Cameron’s surrender to Clegg
Melanie Phillips has a blog piece, posted before the deal that made Cameron PM, that is filled with fiery denunciations of all the parties, but lacking in the facts to make the denunciations understandable. She assumes that her readers not only have exactly the same facts that she does, but exactly the same understanding of the meaning of those facts, so that all she has to do is add a lot of adjectives. Below Phillips’s piece, I try to fill in the picture with information from other sources.
You shouldn’t have blinked, DaveI think the answer to Phillips’s last question is that under any pressure, Cameron will fold, because he has nothing within himself, and his sole guiding light as a politician is to figure out what the prevailing trend of the moment seems to be, and adjust himself to it.
As evidence, consider this, from the Telegraph:
And, in echoes of Tony Blair’s promise to be “servants of the people,” the new Prime Minister added: “One of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system. Yes, that’s about cleaning up expenses, yes, that’s about reforming Parliament and, yes, it’s about making sure people are in control and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters.”But if the leaders of the government are always and only the servants of the people, simply doing what the people want (as registered how? through opinion polls?), then whence comes leadership? Who actually leads? Cameron’s stated philosophy is to be a non-entity, excelling only in his ability to divine and accommodate himself to the prevailing trends and political opportunities.
An article in the Mail details the concessions Cameron made. Some of them are stunning, like this:
The new Government will legislate for fixed term Parliaments—meaning that Mr Cameron gives up his historic right to choose when he goes to the polls.Thus Cameron has wedded the Conservative Party to the left-wing Liberal Democrats for five years, with no escape.
Now get this:
Nick Clegg will take the title of Deputy Prime Minister, a post previously held by John Prescott, Michael Heseltine and Clement Attlee.To think that the leader of a leftist party will be representing the Conservative Party in Parliament boggles the mind. There was an excuse for this kind of thing when Britain was fighting Nazi Germany, and there was a coalition government (the last coalition government Britain had before this one). But to make such concessions, merely in order to allow David Cameron to be prime minister?
The Liberal Democrats also have made some significant concessions:
The Lib Dems have abandoned their controversial proposal for an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Extraordinarily, they have instead agreed to the flagship Tory commitment to impose an annual cap on non-EU migrants.But on many important tax issues, the Conservatives are adjusting to the Lib Dems.
What would have been better? Give Scotland its independence, thus removing Scottish MPs, none of whom are Tories, from the House of Commons, and the Conservatives would have an overwhelming majority in British politics and would be in a position not only to rule but to undo some of the terrible damage Labour has done since 1997. Further, if Scotland had been cut loose and the Conservative Party thus enjoyed the clear majority in the country and the Commons, it wouldn’t have needed David Cameron to come along and accommodate the Conservatve Party to a left-leaning electorate by “modernizing” it and remaking it as a left-liberal party.
The slogan of Conservatives should be: “Free Scotland! Free England!”