from taxpayers and ever rising costs passed on to energy customers.  But as Carney’s piece explains, there are other consequences to this ludicrous largesse:

The Czech Republic has seen a surge in renewable power production over the last four years due to rich cash payouts for investors in the sector. Since then public outrage over fast-rising power prices has forced politicians to put the brakes on subsidies. The payouts have been a drag on the economy, creating uncertainty on energy markets and preventing utilities from investing.

So Germany continues to build more coal fired power stations, the Czech Republic and Poland are reverting back to coal and economic reality bites in Spain.  Yet the UK has in Ed Davey a minister for Energy and Climate Change who bitterly opposed the UK’s freeze in power subsidies and is demanding we go further down the road to the renewables abyss by ramping up the amount of underperforming wind turbines for the sake of ideology.

Ed Davey is doing this irrespective of the possible harm to our energy security, the ever rising cost to taxpayers and consumers, and the fact our European neighbours are calling time on a shocking financial waste that has delivered nothing close to what was promised in return.  The EU is hamstrung, member states are rushing back for reliable and affordable energy sources, evidence that reversing the CO2 madness on energy can be done.

Yet despite this the British are being dragged into penury by a delusional idiot who is happy to squander other people’s money to satisfy his vanity and desperation to be seen as virtuous.  And while Davey picks our pockets to push his policy agenda and describes realist opponents in the Conservative Party as its stone age wing, without any sense of irony his Lib Dem socialist mate Vince Cable has the nerve to describe the Tories as the nasty party.  Satire is truly dead.

Will no one rid me of this turbulent Minister?

There seems to be no limit to Ed Davey’s capacity to press ahead ever more aggressively with the discredited, grossly expensive, unreliable and unpopular proliferation of wind turbines.  In the Telegraph we find coverage of a speech by Davey and some of his pre-speech comments.

They confirm him to be dangerously detached from reality, in possession of a disturbing quasi-religious obsession with wind power and impervious to all evidence that demonstrates his beloved wind turbines are far from value for money and simply do not serve the needs of the population.  His response to evidence of the shortcomings and inefficiency of wind power is tunnel-visioned inflexibility, and a propensity to lash out at those who highlight them.  It is like witnessing a recalcitrant child running amok in a man’s body.

Davey’s sole reaction is to revert to ad hominem attacks, which he has done with an assault on Owen Paterson, who commissioned a report on the impact of wind farms on the countryside.  Given Davey’s dogged devotion to advocating and encouraging the proliferation of yet more of these wasteful, subsidy-hungry machines, irony doesn’t come close to defining Davey’s whinge that Paterson’s report would be ‘partial’.  The rationale for this, the Telegraph explains, is that Davey doesn’t believe the report would ‘fit with Lib Dem ideology on wind farms’.

Never mind whether the report is accurate, or exposes yet more shortcomings and negatives of wind turbines, the Lib Dems have a worldview – and regardless how flawed or wrongheaded it is we have to suffer the consequences.  Consider these comments attributed to Davey:

Take the battles I fight over wind power.

Owen Paterson would cull wind turbines faster than he can cull badgers.

But we have prevented the stone age wing of the Conservative Party from destroying our leading renewables industry.

So it’s not about reliable ‘clean’ energy or climate change – the alarmist predictions about which are already being shown up as greatly exaggerated computer model hype.  It’s not about providing the energy people need in an affordable way.  It’s about partisan party politics and propping up an industry at vast public expense.  An industry that creates great wealth for landowners and renewables companies and ensures they get their lavish pay offs from our tax pounds and energy bill payments, regardless of how poorly the turbines perform or how little energy they actually produce.

The ‘stone age’ wing of the Conservative Party that objects to such outrageous waste and excessive cost, has been held off by the ‘recidivist thievery’ wing of the Liberal Democrats that views our money as their personal slush fund.

Those people who thought Chris Huhne was bad and breathed a sigh of relief when he resigned ahead of the courtroom exposure of his lies and contempt for the public, hadn’t bargained on the Lib Dems coughing up something even worse from their reservoir of objectionable and dangerously delusional ideologues.  But that’s exactly what they’ve done with Ed Davey.

Davey is dangerous and he has to go.  But neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg will act to remove him, as they share his belief system.  So the rest of us will continue to pay the price, in more ways than one.

A look back at Nick Clegg’s comments on energy

Whenever the reality of the UK’s dwindling energy generating capacity comes to the fore – as insane government policy on energy and the leftist fetish for wind power instead of coal starts to bite – it’s always worth reminding ourselves of the oh so valuable insight provided by Nick Clegg on this subject some years ago…

The Government has spooked everyone into thinking that we need nuclear by saying there’s going to be a terrible energy gap – the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.

