Posts Tagged 'Nick Clegg'

Nick Clegg, the antithesis of honesty; and the EU, the David Brent of the global governance structure

When politicians whine about the sharply declining trust in them and politics generally they have only themselves to blame. Another case in point underlining this has emerged today.

Those who watched or read reports of the EU membership debates, between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, will be well versed with Clegg’s claim in the first debate that only 7% of UK laws originated from the EU.

Before the second debate, the factcheckers were rushing forth to explain that Clegg had misrepresented the detail taken from a House of Commons publication by only using the figure for Primary legislation.  It was not so much a sleight of hand as an outright attempt to deceive the audience.  He had ignored all secondary legislation and various regulations and other instruments arriving here from Brussels for implementation, that all add to the laws we are bound by.

In the second debate Clegg again used the 7% figure, this time in context explaining it related to ‘Primary’ legislation.  However he played down the secondary legislation and other instruments to give the impression the amount of it was so trivial as to be negligible.  He wanted to convey a false impression that the EU barely impacts laws enacted in the UK, because it suited his purpose in the debate.

If trust in Clegg was shaken among those simple souls who had any in him in the first place, it must surely be laid to utter waste today if they see what has been dug up by EU Referendum.

There we see an article written by Clegg for the Guardian in 2003 when he was an MEP, riding the EU gravy train and indulging his rampant pro-EU obsessions.  In it he tells the readers this (emphasis mine):

MEPs are parliamentary giants. Don’t snigger. There are many legitimate criticisms to be made of the European parliament, but irrelevance or lack of importance, the stock accusations, are laughably wide of the mark.  Probably half of all new legislation now enacted in the UK begins in Brussels. The European parliament has extensive powers to amend or strike down laws in almost every conceivable area of public life.

How curious that in 2003, when Clegg wanted to talk up his importance as an MEP, he was saying that over 50% of legislation enacted in the UK is handed to us from Brussels.  Yet in the debate with Farage in 2014, he wanted voters to think it is a mere 7%.  Well actually it isn’t curious at all.

It is just another example of the contempt with which voters are treated by dishonest politicians who lie to serve their own interests at the expense of ours.

Global Governance – the new elephant in the room?

As Richard points out in the EU Referendum piece, on both occasions Clegg’s claims still misrepresent the truth.

In reality the EU is not the origin of all the >50% of legislation enacted here.  The reality is a substantial amount of law that is enacted in the UK originates above the EU in the global governance pecking order.  Little Europe is just an extra in the cast of the Game of Governance.

The fact is the EU is a sub-regional entity. Perhaps it should be accurately described as the EUSRE.

It is locked in an outdated mindset, based on a structure of centralised control that is only made almost bearable for some because of its internal market.  Setting aside the unnecessary, anti democratic and stifling political control, even the membership benefits of that market may be overstated.

The EU is not a global power, it is a mere middle manager, the David Brent of the global governance business.  Full of its own self importance it passes on orders, churns out demands and instructions, tries to make itself liked by buying cheap coffee for the kitchen and secures the favour of suck ups desperate to have a similar sense of importance.

Although it convinces itself of its essential necessity, if it wasn’t there it wouldn’t be missed. There would just be one less substantial salary and significantly less bureaucracy.  Increasingly the decision making happens above the EU’s head.  More and more with each passing year, the EU’s role is cemented as that of errand boy.

The EU’s member states are thus deprived of a seat at the real ‘top table’ where negotiations take place and decisions are made, at the global level.  Only through independence will EU member states ever be able to speak with their own voice and stand up for their national interests in the globalised world.  This is what the UK should aspire to.  Being in the EU is not, as the likes of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg have it, in Britain’s interest. It is a hindrance. It holds our country back.

Instead of the UK talking with the directors and playing a role in formulating the rules, membership of the EU condemns us to a low-brow life as a minion in David Brent’s reporting line.  It’s time our politicians recognised and admitted that, our media grasped and explained it and voters took a stand to resolve it.

