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, Dave
Tuesday, 11th May 2010

After the shocking and shameful political events of the last twenty four hours [examples?], I think the biggest loser is once again David Cameron—and I don’t just mean because he might now lose his chance of governing the country to the squalid Labour/LibDem deal which emerged yesterday. It’s because, under pressure, he blinked.

However cynical and anti-democratic Brown’s manoeuvre was in announcing his staged (in every sense) resignation as Labour leader in order to lure Clegg into a Labour coalition, it is no less than might be expected from a leader and a party characterised by political corruption, manipulation and deceit. Clegg’s two facedness, hypocrisy and total absence of principle [examples?] are in keeping with the LibDems’ reputation for playing the dirtiest politics around and their manifest unsuitability for power.

Cameron was the one who had most to lose—and he has lost it. He was wrong to have responded to Clegg’s blackmail [what blackmail?] in the first place—he should have said he would not do any deals with a party that had been rejected by three quarters of the electorate [this is confusing, as the Lib Dems won 57 seats out of 650, less than one tenth; but, as I see here, Phillips is referring to the popular vote, in which the Lib Dems won 6 million out of 24 million]. He should have calculated that Clegg would not bring a minority Tory government down and thus risk being branded as irresponsible and unprincipled in the face of a national ecionomic crisis. But having entered into negotiations with the LibDems in good faith, when Clegg’s perfidy became known yesterday [I assume, but don’t know, because she doesn’t tell us, that the perfidy she is referring to is that after Clegg entered into negotiations with the Conservatives he suddenly switched and began working on a deal with Labour instead, which then fell through] Cameron should have walked away. Instead he upped his offer to promise a referendum on AV [but hadn’t he already offered a referendum in the previous negotations? the Alternative Vote idea is explained here.], thus effectively offering to wipe out some of his own party’s parliamentary seats [what does that mean?] and make it harder to achieve a Conservative majority in future [how?]. If Cameron is so feeble under pressure from Nick Clegg, how would he react to the pressure from the enemies of this country, or in any kind of national crisis?

I 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.

Senior Government sources revealed that the two parties have agreed that they hope the next General Election will be held on May 7, 2015.

That move will alarm Tory MPs who assumed Mr Cameron might try to ‘cut and run’ and call a snap election at which the party would hope to win an overall majority, enabling it to ditch the Lib Dems.

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.

That means he will take Prime Minister’s Questions in Mr Cameron’s absence.

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.

Tory plans for a benefit crackdown, which will see claimants who refuse to work denied handouts, will go ahead.

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!”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 12, 2010 01:43 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):