Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Ol' Blue Hands

Hail: Nicholas William Peter Clegg. His name will rank in the annals of History alongside the forces of progress like William Wilberforce, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.

For Nicholas, son of Nicholas, has declared the most ambitious proposals for political reform since the Great Reform Act of 1832. Students of history will recall the Act as groundbreaking, nay earth-shattering, in its implications on the future of democracy in this ancient land. The platform was laid for future reform that empowered the people of this country. In the Act, the franchise was extended from the nobility to some of the under-represented townsfolk.

And now, 178 years after this revolution in our democracy, Clegg of Sheffield Hallam has put forward similarly groundbreaking proposals for reform....

BOOM! A bonfire of unnecessary laws

POW! Regulation of Closed Circuit Television

WALLOP! Parental permission requirements to take schoolchildren’s fingerprints

CRASH! Scrapping of the ID card scheme.

Quiver, O Establishment.

Pathetic. These proposals are less Wilberforce, more Duncan-Smith. Clegg’s inflated impression of his importance is now right up there with Iain Dale’s. I do not want to turn this into an History lesson but, digging into my brain, I’d suggest 2 things since 1832 that have happened to our politics:

The 1928 Representation of the People Act

The 1911 Parliament Act

There are probably plenty more and some are probably even more important, so excuse anything that didn't come to mind whilst writing this in anger. But I would say that the end of the veto of the House of Lords over Bills originating in the Commons is slightly more important than the regulation of CCTV. Establishing the primacy of the House of Commons, now a fundamental element of our constitutional arrangement, is probably more of an important reform than the “reviewing of libel laws”. I’d even say that Tony Blair’s moves to increase the amount of women in the Commons were more important than Clegg’s earth-moving proposals. And what of devolution? Another Labour move, another Blair move, another move more important than “a block on pointless new criminal offences”.

Clegg has been convinced that he has a role in this government by the Conservatives, despite the revelation yesterday that 90% of the budget allocation would be controlled by Conservative ministers. In addition, this declaration of his place in the history of the progressive reform of our democracy is somewhat odd considering that he supports the new 55% rule proposed by the Tories as a move that would ensure stability. We’re all “missing the point”, he reckons. This conniving slight on our democratic process would be a massively regressive move for our constitution, making Clegg’s claims to be a champion of progress utterly ridiculous.

In addition to his vile declaration of self-importance, sickening were Clegg’s comments about his latest revelation. “What I’m discovering”, said former-Europhile-and-former-Tory-hater Clegg, “is we’ve been using different words for a long time – it actually means the same thing. Liberalism; Big Society.” So, for 3 years, either Clegg hasn’t realised that different words can mean the same thing, he’s talking total bollocks or, as our picture shows, he's turning blue. Either way, they are not characteristics we want of anyone in Government, let alone the deputy PM.


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