Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clegg makes most powerful political statement of the decade

According to the UK Guardian Mr. Clegg seems to have said "I need to say this – you shouldn't trust any government, actually including this one. You should not trust government – full stop. The natural inclination of government is to hoard power and information; to accrue power to itself in the name of the public good."

A lot of problems here. Clegg seems to have made this comment to a Henry Porter, an Observer columnist. The Observer are usually reasonably accurate so we can reasonably assume that the statement was made, and in a correct context, i.e. Clegg was not on cocaine, or drunk at the time, (possibly unlike Charles Kennedy). It was 5 years ago but such facts hardly change.

IMO: The big worry seems to be the muddle. I can see the converse is reasonably easy to follow. "You CAN trust government" and indeed "You can (usually or sometimes etc etc) trust government" is also reasonable. But "You should not trust government – full stop" is a statement, perhaps the most powerful made by a serious politican for a decade. It ranks with "a week is a long time in politics" (Harold Wilson) though that statement whilst memorable is relatively harmless. I think of Bush and Blair's WMD statements which do seem to have been lies. Is it really normal for politicians to lie all the time ? So we do not trust Clegg either ? And who do we take seriously ? Maybe the "Big Society" - but surely that seems to be a Cameron lie, if we are to distrust Cameron and look at real facts about his statements and actions.  My feeling is that all these people, particularly Cameron and Clegg, are in a real muddle and think little but act with haste. That's not too different to Vince Cable's summing up. If Clegg's statement is true, maybe the Libdems should obtain a new leader who does NOT lie. Otherwise who can vote for them, or indeed for any current politician. We hoped to get these fellows not to defraud the public over expenses, but no hope if they are all liars. Cameron said he would stop MP expense fraud and he hasn't, for example. A completely new parliament sounds necessary on Clegg's advice and indeed most people think that.

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