Thursday, February 10, 2011

Libs in Blue Mist

"Dont complain about your boss, be your own boss"
(Nick Clegg, quoted in The Guardian, 10/02/11)

Nick was quoted in the Guardian using the same type of logic you would find in the speeches of a conservative republican rally which goes to show who really won in the deal to form the coalition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Since the deal in may 2010 was made the Lib Dems have withstood a barrage of criticism, the first of which is the undemocratic position the Lib Dems found themselves due to the election results having to between the conservatives and the Labour Party. Political commentators in the media were talking of the Lib Dems being 'kingmakers' while there was one choice they might have benefitted more from than the deal they actually , let the conservatives become a minority government which would ensured another election.

However the deal the Liberals and the Conservatives did agree to had commentators immediately questioning it as the Lib Dems managed to secure a handful of jobs in government, the one of note belonging to Lib Dems' party leader Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister. The jobs filled by the Lib Dems were largely departments jobs or jobs where the Lib Dems would have to publicly defend the unpopular policies of the conservatives such as  Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister openly having to defend conservative spending cuts in the Commons  while David Cameron was away due to foreign commitments or Vince Cable as Business secretary having to defend conservatives favorable standing with regards to the business community.  It was not tool long before commentators were making jokes about the Lib Dems once being the 'kingmakers' now were merely 'teamakers'. 

Now the 'teamaker' quip seems to be holding as a political fact as the Lib Dems have ensured the passage of conservative policies and due to the positions held, mostly those that wield responsibility than power, have to defend them. During the Student Protest of late 2010, the Lib Dems were the aim of much of the criticism posed by the students as many of them cited their vote for the Lib Dems and their anger over the public betrayal by the Liberal democrats of their 13 years stance on abolishing tuition fees.

The Lib Dems, save a party wide change in position, face a long time in the political wilderness with student base unable to trust them and older voters outright rebelling against front-benchers public defense of conservative trademark policies, the Lib Dems look set to lose heavily in the next local elections. However, if voters vote strategically, the Lib Dems can gain seats as the Lib Dems will have more reason to question and vote against the proposed policies of the Conservatives. However this is a very unlikely occurrence as the Conservatives are seen as being accomplices in the Conservatives sure and steady program of cuts. In sum, unless the Lib Dems can hold the Conservatives to some form of account in their unpopular cuts program the Lib Dems face political future on the back-burner of British politics.                  

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