A Clegg vs Farage debate on EU membership?

Courtesy of Pogle’s Woodsman in the comments we find the Spectator reporting Nick Clegg is to throw down the debate gauntlet to Nigel Farage ahead of May’s European Elections.

What we don’t know is whether such a debate is of sufficient interest to the TV networks for it to be televised on a terrestrial channel.  Such a debate would need to be televised live on national TV for it to have any chance of adding any value, which in itself is not a mortal lock.

In any case, potential viewers may consider the debate to be a Third Division affair as the leaders of the main two parties are not involved.  While EU enthusiasts and members of the Farage cult will be clearing their diaries, getting in the popcorn and wearing their colours for the ‘big match’, for most people this would probably be an event of very little interest or consequence.

It’s easy for many of those on the comment thread of the Spectator’s article to get carried away, as they are, predicting that Farage will bash Clegg.  But the ‘debate’ could – and more than likely will – descend into a turgid ‘my fact vs your fact’ exchange that bogs the whole thing down and doesn’t do anything to inform people or increase their understanding and knowledge about how this country is governed, by whom and what little control they have to shape that governance.

There is also near certainty that Clegg will adopt the economics narrative and frame the debate in such a way that Farage, who famously doesn’t do detail, gets taken down alleyways, trips up on facts and is exposed as not being in command of his brief… and that’s before any possible failure to focus on the essential core political issue of addressing who should run Britain – if he actually even planned to do that in the first place.

This proposed debate has the capacity to undermine the EUsceptic cause if Farage gets it wrong.  Being articulate is no substitute for a lack of strategic vision going into such a debate and will not make up for any deficiency in knowledge.

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.

PRWeek Communicator of the Year – Nick Clegg!

It’s no joke. The PRWeek magazine judging panel comprising 62 senior PR professionals:

…praised Clegg for his smart general election communications campaign that positioned him as a fresh alternative to the other political parties.

You really could not make this stuff up.  The falling reputation of PR professionals is taking them into the same bottom division as politicians and estate agents. When senior members of a discipline such as PR confer accolades upon a man who blatantly lied, distorted and misrepresented their way through an election campaign the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they themselves are not honourable. Perhaps there is a political element to the decision as the write up of the award goes on to add:

In fewer than 12 months, Clegg has gone from leading a party frustrated by a lack of media attention to the full glare of the world’s media, as he walked side by side with Prime Minister David Cameron into 10 Downing Street on 11 May.

His greatest achievement was his performance at the General Election’s three inaugural leaders’ debates. At the time, PRWeek’s survey of 3,000 members of the UK public found 62 per cent said Clegg was the leader who came out the strongest, compared with 21 per cent for David Cameron and only 16 per cent for Gordon Brown.

As PRWeek editor Danny Rogers said: ‘Clegg’s comms prowess won over viewers and ultimately led him to Downing Street.’

Communication is not just about cascading messages, it is also about listening to people. Nick Clegg has shamelessly ignored the wishes of the voters he courted and served his own interests, yet he is being lauded by leading lights in the Public Relations industry. Professionals who work in the field of Communications and PR should be feeling very uncomfortable today.

David Laws: Insipid political class circles the wagons

Any ordinary taxpaying voters feeling anger at the response to the David Laws matter by David Cameron and Nick Clegg are completely justified in feeling that way.  The response of the Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy to Laws’ resignation has been extraordinary, but unsurprising.

This is the political class at its worst, lauding one of its own who has defrauded the public, maintained a deception and demonstrated appalling judgement.  Consider this part of Cameron’s letter of reply to Laws:

The last 24 hours must have been extraordinarily difficult and painful.

You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that, throughout, you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.

Your decision to resign from the government demonstrates the importance you attach to your integrity.

Cameron is clearly living on another planet.  Yes, that 24 hours must have been difficult and painful for David Laws, having had his sexuality discussed in the media in such lurid terms and seeing his partner turned into an object of media interest.  I sympathise about that.

