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My Google search isn't working in work, hence the new thread. What do people make of the Clegg apology? Doesn't seem to be getting a favourable response judging by the people I've spoken to/articles I've read on it.

 

Seems to me by issuing the apology he is planning on being leader going into the next election, which is surely electoral suicide? The only slim chance they have of gaining any kind of popularity back is by breaking the coalition and blaming it on the Tories, the longer they leave it, the more chance the Tories will be the ones to end it which will fuck them up even more.

 

It's their party conference this weekend, with a bit of luck he will get loads of stick there.

 

She's obviously biased but Toynbee makes some good points ( and a few bad ones ) here.

 

This was Nick Clegg's chance to save his skin. He failed | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

 

It was a good idea to apologise before his conference. On the eve of the 2010 election Nick Clegg's party political broadcast featured Westminster bridge papered in other parties' broken promises blowing in the wind. No wonder people felt cheated. It was not just students who felt he had stolen their votes in that brief Cleggmania moment when he vowed a "cleaner" politics and no more untruth.

 

So will saying sorry work? It can do no harm, as he can hardly sink lower in the polls. With some effrontery, the Tories now say they fear his "toxic" reputation damages Cameron's image when they sit together in the Commons. Yet Cameron's score of broken pre-election pledges – including the NHS, child benefit and frontline cuts – were deliberate deceptions on a quite unprecedented scale. Politics may never be altogether honest, so was it Clegg's whiter than white sanctimoniousness that now demands an apology?

 

In this "sorry" moment Clegg could – just possibly – have seized the high ground. But it would have required real bravery. If he had spoken bluntly with a brutal new honesty, if he were willing to tell difficult, complicated truths, then he would have commanded more attention than YouTube spoofs. If only he would stop saying things he knows are not true and start to talk about why things have not worked out as he hoped, then people might listen. He could have spoken frankly about the failing state of the economy, how it happened, why the Osborne remedies don't seem to work, why the bottom half are hit harder than the better off – and what he's going to do from now on.

 

Here was a chance to break with the platitudinous mantras of political-speak. For a man of greater political imagination, this was the time to try a political experiment in authentic truth-telling. It might not work, the public might see it as weakness, but he had nothing to lose. Talking turkey would have turned this weekend's conference into a serious examination of his party's dilemma.

 

Instead his "sorry" video ended with a string of the same weary non-truths, exaggerations and political boasting that make politicians so detested. "We are fighting for the right things, day in and day out: rebuilding our economy to make it strong, changing the tax system to make it fair, defending the vulnerable in these tough times." These three short phrases each fly in the face of what's happening – and everyone knows it.

 

Why claim to be "rebuilding" a strong economy when every week new figures emerge to show his coalition will break its commitment to make the deficit fall by 2015, while the price of failure adds more to national debt than Labour did in 13 years? The thinktank IPPR warns that on top of an already unallocated £10bn of extra cuts, another £14bn of cuts are on the way. Gemma Tetlow, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, shows how much austerity still lies ahead. Of cuts already announced, 88% were still to come as of last April, and 67% will still be ahead of us next April. Many more jobs will go: the IfS says 77% of public service cuts will still be ahead of us in 2013.

 

For its conference Clegg's party has produced a paper called "What have the Liberal Democrats ever done for you?" It is filled with similar boastful economising with the truth. It begins naturally with "We are cleaning up Labour's mess". How refreshing it would be if Clegg started to tell the more complicated story of the global crash and the necessary cost of saving the financial system. He should say out loud what everyone can see: the great austerity is failing here, as it is across Europe – it's time to go for investment, delaying cuts until growth is established.

 

Take the second boast in his apology: "changing the tax system to make it fair". Cutting the top rate to 45% hasn't struck many as fair. Raising the tax threshold is less fair than it looks, as the poorest don't pay tax. Gingerbread's figures this week show how, when universal credit comes in next year, middle and higher earners will gain more due to its tapers, but some 4 million working people will gain little. While Lib Dems boast of raising tax thresholds, they made no protest at George Osborne breaking his promise to uphold the value of child tax credits that help the hardest-pressed most. But then Lib Dem policies never did target the poor.

 

That is why Clegg's third boast is as hollow as the other two. He has not been "defending the vulnerable in these tough times". Surely he cannot even pretend it to himself. The savage £18bn benefit cuts include the sleight-of-hand switching of inflation from the retail to the consumer price index, so benefits will fall another 10% behind every decade, for ever, for those in and out of work, for the sick and children who are hit the hardest. Nearly 60% of benefit cuts will still lie ahead next April; child benefit will be means tested; evictions have begun due to housing benefit cuts; and big disability cuts are still to come. Lib Dem councillors must decide what to do about council tax benefit cuts that will charge hundreds of pounds to poor families who never paid it before. If at the Lib Dem conference Clegg again boasts of his pupil premium, an Ofsted report now confirms Sutton Trust and Barnardo's critical findings: this un-ring-fenced money, skimmed off the schools budget, is too seldom used for intensive help for children who need it.