There’s actually no evidence that’s the case at all. They’ve raised the wrong problem in order to push the wrong solution.

The real problem is that our energy mix is not green enough and we’re over-dependent on oil and gas from parts of the world that aren’t very reliable.

So it’s nothing to do with lack of reliable capacity and closure of coal-fired power stations, at a time when Germany is building more coal-fired plant to ensure adequate energy supplies, it’s just we don’t have a green-enough energy mix.  No, really…

Small wonder then that when the leader of the Lib Dems holds such ludicrous views, his party underling, Ed Davey, continues pushing the dash for wind and refuses to acknowledge we need new coal-fired plant alongside gas-fired stations and new generation nuclear capacity for our baseload power needs.

But perhaps it’s because the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are bought in to the eco-fascist sustainability mantra that instead of providing affordable energy and innovating to ensure we can continue to do so, people should instead be forced to pay much more in order to get less – namely reduce their energy consumption and pay ever higher costs for the energy they can use.  The same mantra is used to prevent new reservoirs being built to provide fresh water to homes.

Of common sense, there is no sign.

Vince Cable shows the effects of his nuclear option

Breaking news today that Autonomous Mind has been fortunate to enough to speak exclusively with Business Secretary Vince Cable about his ‘nuclear option‘ resignation options that could bring down the coalition government.

When asked, Mr Cable very kindly agreed to pose with a couple of journalists from the Barclay Brother Beano to show us what his ‘nuclear option’ would look like.

In other news, the controversial German anatomist who invented the technique for preserving biological tissue specimens called plastination, Professor Gunther von Hagens, has been spotted leaving Number 10 Downing Street.

We contacted the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman to ask if von Hagens was there in a last ditch attempt to preserve the coalition, but he didn’t comment.

David Laws’ return would be contempt of taxpayers

‘He was forced to resign as Chief Secretary to the Treasury over revelations about his expenses claims, but there was widespread sympathy for him at Westminster.’ That is the Daily Mail’s summary about the disgraced former Lib Dem minister, David Laws.

Just seven months after he had to resign for defrauding the taxpayer and lying about his personal circumstances over his expenses claims the political class is preparing to parachute David Laws back into a ministerial position as if he had done nothing wrong. It has been coming since the week he took his extended break from the front bench. There is no clearer example of the contempt in which the taxpaying public is held by the politicians in Westminster. There is no clearer example of the moral bankruptcy that permeates Westminster.

Where in the past dishonourable conduct and wrongdoing could have been expected to result in a shamefaced resignation from Parliament and a by-election, now it only attracts a short spell on the backbenches before a triumphant return to the trappings of power. It is seen as a minor inconvenience on a politician’s career path and the short suspension is merely a small and utterly resentful sop to the public. MPs think they are a special case. They have an arrogant sense of entitlement and convince themselves they are a special case and should live by rules that suit them.

In any other occupation David Laws would have been summarily sacked by his employer for knowingly claiming money to which he was not entitled and telling lies to make it appear his claim was within the rules. But in the Westminster bubble these pompous, overblown egomaniacs can do what they like and know there will be no consequences, or consequences so trivial they are not worthy of being applied.

£40,000 of taxpayers’ money was claimed fraudulently by David Laws. Regardless he kept his seat and MP’s salary and perks. Now it seems he will shortly get more money in salary and a ministerial car and have a degree of influence over people who have been honourable and not taken what is not theirs. It’s sick and it’s wrong.

It is time the Westminster swamp was drained and the parasites removed.

Those ‘invisible’ Lib Dem ministers

The Sunday Telegraph is telling readers that its survey shows Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are far less likely to be recognised by ordinary voters than their Conservative counterparts. The article goes on to say that “the findings will prompt renewed concern among both party activists and MPs who already fear that playing second fiddle to the Tories could rob the party of its distinct identity and lead to a loss of recognition.”

Big deal.  The real story here is that these ‘invisible’ ministers, such as Vince Cable (have you noticed how the BBC has reverted to calling him Dr Cable?) and Chris Huhne, are nevertheless having a corrosive effect on the country.

Cable wants a graduate tax where people who have worked hard for a degree could end up paying back much more than their degrees cost – just because they can and he thinks the state is entitled to everything we have.  He has ccontinued on a similar theme by loudly calling for greater redistribution of wealth, rather than grasping that people can become better off if they have the incentive of keeping more of what they earn.

