"This is the route out of recession. But the other parties will not
deliver it. Liberal Democrats – and Liberal Democrats alone – can
truly change Britain for the better.
"Together, I know we can make it happen."
Is how Nick Clegg finished his speech opening the One Day Policy Conference at the LSE about Progressive Society. He accused Labour and the Conservatives of forming a cosy political cabal sucking the life out of politics.
"Both parties' dependence on special interests, their centralising,
micro-managing ways, that ignore the needs of ordinary people and local
communities, that’s what’s sucked the life out of our politics.
"The two old parties have been running Britain, turn and turn about, making
the same mistakes, for longer than most people can remember. A cosy cabal,
not wanting to change too much. Happy enough with the status quo because
they know they’ll get their foot in the door of a ministerial limousine sooner
"Labour and the Conservatives – the old parties – are
incapable of real change."
He went out to outline areas of real and radical change in taxation, investment in a stable, green economy fit for or children. About not "clobbering" future generations with debt due to our inability to do anything or the right thing to shorten and limit he effects of the recession. About carrying out a spending review to make sure that what is spent is spent well. Looking at investing wisely in areas such as childcare and education.
Both Labour in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood have argued that our tax cuts and spending plans do not add up, but have they really looked at what we are saying. We are saying that a review will show up the waste and enable us to spend better. Look at some of the things that Government does spend money on, not necessarily bad things, but not necessarily the best use of money. Nick says:
"It's the duty of a responsible party and a responsible government to squeeze
everything it can out of every penny of tax. This is not "government money"
– it’s people's money, money they worked long and hard to earn. We should
take it away in taxes only when we’re certain we’ll spend it well."
Yes we are facing tough times financially but just as the people are finding ways to get the most out of what disposable income they have remaining, so the government should and ought do likewise. Yes we need to invest, but invest it wisely and make changes that will make it easier for people to able to cope, after all politicians are the people's representatives. The Nats in Scotland have announced less than 1% change on what their spending review said in 2007. The Tories likewise are staring in the headlights like a rabbit with their do nothingness. Or Labour with their "pinprick" VAT reduction which has had no effect.
Labour and the Tories, Nick argues will never make a big change like this. They’re far too timid, too stuck in the old ways.
I see that Tom Harris isn't too impressed quelle surprise no change there then.