But it wouldn’t have been an issue if he had not used taxpayers’ money to maintain his cover up, claiming for rent payments that were only made to give the impression he was renting a room, rather than cohabiting with his partner.  That was unacceptable.  How can Cameron describe Laws as good and honourable when the man has admitted misusing public money to serve his own interests?  It is nonsensical doublespeak from Cameron and it dismisses the wrongdoing against hard pressed taxpayers.  If David Laws had acted with integrity he wouldn’t have claimed taxpayers’ money as part of his cover up of his sexuality in the first place.  He wouldn’t have accepted the ministerial position knowing he was fleecing the public.  It is a funny kind of integrity that only surfaces after being caught out doing something wrong.

Cameron’s comments reveal the depth of the contempt his has for ordinary people he considers to be lesser individuals.  Harsh?  Well, you’ve seen the comments yourself.  How else can his comments be read?  But he is not alone in his dismissal of ordinary people who have been wronged.  His clone in the Cabinet, Nick Clegg, is no better, saying as he did in his response to the resignation:

When all is said and done, this has come about because of David’s intense desire to keep his own private life private.

Again, where is there acknowledgement of Laws’s wrongdoing?  In fact, Clegg, like Cameron, is talking about a desire to have Laws return to the government in the future.  He even says his admiration for Laws has increased in the last 24 hours!  These are people who were critical of Peter Mandelson’s in-out in-out shake it all about Cabinet career after his two resignations for wrongdoing.  Yet when it is one of their own, they exhibit a contradictory mindset.  Wrongdoing is black and white.  This is utter hypocrisy.  And let’s devote a moment to that fool David Steel, who said:

His mistake did not cost the taxpayer a penny since he could have been paying to rent a room elsewhere.

Oh give me strength.  This wasn’t a mistake by Laws, it was a calculated action to achieve a particular end.  It did cost the taxpayer money because the property he lived in was owned by his partner where he could live rent-free.  He wasn’t renting a room, he was cohabiting and the rent expenses were abused to maintain the cover up.  Steel is building a strawman by suggesting Laws’ choice was either pay rent to his partner to cover up his sexuality, or he would have had to live elsewhere at cost to the taxpayer.  Laws could have simply been true to himself, lived with his partner and not claimed rent at all.  Why should the public have to foot the bill for such personal decisions?

Despite all the words spoken by the political class about cleaning up politics, not misusing public money, reforming Parliament and being demonstrably open, accountable and transparent, we are seeing the top of the political class revert back to their troughing type.  Their interests are not the same as our interests.  We are just expected to fork over the money and shut up.  The political class is every bit as sleazy now as it was before.  Nothing has changed.  They are pretending that no wrongdoing has taken place.  The political class is talking down the fact tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been wrongly claimed by David Laws and instead spinning a line to the public that this man really didn’t do wrong by us.  But the fact is our money was misappropriated and we were wronged.  There is no honesty from the insipid climbers inside their insular, self serving Westminster bubble.

David Laws resigns and panic replacement arrives >>>

David Laws: very sad, very wrong, completely unacceptable >>>

They just don’t get it, or just don’t want to get it >>>

EU elephant stalks the new Great Reform Act room

Nick Clegg has just made a speech where he has outlined how the Government intends to reduce the power of the state over the individual by ‘tearing through the statute book’.  He is pledging that people will be asked what laws they want to be repealed.  He is saying that the Con-Lib coalition will:

– Restore the hard won liberties
– Reduce the power of political elites
– Redistribution of power away from the centre

It sounds wonderful.  David Cameron and Nick Clegg are telling us they are going to deliver radical reform and empowerment.  But there is a fundamental dishonesty in this rousing rhetoric because there is a complete absence of any reference to our real government, the EU.  We are likely to be offered a referendum about having a new voting system, but there is no referendum on offer asking the British people to decide if we wish to remain governed by the unelected and unaccountable European Union.  No one is offering us the opportunity to say we want to be goverened exclusively by our Parliament and want our Courts to enforce only laws that originate in this country, enacted by elected representatives we can vote democratically to keep in the Commons or remove as we see fit.  In his speech, Clegg let slip the reason for this when he said:

‘When people have power they use it’

Clegg followed that line by saying; ‘And when they are denied it, there is anger and disappointment’.  Well, that is what we should expect in due course then, because the fact is the political class is still resolved to carefully controlling the limited power we are being granted.  It is distancing the electorate from any decision making on the major issues, such as how we are governed and who makes the overwhelming majority of our laws.  We are being left with a tiny, peripheral role in reforming trivial matters while enjoying only a very limited sliver of empowerment.

We will not have any say over essential issues, such as how we produce the energy needed to power this country, the number of fish our fleets can catch and how, the rules concerning extradition of British citizens, how we dispose of our domestic waste, the costs to business of adhering to unnecessary regulations, how our financial services industry operates, whether or not we can exclude people from these shores whose presence is not in the national interest, and a host of other core matters.  So when Clegg says; ‘We will ask you which laws you think should go’ his is being misleading in the extreme, because there will be thick red lines that ordinary people will not be allowed to cross.  EU laws and regulations are off limits to people who are not part of the political class.  And still the political class maintains the pretence that we are sovereign and in control of our own affairs.  It is a sham.

While many people will cheer the news that the database state is being rolled back, ensuring we have will have some personal freedoms and civil liberties returned to us, many do not realise we are still being denied any say in the nature of our democracy.  This is a gaping hole in the proposals that the Cleggerons have no intention of filling.  We are required to know our place – and for Cameron and Clegg, that means fealty to the European Union and subservience to the political class.  We are being promised a feast when all we are going to get are some carefully selected crusts from the table.  We are being treated with contempt.  We are being conned.  New politics?  Don’t be daft.

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Thought for the day

Conservatives, most notably William Hague, made much over recent months of Gordon Brown having been an ‘unelected’ Prime Minister.

At the next election will we see Hague making as much of Nick Clegg having been an ‘unelected’ Deputy Prime Minister?  Just asking.

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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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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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Review of the second Leaders’ Debate

Having decided to watch the Leaders’ Debate out of morbid curiosity a couple of things stood out…

Let’s start with the Lib Dems.  Nick Clegg doesn’t represent change, he’s a charlatan.  The measure of his hypocrisy was exposed by the discussion about his Trident policy when compared with the discussion about an immigration cap proposed by the Conservatives.

Clegg wants to scrap Trident but is incapable of saying what cheaper alternative he would deploy and how much it would cost, because a review would be needed to determine the appropriate system.  Yet he tried to score points off David Cameron for taking an identical approach about an immigration cap as Cameron would not provide an arbitrary cap figure, because a wide ranging review with a variety of services and bodies would need to be conducted each year.

So Clegg is saying that Lib Dem plans for reviews then decisions are a sound approach, but Conservative plans for reviews then decisions make a policy unworkable.  How is this new politics or any different from the ‘old’ two parties?  While on the subject of the ‘old’ two parties, it’s about time Clegg was reminded that the Liberal Party existed long before Labour and a few name changes have not made it a different party entity.  History and fact checking are clearly not his strong point.

Clegg spent so much time telling the audience about EU failings and mismanagement, it defies belief that he wants Britain to be more entwined in it.  He tries to make the EU sound like a well meaning club of kindly amateurs, stumbling along as best they can and making a few chuckle raising howlers as they go along.  It ain’t so.  The EU is an anti democratic, managerialist machine and its failures stem from its determination to eradicate national sovereignty and draw all power to itself.  Clegg was trained by the EU and nurtured in its ways and his claim that the EU can be reformed is a naked deception.

On to Labour.  Gordon Brown is an economic illiterate.  It is a terrifying thought that this man spent a decade as Chancellor. No wonder the economy is in the state it’s in today. This man has wrecked our nation’s finances.