 

 

Ahead lie Osborne's new threats to cut public sector pay in regions whose economies are already falling sharply behind: Lib Dems in the south-west, where the NHS is embarking on regional pay plans, are calling for them to be jettisoned at the conference. Will they stop Osborne breaking the inflation indexing of all benefits? Boasting about making hard decisions is only the cowardice of the bully when all this toughness falls on the weak, not those with political clout.

 

If Clegg had seized this chance for ground-breaking honesty, he might just have saved his skin. Few unelectable leaders ever depart of their own volition: if he fails to do a Captain Oates, surely his party will push him out to avoid mass slaughter of their MPs at the next election. It takes 75 local constituency parties to trigger a leadership election: they would be wise to summon Vince Cable to save as many seats as possible before 2015. But to make a difference, that clean break will require recantations and some honest talk from a new leader. Time for no more empty assaults on Labour, when the Lib Dems may join them in coalition before long.

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I haven't seen it and there's too much to read.

 

Anybody who thought the Lib Dems or Conservatives would be able to deliver on their manifesto in a coalition is naive.

 

I just don't know about any of it. The country couldn't continue spending the way Labour was, but it's not working at the moment.

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he is a fucking queg and would have been better off postin a pic of him jizzing all over a pic of the queen mother. the twat.

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I haven't seen it and there's too much to read.

 

Anybody who thought the Lib Dems or Conservatives would be able to deliver on their manifesto in a coalition is naive.

 

I just don't know about any of it. The country couldn't continue spending the way Labour was' date=' but it's not working at the moment.[/quote']

 

Why not exactly?

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If someone breaks a promise, they should apologise. I wouldn't read any more into it than that.

 

Hahaha!!

 

Seriously? Have you had a bang on the head? There's nothing more to this than an apology for breaking a promise?

 

You're probably right, I'm almost certain that the timing, tone, shirt colour and backdrop weren't all discussed over and over again with reference to the future strategy of Clegg and the Lib Dems. They definitely won't have even mentioned focus groups or polling figures...just right and wrong.

 

I reckon if politics is that simple the Lib Dems probably shouldn't be wasting money on strategists.

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Coalition cuts have been too deep, says key Nick Clegg aide | Politics | The Observer

 

 

Nick Clegg faced a double blow on Saturday night as one of his closest advisers admitted that the coalition's spending cuts had been too deep and a new poll showed the Liberal Democrats were now the fourth party in British politics behind Ukip.

 

In a severe embarrassment to the Lib Dem leader as his party conference opened in Brighton, it emerged that his recently departed director of strategy, Richard Reeves, believes the coalition has squeezed spending too tightly and been blind to the benefits of investing in the economy.

 

According to a pamphlet written by Reeves, the policy may have choked Britain's economic growth and pushed the country into the double dip, as Labour has repeatedly claimed.

 

Reeves's admissions are particularly incendiary because he only left his position at the heart of government weeks ago and was known to have Clegg's ear.

 

Writing in a pamphlet to be launched on Sunday he insists that the broad thrust of the government's deficit reduction plan is right and admits that the eurozone crisis is the major stumbling block. But he speaks of frustration at the mistakes the government has made, in what he concedes could be viewed as a "searing critique".

 

He writes: "Nobody knows for sure whether tightening at the pace set by the coalition government has choked off growth, or laid the foundations for recovery. For what it is worth, I think the coalition tightened a little more than necessary in the first two years; relied a bit too much on spending cuts rather than tax rises to fill the hole; and above all has taken a myopically conservative approach to borrowing for investment."

 

In a further attack on George Osborne's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's approach to government as a "nightwatchman", Reeves adds: "One of the most painful experiences of being in government was looking in one direction at an ocean of absurdly cheap capital, and in another at a transport and energy infrastructure crying out for investment – and knowing that outdated Treasury practices and a Tory version of Jeffersonian economics was all that stood between them."

 

The outspoken intervention, seized on by Labour as evidence of confusion at the heart of government over economic strategy, comes as an Opinium/Observer poll puts Labour on 42%, the Conservatives on 30%, Ukip on 10% and the Liberal Democrats on 8% – one of the party's lowest shares of the vote in recent years.

 

Clegg's personal ratings also make gloomy reading for Lib Dems before a conference where his leadership is bound to be a major subject of discussion. Clegg's net approval rating is -48%, compared with -20% for David Cameron and -14% for Ed Miliband.

 

The survey also reveals the extent to which people who voted Lib Dem at the last election have deserted to Labour. Some 39% of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 say they would now vote Labour – compared with just 33% who say they would stick with the Lib Dems.

 

When the same question was asked in July, 39% of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 said they would stand by the party, while 34% said they would switch to Labour – suggesting a steady drift to Miliband's party since mid-summer.

 

By contrast the poll shows that 94% of those who voted Labour in 2010 intend to stick by the party, while 81% of those who voted Conservative said they intend to stay with Cameron's party.