Meanwhile Huhne is presiding over the disintegration of our energy generation capability.  He is firmly locked into an other-worldly fantasy where only wind turbines, inefficient and unreliable, are worthy of huge numbers of our tax pounds in subsidy, while proven and fundamentally essential nuclear power gets not one penny.

They may be invisible, but these MPs – hailing from an oddball party that is an electoral joke and was overwhelmingly rejected at the polls  – have a prominent and worrying role in government thanks to David Cameron.  They were needed on side in order for Cameron to achieve his personal ambition of becoming Prime Minister.  Cameron may have realised his goal, but it is we ordinary people who will suffer the consequences of the destructive idiocy of these Lib Dems.

Huhne affair signals end of Lib Dem moral superiority

Little more than five weeks since the formation of the coalition government a second Cabinet Minister is about to have his private life trawled over in the media as a result of his actions.

The political editor at the Sunday People is trailing tomorrow’s edition’s main headline, that the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, has left his wife for another woman.  That other woman seems to be Lib Dem Publicity Consultant, Carina Trimingham given that Huhne has been quoted by Nigel Nelson as saying:

“I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham”

It wasn’t fast work, as the People will reveal Chris Huhne has been cheating on his wife, Vicky, for over a year.

The news is certainly going to attract some publicity, so maybe it’s job done for Ms Trimingham, but it’s probably not the kind of publicity the morally superior Lib Dems would have wanted – especially after the David Laws affair.  It is probably not the kind of publicity Ms Trimingham’s other employers, Amnesty International and the Electoral Reform Society, want either.  That probably explains why her Twitter page (where in her few contributions she mainly retweeted Chris Huhne’s tweets) has been deleted and her Facebook page has been deactivated.

The emerging story has already been briefly picked over by ConservativeHome, with its co-editor Tim Montgomerie publishing an editorial seeking to tell readers how a grown up society should react to such events.  Tim refers readers back to a two-year-old editorial on his site that asked and answered the following questions:

Does a politician’s private life matter? Yes.

Should a questionable private life prevent a politician from achieving high office? No.

We agree on question one.  But there are obvious circumstances when a questionable private life should prevent a politician from achieving high office – and Chris Huhne’s apparent extramarital affair is an example of one.  Behaviour in politician’s private life that suggests he or she has a questionable character or a propensity to deceit or deception should preclude them from high office.  If the public cannot rely upon the politician to be honourable and truthful then that person has no place in government.

I have every sympathy for anyone whose relationship has broken down.  We are only human after all and sometimes things and people change.  But I have no sympathy for someone who remains in their relationship and establishes one with another person behind the back of their partner.  That is deceit, a lie, a betrayal of trust.  When a politician has the capacity to do that to the person closest to them they clearly have the capacity to be equally deceitful to an electorate of strangers.  Huhne has broken a trust and cannot be relied upon to be honest or honourable.  In short, he has no place in government.

The only surprise for some people is that in a government comprising Conservative and Lib Dem ministers, the dishonest and sleazy exposés  that have twice undermined it have concerned the minority Lib Dem partners.  Given the moral superiority frequently displayed by the Lib Dems, having two of their five cabinet members dragged over the coals for sleaze in the first six weeks of the administration’s life points to existence of hypocrisy of the highest order.

Perhaps now the Lib Dems have made it into the greenhouse they will stop throwing stones and portraying themselves as somehow more reliable than their political rivals.  As for Huhne, he should resign.  A man who casually lies and cheats in his personal life is more than capable of doing the same in his professional one.  This country deserves better.  After all the talk of a new politics let’s see it made real with the removal of an untrustworthy man from office.

Update: This might seem a minor story when set against issues such as Afghanistan, the economy and numerous other major topics.  But if this country is ever to move beyond political pygmies and to enjoy honest and responsible government, liars and cheats like Huhne need to be weeded out of positions of responsibility.

David Cameron is Prime Minister

But there is a more important story.  All across the media we are seeing reports that the Liberal Democrats have secured the position of coalition partner in a David Cameron administration.  The deal will apparently see six Lib Dems sitting in the Cabinet – more than 10% of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Party.  Nick Clegg, it is being reported, will become Deputy Prime Minister.

Consequently half a dozen Conservative Shadow Ministers have been sacrificed in order to accomodate the Lib Dems and make it possible for David Cameron to realise his ambition to become Prime Minister, at any cost.

It would be nothing more than a triumph of expediency.

