Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Nick Clegg is like the Duke of Wellington

Could the political climate be changing? Because we are starting to see opinion pieces praising the Liberal Democrats in the newspapers again.

The other day it was Jane Merrick in the Independent. Today it was Allan Massie in The Scotsman.

Massie praises us for entering the Coalition in the first place - and makes an implicit comparison I that had not occurred to me:
In politics, the Duke of Wellington did not match his achievements in war, but he held to one sound and important principle: the Queen’s government must be carried on. This means that you must have an administration that commands a majority in the Commons and is capable of governing. 
In 2010, this was absolutely essential, given the dire state of both the British and the world economy. By agreeing to the coalition, Clegg and those around him acted in the interest of the country. They exchanged the pleasures of easy opposition for the responsibility of a share in the government. And they have had the courage to persist in government and not to run away from the duty they had assumed.
He also endorses the party in May's European elections:
If there was no other reason to vote Liberal Democrat, the party’s commitment to the EU, and to the principles of its founding fathers, would be an adequate one. Given the rise of Ukip, and the aims and character of that party, anyone who believes in the value of the European Union should certainly think of voting Liberal Democrat at the election for the European Parliament in May – and, indeed, do more than think about it.
I also like his observation on the strange alchemy of political popularity:
Jo Grimond once said he had supported two causes throughout his career: the EU and Home Rule for Scotland. Asked to vote on these matters in referendums, his constituents in Orkney and Shetland voted No to both – but they continued to return Jo to parliament.

1 comment:

neil craig said...

The papers follow the broadcasters which means the state owned broadcaster. Fortunately the law requires the BBC to be "balanced" in its in its reporting which means they have to interview UKIP spokesmen far more often than LD ones. Unfortuntately the state broadaster makes no attempt to obey the law. Fortunately every single Lab, Con & Lib MP who is not personally a corrupt totalitarian with nothing but contempt for democracy has publicly denounced such state censorship. Unfortunately that would be none of them. Fortunately this is becoming quite obvious to the voters.