Reducing the tax burden on businesses and individuals does not take money out of the economy.  By definition, if the money remains in our pockets and business bank accounts, it is still in the economy.  It doesn’t disappear into a hole never to be seen again – which it would if it was sequestrated by the Treasury.

As for Gordon Brown’s inability to tell the truth, being exposed as a bare faced liar in such a devastating manner just moments after the debate ended can only reduce his stock still further.  It was the moment of the night seeing Wee Alex Salmond – after Brown denied he has sanctions Labour leaflets carrying false claims about Conservative policy – holding up Brown’s personal election literature as distributed in Kirkcaldy.  It was a leaflet Brown had to have personally endorsed and it carried the claim Brown states he did not sanction that the Conservatives would get rid of the winter fuel allowances, free bus passes, free eye tests, etc.

Brown is also incapable of understanding the concept of net migration – or is deliberately deceiving the public.  Having one million Britons living in other EU states and one million EU member state citizens living in Britain does absolutely nothing to alter the horrendous net immigration figure.  A net inward migration figure of 200,000 is the figure over and above the number of people who have left the UK in the same time period.  If 150,000 people have left that means 350,000 migrants have come in.  Not only does this mean huge extra burden on services and infrastructure, it also means a massive change in the social fabric of this country.

Lastly, the Conservatives.  We know David Cameron is supposed to be a polished performer.  But he fails to inject spark into his speaking. With these debates he is on a hiding to nothing.

The more Cameron strives to emphasise difference between the three parties, the more it becomes clear they are trivialities rather than matters of great substance.

Europe (more precisely the EU) will remain a thorn in Cameron’s side because while he is happy to reel off a list of reasons for us to cooperate with our neighbours on the continent, not one example of a supposed benefit he, or Clegg or Brown provides to justify EU membership, requires a nation to sacrifice its political sovereignty.

Why will no one pin these main three parties down – and particularly the Conservatives who trade on a platform of supposed EU scepticism – with a simple question that exposes the weakness of their position on the EU?  Namely, ‘what benefit or advantage of EU membership and cooperation would be lost if we in the UK had complete political sovereignty, made all our own laws and ensured our own courts were the judicial venues of last resort?

Going beyond that, when will someone pin the Conservatives down, and the other two parties for that matter, by asking why they keep talking about the EU as a free trade area when it is nothing more than a customs union?  The EU is a hindrance to the UK being able to trade freely with countries around the world, so how can it be a benefit?  The debate is devoid of honesty and candour. It is characterised by subterfuge and fear and it shouldn’t be.

So, the final analysis.  Nothing any of the party leaders has been reported to have said in the first Leaders’  Debate, and nothing I saw them say in this Leaders’ Debate, has changed my view of the parties.  I have not been moved one inch towards voting for any of them.  The discussion about immigration was dumbed down to such an extent a five year old would have felt patronised.  There is a consensus stitch up where these three main parties will not tread onto ground the public needs them to.

From Clegg’s approach of giving up and granting a ludicrous amnesty that rewards people who have broken the law of this land to live here, to Brown’s tough talk and promises of action to contain immigration – despite documentary evidence that open door migration was deliberately implemented for political ideological purposes – to Cameron’s cap on non-EU immigration which will have no effect in reducing the number of unskilled EU migrants arriving here, the required action is not on offer.  And of course no alternative to EU membership and the loss of national sovereignty is on offer.

This means the debates remain an exercise in obfuscation and deception, satisfying only the media’s insatiable appetite for something to report, spin and hype.  How does that serve the interests of the nation and its people?  The new politics that was promised has not been delivered.  What is required is a genuine conservative alternative to the centre ground mish mash that dominates the discourse of the political class and its cowardice in tackling major issues.  Only when a sensible conservative alternative exists will mainstream politics be worthy of our engagement.

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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 FT.com 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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