If the rumours are true and Cameron’s negotiating team have engineered a full coalition with the Liberal Democrats, rather than a confidence and supply agreement, it could prove to be the biggest political error ever made by a Conservative Party leader. Climbing into bed with the most untrustworthy and deceitful of parties can only turn out badly. It demonstrates a startling lack of confidence and principle by the Conservatives to unite with a party that just 24 hours ago was courting their main rival as a potential suitor to see if there was a better offer on the table.  It is hardly the basis for an honest and genuine relationship.

There is likely to be an electoral cost for moving the Conservative Party even further to the left in order to seize control of 10 Downing Street.  The centre right of British politics has been completely vacated in the pursuit of power.  The new Prime Minister is a Conservative in name and membership, but he is not a conservative in word or deed.  As such, people who hoped for a conservative government to start the difficult and painful work of putting right the damage that has been inflicted on this country over 13 years of Labour administration, are about to discover that they will not get what they thought they would.

While feeling relief that Labour is now out of office, I can’t feel any enthusiasm for what is replacing them.  Now we sit back and look on as interested observers to see which of the issues that matter most to the voters will be allowed to register on the political radar under the Con-Lib coalition.  Will the core issue of the EU be detected?  Will genuine efforts be made to deal with the immigration?  Will the essential repairs to the economy begin immediately and with sufficient focus?  We wait and see.

But one prediction I make is that many grassroots Conservatives will be left disappointed by the extent of the dilution of conservative principles.  At some point, a new centre-right political entity will rise that is principled, democratic and courageous enough to talk to the issues that matter to voters,  offering a real alternative to the centre-ground consensus that gives solace to the political class.

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Northern Ireland parties back Lib-Lab pact in return for Celtgeld

The SNP in Scotland has already said it would work with Labour.  Plaid Cymru in Wales has worked with Labour before.  Now the DUP and SDLP in Northern Ireland have signalled they would side with a Lib-Lab pact on a case by case basis to ensure taxpayers’ money continues to flow into the province.  With Gordon Brown stepping aside, all the pieces are falling into place around Nick Clegg to prop up a new Labour Prime Minister. England, uniquely without its own national legislature, stands to suffer the consequences of this political stitch up.

It would be a broad, ramshackle coalition only made possible by tax pounds from England being poured into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as an ongoing bribe in return for votes in the House.  In centuries past the people of what is now England paid the Danegeld – an Anglo Saxon tax to buy off the Danish invaders.  Here in 2010 the Labour Party are preparing to pay a Celtgeld raised from English taxpayers to buy off the nationalist parties in the devolved countries to keep a Labour administration in office.

New politics and national interest indeed.

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Nick Clegg’s ‘new politics’

Students and newly registered voters, we were told, were flocking to vote because they were excited by the idea of the new politics Nick Clegg was offering.  Four days on from the election and the shape of that new politics has been laid bare for all to see.  We have not seen anything that is concerned with the national interest.  All that has been on display is the Lib Dems seeking to further their own agenda at any cost.

Despite being rejected by 74% of voters, Clegg is looking to impose his will on the political system and hold the country to ransom.  The real nasty party has revealed its double dealing true self in glorious technicolor.  So, do you like the ‘new politics’?  Do you agree with Nick?  Or do you now feel the new politics is worse than the old?  One thing is certain, Clegg has shown himself to be the two faced, hypocritical political chancer he accuses others of being.

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Gordon Brown to resign. Lib-Lab pact? England to be ruled by celtic coalition?

It is no surprise that the smallest and least supported of the three main parties, the Liberal Democrats, have conducted their negotiations with the Tories while keeping back channels open with Labour.  Despite having the smallest mandate of the three main parties, the Lib Dems are now the most powerful force in British politics because they hold an inordinate balance of power.

It has become clear that the blocker to a Liberal Democrat coalition with the Labour Party was Gordon Brown because the Lib Dems do not like him.  With Labour’s naked thirst for power uppermost in its considerations, the comrades in dark suits have successfully manoeuvred Brown out of the way to increase their appeal to the Lib Dems.  The Lib Dem ransom demand looks set to be paid.

The Conservative negotiation team that thought it held the best hand to win over the Lib Dems might find it has been playing a busted flush.  It might be about to find out just what a mistake it was to entertain the idea of a deal with the most treacherous and unprincipled bunch of politicians this country has to offer.  David Cameron could now find himself remaining leader of a huge opposition party.  The real danger is Britain’s economic outlook as any coalition including Labour will continue to increase the public debt at a time it needs to be dramatically reduced.  The real winner of this election would be the EU.

