Yes Gordon Brown is bringing us his new years message this year from cloud cuckooland. In the same speech that he tells us that the recession is over he also tells us that the recovery is still fragile. He says he wants to help those who are worse off. He especially says he wants to help those who want a bit of help to own their own home, set up their own business and give their children the best start in life.
But hang on a bit those wanting to own their own home are those that currently can afford to gather together the deposit that the banks are requesting, a level of money that has now soared. Those who want to set up their own business aren't necessarily those in non-skilled minimum wage level or just above jobs. Indeed apart from giving their children the best start in life the aspirations of those on "modest incomes" they have more immediate aspirations. The ability to feed, house and heat their families as retail prices continue to rise, public transport costs are rising above the rate of inflation and pay increases for those lucky enough to still have them.
The other day David Cameron said:
"Let's be honest that whether you're Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat, you're motivated by pretty much the same progressive aims: a country that is safer, fairer, greener and where opportunity is more equal."
I've already pointed out that this ain't necessarily honesty, and also looked at one way that the Tories may set about dealing with the deficit. Cameron seems adamant that he isn't starting a class war, yet his taxation system is deepening that divide. He's even trying to 'love bomb' Lib Dem voters. Gordon Brown s saying that he doesn't want to alienate the middle classes, why? Because these are the people needed to keep him clinging unto power. Both are pandering to those whose votes they will be relying on whenever the general election comes.
Indeed Nick Clegg includes in his new year message a question:
"As the countdown to the next General Election finally begins, I have a simple question for the other party leaders: what do you believe, really believe? "
Because as pointed out above they are saying what they think people want to hear not what they need to hear. Only the Liberal Democrats are looking at the current situation, seeing the way out of it, and are standing by their conviction of fairness. The other two parties are showing just how shallow their convictions to fairness are, they are only fair to those most likely to vote for them. Nick goes on to say:
"Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats have been working on new ideas to make Britain the fair country I believe most people want it to be. We want to raise standards in all of our schools by giving specific help to the children most in need, and by making class sizes smaller. Soon we will be publishing new ideas to turn our economy away from its over dependence on the City of London to a new, green economy where hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created as we rebuild our transport, energy and housing infrastructure. Above all, we are now the only party with a detailed plan to make taxes fair – removing all income tax on the first £10000 you earn, paid for by asking people at the top to pay a bit more.
"If we as Leaders want people to turn out to vote at all at the next General Election, we have got to show people our convictions, not just dividing lines, our beliefs, not just soundbites. "
Yes the road ahead is tough, it may well be far from over as the recovery is fragile. But are the people who are going to be in charge going to be looking at making a fair approach out of it, or only assisting those who give us a push up. I'm glad the Lib Dems are looking at how to deal with the mess that Brown, for let us not forget who got us here, got us into, but also do so by keeping our convictions of fairness and greeness. Not things we come to in words alone as a good idea of what people want to hear a la Dave but convictions that run through our essence like the work Blackpool through rock.