We can be the comeback kids of British politics…

’The Liberal Democrats can be ‘back in power’ in five years, leader Tim Farron said yesterday, as he positioned the party for another coalition with the Tories at their conference in Bournemouth.

Seriously… have they learnt nothing from their five year relationship after getting into bed with the Tories?

Perhaps Tim is still ‘living the dream’ of being elected leader and has not really begun to face the reality of the situation he now oversees.

But then the ex leader is also seemingly sharing the same dream… or perhaps he was flying high on the back of his standing ovation to the Lib Dem conference when he told delegates that “We can be the comeback kids of British politics.”

On the one hand Farron espouses that the Libs have all the answers, that they can reach those others cannot – the centre ground, and that a cosy coalition deal with the Tories in 2020 would be great… and on the other hand he attacks the Tories on big issues?

Farron has been notably critical of the coalition, giving the leadership a score of two out of 10 for its handling of the politics. He had hoped to carve out distinctive ground for the party by being pro-immigration and civil liberties, but he seems to have reversed his thinking now he, as leader, saying  the party should not be embarrassed about seeking power and refusing to distance himself from the party under Nick Clegg, saying ” there is nothing grubby about wanting to win”. Well sorry Tim, but there really is if it means reneging on your promises, turning your back on your values and principles and selling your soul to the devil.

Tim’s narrative is not just farcical at the very best, it’s delivered in an air of complete and utter arrogance.

The electorate are a canny bunch and can be very unforgiving. I spoke to large numbers of voters on the doorstep who felt hugely let down by the Libs in the 5 years of coalition. And … for what Clegg did (or actually didn’t do) to the thousands and thousands of young people that were ‘conned’ into voting for him… just unforgivable.

And Farron must know this…surely? Wasn’t it evident enough in the disastrous results and the fall to just 8 MPs and a drop in the polls since then to just 6%?

Nearly non existent in Birmingham, with a smattering of councillors and no MPs. The Sunday Politics show has to now resort to having an ex MP on just so that they can have some cross party balance…

I think Farron and his party need to pull themselves back to the ‘real world’ and accept that their are currently of little significance, they are again a small acorn that may grow into an oak tree, but its going to be a long long process, and may only be one suitable for bonsai competitions…

Maybe a visit here would help – oh … looks like they’ve missed that pony too!

Source: Tim Farron: Lib Dems would go back into coalition with Tories | Politics | The Guardian

Another Meaningless Speech?

David Cameron said the Queen’s Speech showed the government was “building a society that rewards people who work hard and do the right thing”. He stated that the coalition was “taking tough decisions to help families who work hard and do the right thing”. He said the speech was “packed full of great bills”, giving a strong defence of plans to extend the authorities’ power to access email and online communications. He thinks ” It is about a government taking the tough, long-term decisions to restore our country to strength,”

Ed Miliband states “For a young person looking for work, the speech offers nothing. For a family whose living standards are being squeezed, this speech offers nothing. For the millions of people who think the government isn’t on their side, this speech offers nothing.”

TUC General secretary Brendan Barber said the “incoherent” and “hotchpotch” speech would not create jobs or improve the economy.

My union’s General Secretary Len McCluskey states that on plans to make it easier for firms to sack workers, the government was “wrapping up a real attack on rights at work as good for growth and employment. It is a myth that stripping away employee rights will boost growth or create jobs,” he said. “This is no more than a bad boss’s charter that will make people insecure at work and will feed straight into lower consumer confidence. He thought the speech was “devoid of any hope or ideas of how to get the economy moving”. He said that plans to make it easier to sack people were “delusional” and “Taking away people’s rights in the workplace will create insecurity at work and hit consumer confidence. Along with a reduction in health and safety inspections, it gives a green light to ‘rogue’ employers,” he added.

David Cameron says he is looking after me. After all, I strive. I play by the rules. I work hard. I aspire. So what does the queen’s speech really mean for me?

The answer is very little on the positive side of things. Apart from a threatened attack on my employment rights (nothing new from the Tories), there seems little that really affects the average working person with a family in real time – and is more full of apparent vague promises and references to early day thinking.

One example of this draft thinking is seen with the reference to The House of Lords Reform Bill – not something that the Tories want hurried through but acts as a partly meaty bone (spare rib?) for their Lib Dem lap dogs. Although the background briefing on the bill does not include a timetable for making it happen the Lib Dems insist there has been no watering down of the commitment to shake up the Lords.

With the Lib Dems already having lost the referendum a year ago on shaking up the voting system for elections to the Commons, securing a legacy of permanent constitutional change is massive.

The biggest talk up of the day will be in relation to the Children’s and Families Bill which has the notion of giving parents access to “flexible parental leave”. This apparently will allow mothers and fathers to share child care responsibilities! Sounds almost too good to be true…that’s because it is. They are in reality only referring to maternity leave rather than flexible working hours. This has already shown to be a hot issue within the coalition and specifically refers to the right for parents to request flexible working, including being able to work fewer hours and job share.

And to the dismay of many no even a mention of gay marriage. Like Lords reform, this is an issue that Conservative backbenchers would definitely wish to steer clear from.

So, what did the Queen’s Speech mean for you?


Nick Clegg and David Cameron