So what now?  The prospect of a Labour Prime Minister remaining in 10 Downing Street has dramatically increased.  The Lib Dems have held the country to ransom and will push the least popular agenda of the three main parties onto the business of the House, where a grateful but defeated Labour Party will vote them through as the price of keeping power.  There is a big question people should be asking now.  How do these political power games played out by the political class serve the interests of voters?

But the biggest question of all is this.  What would the Lib-Lab-SNP-PC coalition that’s being mooted mean for England?  The democratic deficit suffered by England due to it having no national legislature could dramatically widen into a chasm if such a coalition assumes power.  It would mean legislation is foisted upon England by a government comprised of Scottish and Welsh nationalists, possibly with the aid of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists.

If Clegg and Labour agree a pact, how will England’s voters – who thought they had defeated Labour – react to being led by another Labour Prime Minister and having legislation imposed on them by MPs from other countries?  One thing we can be sure of, while Cameron would have been bad for this country, a Clegg-Miliband/Balls/Harman axis will be an utter disaster.

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Wham, bam, no thanks Cam

As expected, it didn’t take long.  The reports of Conservative MPs issuing warnings to David Cameron not to make a deal with the Liberal Democrats without first consulting them are already surfacing. As the Mail claims, disgruntled backbenchers are voicing scepticism at Cameron’s plans for an agreement with Nick Clegg and have urged him to change his leadership style, complaining that key decisions are taken by a clique around the leader. Their complaints are somewhat hollow given that Cameron has long implemented a fundamentally undemocratic centralised and controlling approach.

The position the political parties now find themselves in is laughable. Having spent months telling us how very different they all are, the parties have now been forced to publicly tell each other just how much they have in common, as they seek to jockey for advantage in order to secure positions of power for themselves.

Despite spending weeks telling us how damaging the Lib Dem agenda was, to satisfy his lust for power and place in history by reaching 10 Downing Street, Cameron is now trying to claim the Conservatives and Lib Dems have a lot in common and could work together in a coalition government. From being unfit for office the Lib Dems are now being touted as worthy partners.  As a result the stench of hypocrisy wafts ever stronger across the country.  On his blog, Guido argues the Conservatives are right to suck up to the Lib Dems in the hope of realigning politics:

Now is an historic opportunity to reform politics for the better, to open up politics and government, to roll back an authoritarian state.  If the Tory right is too small minded to allow Cameron to do a deal with Clegg then they are as stupid as they are short-sighted.  This is an historic opportunity to realign politics along a liberal-conservative axis.  It is the chance to destroy the Labour Party as a party of government forever. If the price is real reform of the electoral system then that is a price well worth paying to free us from the economic destruction wrought time and time again, decade after decade, by a statist, big government Labour Party.

Guido’s got it badly wrong.  Neither party is of the classical liberal school of thought.  Both still have an authoritarian bent that is exhibited in modern liberal thought.  Aligning politics along the axis of these two parties as they currently stand will still result in statist big government.  It might neuter Labour, which would be no bad thing in itself, but it won’t result in a wholesale rolling back of the state or properly restore individual freedom and liberty for the ordinary citizen. It won’t result in a restoration of national sovereignty.

The country still requires a genuine and principled, centre-right, democratic conservative alternative that doesn’t just make passing reference to individual freedom and limited government, but will actually deliver it.  Any Conservative coalition with the Liberal Democrats will cement the vacuum that exists to the right of centre, a vacuum that is reinforced by the strictly limited appeal of UKIP.  The time has come for a Democratic Conservative alternative that talks to the issues that matter to voters and embodies a genuinely new politics, rather than the imitation, sham version offered by Cameron and Clegg.

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Lib Dems misrepresent the immigration 14 year rule

On The Politics Show moments ago Liberal Democrat, Ed Davey, defended that party’s proposed amnesty for people who have broken the law by entering Britain illegally or staying beyond the length of their visa conditions. He then went on to claim that both Labour and the Conservatives also support an amnesty for illegal immigrants, but just won’t talk about it.

Liberal Democrats stand out even from other politicians for their sheer disssembling deviousness, so it seems only proper to check their claim about other parties’ support for this so called 14 year rule.  The most up to date details of the 14 year rule can be found on the Migration Expert website, but what is clear is the rule is not inspired by party politics.  The site explains on Friday, 24 April 2009 that:

A person’s application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) on the basis of 14 years residence cannot be refused because he/she has lived in the UK ‘unlawfully’ or ‘worked unlawfully’, according to a recent decision by the Court of Appeal.

Moreover, even if someone has obtained false identity documents in order to obtain work where the person has no right to work, it should not be held against him/her.

