Monday, 28 December 2009

David Through the Looking Glass

The Mad Hatter was heading to city hall. The Cheshire Cat had been and left the stage for the Duchess to take over the most prestigious address in Wonderland trying to agree with everyone and find a moral in everything.

It was surprising therefore that young David having found himself in this position wanted a bit of every one of them. He wanted the power that the Mad Hatter, a school boy acquaintance, had achieved only more so. He wanted to smile for everyone like the Cheshire Cat yet to know that there was also a time for sincerity. As for the Duchess, well he wanted that house, he thought he had to be nice to everyone to do so. He'd enjoy the view from the inside if he succeeded of Tweedledum and Tweedledee working out which of them was the Duchess, or indeed the Cheshire Cat's, natural successor.

"I don't think we should invent differences where there aren't differences," said David.

But then he went on to invent similarities when they were tenuous, "A hung Parliament would be bad for Britain, would be bad for the sort of strong united determined leadership that we need, but we shouldn't invent differences where they don't exist."

Yes as you tell this isn't from the pen of Lewis Carroll but a look at the wonderland, befundleland more like, of the Conservative leadership. They really think:
"There are many more areas where Liberal Democrats and Conservatives agree and that's a good thing but we need to have a decisive election."


Now I'm all for agreeing with my political opponents when we do agree but Dave, on this one I must protest. Senior Tories have apparently saying the the Cameron 'love bomb' is aimed at Lib Dem voters not our MPs, candidates etc. Hence the comment about a hung parliament being a bad thing. You see the Tories are talking about change but don't want to have to move to accommodate some of another parties agenda if there was a hung parliament. As they are aiming that statement at Lib Dems it should be apparent that Dave doesn't want the change that we behind Nick Clegg are offering. If he was prepared to do the things the Lib Dems wanted a hung parliament would be good for Britain if that were the case.

Indeed lets look at the three key areas that they say they are targeting: green issues, decentralisation, and less state interference.

Green Issues: Looking around at Conservative councils and activists around the country I've yet to be convinced that there really is a green heart beating behind a blue Rosette. Iain Dale their uberblogger led a denial-lite blogging strand that stretched across a number of Tory blogs recently over Copenhagen. Indeed did anyone spot an activist led Tory presence at the Wave recently. I know I didn't see one in Glasgow (where the Greens, Labour and Lib Dems were out at activist level) and I've heard the same in absentia approach to the climate happened in London. More likely to see Tory activist marching with the Countryside or Tax(non)Payers Alliance that an alliance of environmental concerned groups.

I remember the struggles we had getting better environmental provision through when the Tories controlled Kingston council. From what I see beneath the rhetoric even their own shadow cabinet are fully on board the green agenda. The Lib Dems have a few exceptions, but by in large are on board. We don't deny climate change, but will heartily debate how best to go about it.

Decentralisation: Actually seeing Annabel Goldie reverse over the horizon about Calman and hearing all the cutting of Westminster powers promised from the Tories, what they are doing is just that. They are not decentralising power they are cutting the public's ability of have it accountable to them. The Tories rather than moving power from the centre to publicly elected bodies are looking to sell parts of it off to commercial interests. Therefore not for profit will not be an incentive to take over certain aspects but it will another way to make money of those who are poorest, to line the pockets of Dave and Gideon's friends, whether resident or non-domiciled in the UK.

Less state interference: See the above whereas the Tories actually want less state period, the Lib Dems want certain powers devolved down to a more local level areas of health, policing, education being prime examples. The Lib Dems also recognise that there are some issues that need to have more co-ordination, even outwith our borders. Yes that does mean some decisions being made at European level. But the Tories wanted to pull us out of the European Convention on Human Rights, out of the international policing arrangements, don't want us to join the Euro ever. So don't want to protect you rights, your security or your shopping prices in a sensible way all in the cause of less 'interference'. Yes there is a time and a place for freedom but with that freedom there is also a need for responsibility, the Tories are prepared to negate as much responsibility as they can get away with. You don't think so, you may be too young to remember the last Conservative period of power then.

So David Cameron may well be thinking he is looking though a looking glass when he looks at Lib Dem policies compared to his own. He's actually just standing on the street looking through the window at the real change that is on over in the shop window, but he's so vain all he sees is his own reflection and the door to number 10 over his shoulder. Indeed he is already taking the voters and his victory for granted, thinking that those who vote Lib Dem can't see through what he says about difference and similarity.

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