Thursday, 30 August 2012

Changing Course and Changing Pilot

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg's Tax Bombshell has initiated clear orange water between Lib Dems and Conservative Coalition Partners. It has merit because to a hard pressed middle and working class electorate who have seen Banker Bonuses and the transfer of wealth to the richest by Quantative Easing it seems fair that the government should pass the hat and ask the wealthiest, especially the Tory donor non domicile tax cheats to pay their fair share.

Liberal Democrats want an enterprise economy where those at the top, ie the Sunday Times Rich List pay a fair proportion of their wealth and income (which has risen greatly since 2008) but which rewards hard work, innovation and enterprise.

Lord Oakeshott has called for a focus on de-toxifying the Lib Dem brand, and it is clear that as a Party Leader Nick Clegg has become toxic to party members as well as the electorate and has been seen as too cosy with David Cameron and the Tories in particular. The imminent return of Tory Friend and Clegg ally David Laws will only play to this.

If the Party is to recover market share - ie the 50% of voters who deserted in 2010 following the betrayl of the students over tuition fees then, we need to change course and change leader. Nick Clegg should recognise he is toxic to the voters and that he needs to take a sabattical as leader and allow a more popular figure like Charlie Kennedy or Vince Cable to return to the leadership of the Party.

The Party owes Nick Clegg a great debt for taking it higher in the polls and into the heart of government. But Nick Clegg has made serious mistakes (shared by his party colleagues at the time) in agreeing to the Tuition Fee reversal (sellout), not thinking through the poor chances of the AV referendum, and becoming political hostages to unpopular tory stealth politics. Nick Clegg should stay on as Deputy Prime Minister and even augment his role in government but the Liberal Democrat Party needs a harder and more popular focus in the country which says look were honouring the situation the electorate put us in 2010 but we are actively working to counter Tory Stealth Politics rather than appeasing them. A sharper focus against Ed Balls is need to expose the hypocracy of Labour trying to capitalise on the effects of their mismanagement. Above all we need a fairness and competent growth plan which make necessary welfare reform allied to cutting government waste, and cuts in taxes for the many and rises for the few (super rich).
This might be achieved with Cable as Chancellor but Cameron is unlikely to lay down his friend to enable this, so he must lose his ally instead.

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