The Home Office recognized that applicants under the rule, if they were to be successful, must be expected to have worked unlawfully for the majority of their time here. The Court said that the reasons for obtaining false identity documents should be carefully considered, i.e., if it is intended to commit financial fraud (which is serious) or merely to obtain work (which is less serious).

In this case, the applicant was a 50-year-old Bangladeshi national who arrived in the UK in 1991 on a visitor’s visa. In 2006, he applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK on the ground of 14-year long residence, relying on the Immigration Rules.

The rule in question provides that the requirements for ILR on the ground of long residence includes two main factors: the applicant must have lived in the UK for a continuous 14 year period, and, having regard to the public interest, there are no reasons why it would be undesirable for the applicant to be given ILR on the ground of long residence, taking into account his age, strength of connections in the UK and his personal history, amongst others.

The Court of Appeal interpreted the rule as specifically directed to people who had managed to stay in the UK for 14 years or more without lawful authority, and was, therefore, in effect an amnesty clause. This is because, in every such case, the nature of the applicant’s stay was unlawful and its extent was 14 years or more.

The Court of Appeal found that the whole purpose of the 14 year rule (by which illegal immigrants can eventually seek to legalise their status after 14 continuous years residence in the UK) would be undermined if too strict an approach was followed in relation to the public policy exemptions.

Clearly the issue is not as cut and dried as Ed Davey tries to make out.  It also explains why Davey said that until recently William Hague was apparently unaware of the rule.  In all honesty it is hard for somone to support something they are unaware of.  If the Liberal Democrats were honest they would not present this 14 year rule as if it was something debated in Parliament, voted upon and enshrined in legislation.  It wasn’t.  Instead, as you can see above, it is another example of judicial activism that, incredibly, sets aside the illegality of someone’s behaviour and seeks to reward them for having got away with a criminal act.  This is another example of judges writing the law rather than simply enforcing it and it underlines the emasculation of Parliament.

The Lib Dems have blatantly misrepresented the situation.  They claim that under the Conservatives while Michael Howard was Home Secretary, thousands of people were given official status, and describe that as effectively an amnesty.  Same also for Jack Straw under the Labour government.  But there is a big difference between those actions and what Nick Clegg is proposing.  Those people granted leave to remain had applied for asylum, failed, but were allowed to stay.  That is very different to people arriving here, staying off the immigration radar, entering the black economy and attempting to remain having made no attempt to regularise their status.  People applying for asylum are not the same as illegal immigrants.  They are not breaking the law if they arrive and follow due process, unless of course their claim is bogus and fallacious.

Granting failed asylum seekers leave to remain is, in my opinion, the wrong thing to do and should never have happened. But it is in no way an amnesty.  An amnesty is the forgiving of an illegal act and applying for asylum is not an illegal act.  What the Lib Dems are proposing is an amnesty in the true meaning of the word.  It is not about failed asylum seekers; it is targeted at illegal immigrants, people who made a conscious decision to stay here beyond their visa permission, or who came here for economic reasons and hope to benefit from their law breaking.  Yet again we see deliberate distortion and misrepresentation from the Liberal Democrats.

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Those media attacks on Nick Clegg

I’m all for Nick Clegg getting a metaphoric bloody nose and people campaigning strongly to prevent him gaining any sort of power, be it in a hung parliament or as, God forbid, Prime Minister.  But the concerted assault on Clegg today in some parts of the media are distasteful and some of them downright dishonest.  This is not mere robust scrutiny, it is a hatchet job.

Several days ago I published three posts on the Nick Clegg / Lib Dem approaches to the Euro, Energy and Immigration.  If you want to undermine a politician who has not broken the law, then you attack their policies and beliefs, as I did.  But some in the media have gone too far and is playing the man, not the ball – which is rich when you consider the lies, distortion and inaccuracies of which many media outlets are guilty.

Sure, the media is bored rigid by politicians who have taken the major issues of the table and are stitching up the future of this country in a fundamentally anti democratic way.  But instead of attacking that and pushing the policies to the fore in every edition, the media is going after personalities.

The politicians are largely to blame for bringing about this state of affairs, and a number of them have likely initiated this assault for their own ends, but it doesn’t make the media’s behaviour acceptable.

The people of this country deserve honest politics of real substance, grounded in a genuinely democratic framework.  We deserve proper scrutiny, not tabloid titlation and inneundo.  We are not served by lying politicians or a deceitful and vicious media.  And when both behave in this way neither go about their grubby business in my name.  If this is the new politics we keep hearing about, they can all shove it.