 

One crumb of comfort for Clegg, however, is that voters seem only marginally more enthusiastic about the Lib Dems if there were to be a change of leader, with Vince Cable, now the business secretary, taking over. Only 2% of people said they would be more likely to vote Lib Dem if Cable were put in charge.

 

On Saturday Clegg unveiled the conference slogan "Fairer tax in tough times", telling delegates: "It's just wrong that people on low and middle incomes who work hard and play by the rules are taxed so much while Russian oligarchs pay the same council tax as some of you do on a family home.

 

"Liberal Democrats are fighting to change that. Lower taxes on work and more on unearned wealth. I want to reward people who put in a proper shift, not those who sit on a fortune. People for whom a bonus means a few extra quid at Christmas, not a million-pound windfall."

 

Clegg and his aides will hope that the conference will focus less on leadership issues and more on how the party can present itself to voters as a distinct force within the coalition in the last two-and-a-half years of this parliament.

 

The Lib Dems are certain to rally around opposition to George's Osborne's plans for a further round of welfare cuts and will also condemn moves by Osborne and Cameron to distance themselves from the green agenda.

 

In an interview with the Observer today, the Lib Dem energy secretary, Ed Davey, attacks what he describes as the "Tea Party tendency" in the Tory party which is questioning climate change and the green agenda. Davey says their arguments are "perverse" and that they are creating an uncertainty around government policy that is putting off investors in green infrastructure projects worth tens of billions of pounds and many thousands of jobs to the country.

 

In his speech to conference on Sunday Davey will call for a legal de-carbonisation target for the power sector, something it is believed Osborne opposes. "Energy is always a long-term investment. So if we are to create greater investor confidence in Britain's low-carbon energy future, a long-term target is best," Davey will say.

 

Chris Leslie MP, Labour's shadow Treasury minister, said: "Nick Clegg should be sorry that he didn't listen to his own adviser and many others who warned against signing up to a plan to cut spending and raise taxes too far and too fast. The country is paying a heavy price as a result, with the economy in a double-dip recession and the deficit rising by 22% so far this year. We need a change of course now and that must include ending the Treasury's block on bringing forward the long-term infrastructure investment our economy so desperately needs."

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[YOUTUBE]k5HfOipwvts[/YOUTUBE]

 

You don't have to take this crap

You don't have to sit back and relax

You can actually try changing it

I know we've always been taught to rely

Upon those in authority -

But you never know until you try

How things just might be -

If we came together so strongly

 

Are you gonna try to make this work

Or spend your days down in the dirt

You see things can change -

YES an' walls can come tumbling down!

 

Governments crack and systems fall

'cause Unity is powerful -

Lights go out - walls come tumbling down!

 

The competition is a colour TV

We're on still pause with the video machine

That keep you slave to the H.P.

 

Until the Unity is threatend by

Those who have and who have not -

Those who are with and those who are without

And dangle jobs like a donkey's carrot -

Until you don't know where you are

 

Are you gonna realize

The class war's real and not mythologized

And like Jericho - You see walls can come tumbling down!

 

Are you gonna be threatend by

The public enemies No. 10 -

Those who play the power game

They take the profits - you take the blame -

When they tell you there's no rise in pay

 

Are you gonna try an' make this work

Or spend your days down in the dirt -

You see things CAN change -

YES an' walls can come tumbling down!

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The last of the good stuff Weller did' date='IMO.[/quote']

 

Nah, he's done loads of good stuff since. He went up his own arse for a while though.

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Where has Paul Weller lectured anyone about how wealthy people are evil?

 

You heard this Vlad, from 2010. Cracking Weller song.

 

[YOUTUBE]TPaoGccYfAE[/YOUTUBE]

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You're what Orwell would have called an "amateur fascist".

 

 

Since what I believe is the polar opposite to fascism (whether left-wing or right-wing fascism), then that is some amateurism on my behalf.

 

Paul Weller's biggest crime, however, is inflicting Ocean Colour Scene on the world. Unforgivable.

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Since what I believe is the polar opposite to fascism (whether left-wing or right-wing fascism), then that is some amateurism on my behalf.

 

He wasn't talking about particular political beliefs, he was talking about people who support the establishment unquestioningly.

 

I agree about Ocean Colour Scene.

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He was poorly advised about the timing of his apology. If you want to seem sincere then it should have been done either months ago, or after the Lib Dem conference. Doing it on the eve of conference just makes it look like you're appealing to people in your own party who you fear no longer support you. Which, of course, he was.

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He was poorly advised about the timing of his apology. If you want to seem sincere then it should have been done either months ago, or after the Lib Dem conference. Doing it on the eve of conference just makes it look like you're appealing to people in your own party who you fear no longer support you. Which, of course, he was.

 

 

I believe he wanted to apologise two years ago, but was overruled by his advisers. If it means he's started ignoring them, then things are looking up.

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