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Clegg’s EU puppetmasters excited by his rise

Labour and the Cameron Conservatives are bad enough when it comes to selling out to the EU.  But Nick Clegg would be by far the biggest EUphile toadying politico we have ever seen in Britain.  How long will it be before the ordinary British people who want power repatriated from Brussels but are leaning towards Nick Clegg realise he stands for the complete opposite of their wishes?  The EU loving is lapping it up:

‘Still, as Clegg rides high in the polls, Europe has a big beaming smile on its face – but it is doing its best to hide it, for fear that British voters spot it and punish Clegg accordingly.’

– Tony Barber, Financial Times’ Brusselsblog

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The Nick Clegg / Lib Dem approach to the Euro

With The Times reporting that Nick Clegg is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill – no, really – perhaps it’s a good time to focus on some of Clegg’s Liberal Democrat thinking, on issues that voters say is of importance to them.

Right from the very outset, the idea of Britain joining the Euro currency has been said by financial experts to be something that would pose a ‘special risk’ to the British economy.  It is the one-size-fits-all monetary policy that would be a disadvantage and pose a special risk to economic stability and control of money supply and inflation.

Nevertheless, Nick Clegg, the strongly pro federal EU fan and former MEP, is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Britain joining the Euro.  Despite very real weaknesses in the Euro and the loss to Britain of its ability to manage the economy in Britain’s interests if we scrapped the Pound, Clegg has said that ‘Joining the euro would “anchor” the UK economy and protect it from “dangerous” currency flows’.

When will Clegg and his political wife, Vince Cable, be straight with voters?  Clegg’s  ‘plague on both your houses’ attack on Labour and the Conservatives has proved popular.  But who can tell where Clegg stands with so many flip flops?  Firstly Clegg and Cable were completely in favour of joining the Euro (their real position).  Then in 2008 they saw the public didn’t like the idea and so declared the Euro was off their radar screen.

But since then Clegg has again been arguing that we should consider joining the Euro.  The Euro remains on their radar screen as their manifesto declares their belief that it is in Britain’s long-term interests to join the euro, but only after a referendum.  That might sound like a safe offer.  But as we’ve seen in the past, referendum offers aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

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The Nick Clegg / Lib Dem approach to energy

With The Times reporting that Nick Clegg is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill – no, really – perhaps it’s a good time to focus on some of Clegg’s Liberal Democrat thinking, on issues that voters say is of importance to them.

The people who produce the energy used in this country know how much energy is demanded by homes, businesses and transport and what state the nation’s generation capacity is in. In 2008 E.ON Chief Executive, Dr Paul Golby, while imploring politicians to ‘come clean’ on the cost of renewables, explained that the UK currently has 76 gigawatts of generating capacity, with about 25gw of this coming to the end of its life – but by 2020 Britain will need 120gw of capacity.

He recognises therefore that it is essential for coal and nuclear to be part of our energy mix. But one man who refuses to accept this is Nick Clegg.  Just weeks after Golby’s comment Clegg said (my emphasis):

“The Government has spooked everyone into thinking that we need nuclear by saying there’s going to be a terrible energy gap – the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade,” Mr Clegg said.

There’s actually no evidence that’s the case at all. They’ve raised the wrong problem in order to push the wrong solution.

“The real problem is that our energy mix is not green enough and we’re over-dependent on oil and gas from parts of the world that aren’t very reliable.”

Just over a month later, National Grid revealed that it was forced to call for more power from electricity generators after a series of unexpected breakdowns left the company with an insufficient safety cushion.  Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator went public on concerns about sufficient capacity and the need for new nuclear, which Clegg claims is a scare story.

In August last year official figures revealed that demand for power from homes and businesses will exceed supply from the national grid within eight years, bringing about black outs for the first time since the 1970s.  The government’s half baked, EU-driven Low Carbon Transition Plan regardless of its flaws, exposed the fragility of our energy supply and necessity of coal and nuclear power.

But Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems think they know better and can build enough wind turbines to see off the crisis.  Only, when it is cold and power is most needed, the wind frequently fails to blow and the turbines generate no power.  They are sticking to their dangerous approach despite evidence showing that carefully selected onshore windy areas where turbines have been put up, barely achieve 20% of the generation capacity they were built to deliver.

Now I get it that energy is not a sexy election issue.  But when the lights start going off because something like Nick Clegg’s energy policy has been followed – despite evidence showing it is a timebomb waiting to go off – and found to be a shambolic failure, you can bet that energy will become a major issue.  But by then it will be too late and voters will be regretting buying Nick Clegg’s dangerous nonsense that the energy gap warnings were just an attempt to ‘spook everyone’ into thinking we need nuclear power and coal.

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The Nick Clegg / Lib Dem approach to immigration

With The Times reporting that Nick Clegg is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill – no, really – perhaps it’s a good time to focus on some of Clegg’s Liberal Democrat thinking, on issues that voters say is of importance to them.

MigrationWatchUK is generally accepted as the most authoratative and independent organisation focusing on matters of immigration as it impacts the UK. Here is the MigrationWatchUK assessment of the Liberal Democract manifesto commitments regarding immigration:

‘This is immigration with no limits whatsoever but spiced up with two unworkable proposals – a regional immigration policy that would be impossible to enforce and an amnesty that is certain to encourage still further illegal immigration. The LibDems are treating the public as if they were fools.’

Given the opinion poll results since the Leaders’ Debate, perhaps it would be fair to argue a lot of the public are indeed fools to fall for media hype and that the Lib Dems are justified in treating them as such with completely idiotic policy proposals.

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Media polls pushing The Clegg Supremacy

For those of us who recognise this election campaign for what it is and how little its outcome will change things, the news that a BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday puts the Liberal Democrats in the lead is absolutely hilarious.  On the strength of 90 minutes of well rehearsed television, the carefully chosen questions and meticulously structured answers have seen the opinion polls sent into a frenzy of wild responses.

The media is at the heart of this as it talks up style over substance and goes through its three step coverage model that, as this blog suggested yesterday, mirrors th Bourne trilogy of films.  We are now deep into part two, The Clegg Supremacy.  Such is the desperation of many voters to get rid of Gordon Brown, and many other voters to avoid the volte face shenanigans of David Cameron, the ‘great ignored’ of the electorate are now seemingly throwing their support behind the ‘great ignored’ of the political bubble, Nick Clegg.

Despite only a fraction of those entitled to vote actually watching the Leaders’ Debate, all pollsters are seemingly finding Liberal Democrat support surging ahead.  It is often said that a country gets the government it deserves.  Well, Britain is looking likely to get just that, because so many voters are so disconnected from the political process they are telling opinion polls they would vote Lib Dem despite having no idea what exactly they would be voting for.  Consider this…

  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons say we have too much EU and they want less.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is deeper integration into the EU with more powers handed to Brussels.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want illegal immigrants prevented from entering the country and deported when discovered. The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is an amnesty allowing over 1 million illegals to remain.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want to keep the Pound and reject the Euro.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to scrap the Pound as soon as possible and make the Euro our currency.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want less taxation.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to reduce income tax a little and increase indirect taxation by a lot, so we all pay more to the Exchequer.

Despite these examples, voters appear to be flocking to the Lib Dems because a small sample audience and the massed media corps tell them that Nick Clegg won the Leaders’ Debate and is oh-so-different from Brown and Cameron.  You couldn’t write a sit com this funny.  If voters knew what the Lib Dems stood for, Clegg poll ratings would be sliding rather than increasing.

The crucial point this makes is that the media desperation to fill space results in the political class being able to dumb down politics, to such an extent that people can be encouraged to support parties on the basis of style and presentation instead of substance.  That’s why voters are getting behind the Lib Dems despite their small collection of policy variants being the most unpopular on offer and their tactics being the nastiest of the lot.  But as long as the media gets to fill space and has something new to write, these inconvenient facts will be airbrushed from the coverage.

Update: His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer, makes a similar point on his blog.

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If Lib Dems don’t know their own policy how do we?

On Sunday, when talking about the Fib Dem attack on the Conservatives over supposed plans to raise VAT, Vince Cable was put on the spot by interviewer, Jon Sopel…

JON SOPEL: Would you rule out raising VAT?

VINCE CABLE: No, I don’t. It’s something –

JON SOPEL: So therefore your position is no different to them.

Clearly panic has set in at Lib Dum HQ in Cowley Street following Cable’s response, prompting a supposed clarification that amounts to another flip flop, carried today by Reuters:

The Liberal Democrats, said on Monday it had no plans to raise the VAT sales tax to help deal with the country’s record budget deficit.

Party leader Nick Clegg made the pledge as part of a 17 billion pound “fairer” tax package he said was necessary if the government was to win the support of the public for stringent tax and spending plans.

Clegg and Cable, the Pinky and Perky of politics, are all at sea and flopping around like a gaffed fish.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.  Here we are in the middle of the most sanitised and censored election campaign in our history and even on the relatively trivial issues that so intrigue the media and political anoraks, the party that would hold the balance of power in a hung parliament is so incompetent it’s incapable of getting its story straight.

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