Thursday 17 July 2014

Clegg and the Bedroom Tax Bonanza

It's July. Any minute now politicians will go on recess and won't really be back - what with Conference season - until October.

By October, it will be election frenzy central.

Our mendacious and slippery deputy Prime Minister has u-turned on the Bedroom Tax. There ALWAYS had to be an issue over which he decided to split from the coalition. He can hardly go into an election as the junior partner in a coalition can he? He will go into it as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, whatever we might think of that.

He has chosen his first big step away from Cameron's shadow to be about the Bedroom Tax. Specifically, he has chosen to highlight sick and disabled people within this policy.

I've said this so many times, but politics isn't a love affair. It always amazes me how people judge politicians on their honesty! Surely we must have learnt that this way lies madness? Why would we judge them emotionally, or on their consciences when experience has shown us since the beginning of time that they just don't work that way?

To politicians, politics is a game of chess they must win. No more and no less. We respond to them emotionally, when there is no emotion involved at all.

So today, almost every tweet is of "turncoats" and "opportunism". Yes, of course he's a turncoat, and of course he's opportunistic, what do we expect? But if politicians give you a chink, you crowbar it open.

Is it better to be used as a pawn or left out of the game entirely? Don't pawns have power of their own? Always remember, sometimes they can bring down a King.

It is our unwillingness to engage on their terms, to beat them at their own game, that mans they always win and we always lose. Today, I woke up thinking "How can I use this". I'm not really disgusted with Clegg at all, it would be like being disgusted with a wolf for being a wolf.

I'm faintly pleased he has given me an opportunity to crow a bit at Cameron, expose the cruelty of Bedroom Tax all over again and have a nice little smug glow of righteousness. But that's emotion.

I'm delighted that I can now say "The one issue that finally split the coalition was disability". That's spin, that's powerful and most of all, that leaves Cameron isolated.

When you judge a politician, leave your emotions behind. The only question we ever need to ask is why they've just done what they've done and can it be turned to our advantage. This little gem doesn't even need turning. It haz advantage written all over it.

So I would suggest we turn our tweets and post from howls of indignant hurt feelings into maximum crowbarring. Mock Cameron, revel in the rift and prise it as wide open as we can.


  1. I've had a rough couple of days so forgive me if I'm being a bit thick (or 'Duncan Smith'), but is there a specific aim here? Or rather, are we simply raising our political profile to feed into the future policy decisions of whoever-the-hell seizes power? I ask because there were gains at Lib Dem conferences that came to naught.

    1. I just think the way we react to stories is important and when you win a concession to expose it and use it. It helps the overall campaign to look like it has momentum and is successful.

  2. I will sit this out. I get that to you, politics is all about winning, and this is Just the Way it Is. But I gave watched solely how, over the past four years, people like me gave been thrown under the bus as a sacrifice to the "greater good" of campaigning; single mother, immigrant, not white...and rather than people rallying, rather than solidarity, rather than "all of us or none of us", my exclusion was considered okay. 'acceptable losses', "can't please everyone".

    There have been people in the past who stood up for their integrity and moral fibre rather than continue to grind along I the status quo. Those are the people I respect and admire, and those are usually the people who stand out in history as the change-makers, the people who - to our current-sight, were only doing what was common sense, but who at the time were probably considered completely mad. “It would like being disgusted wi a wolf for being a wolf”. Only there are no wolves in England anymore...because England was so tired of being eaten by them, they exterminated them. Maybe not the right choice at the time, but wolves aren't cute and cuddly - if it threatens you, you don't try to be its pal. You shoot it.

    I'm tired. I'm tired of being thrown under the bus for the sake of scoring a political point, for the sake of the ’bigger picture’. And if this is the way we are going now, turning coat solely for the sake of a political leg up, then I am going to turn as well.

    I'm turning away from the whole campaign. I would rather keep my humanity and moral integrity than “win”.

    No longer Spartacus....

    But still ME.

    1. That makes me really sad, but you know that it will.

      I hope I haven't ever thrown anyone under a bus or sacrificed any of my principles, ever, under pressure. I pride that on being utterly true and know that you know enough of how I've operated to know I am probably one of the few uncorrupted and have purposely ensured everything I do keeps it that way.

      The Bedroom Tax is now almost certainly dead, and that can only be a good thing. I believe in celebrating victories before you go on to the next battle.

      I know that you know that the way you've read this post isn't who I am in my heart at all, and I know you don't really believe I have abandoned other minorites at the expense of my own. I've actively tried to do the opposite at many events.

      But I'm beyond sorry that you've been so upset by it and just for that alone, would unwrite it if I could .

  3. We can however (and should) judge politicians on their ability to discern evidence and base appropriate policy on that. Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander fail miserably on that score. The evidence for why this was a flawed policy idea was there four years ago. The latest DWP assessment into the Bedroom Tax merely demonstrates what was said then and now. The consistency of the argument against this policy has been validated.

    It is now that the DWP own reports agree with that argument and now the Liberal Democrats have woken up to the disaster. I suspect a lot of Tory MPs think its a disaster as well. Apart from IDS, his encaptured ministers and DWP spokespeople, who exactly is defending this?

    The idea I would go with is "you cannot buck the market" which is what the Bedroom Tax attempted to do. The idea that there was a surplus of available and suitable accommodation has all the credibility of Soviet tractors production figures. IDS is the worst kind of socialist bureaucrat dictating fanciful directives from his padded office.

    This is about disability, credibility and reality.

  4. It may be something that can be used politically to our advantage in the here and now. That I accept.
    I don't for a minute believe it.

    I voted Lib-Dem in the last election after reading all 3 parties' manifestos (you can stop laughing now). I am therefore quite well placed to say that manifesto pledges are completely and utterly worthless. It isn't just the big well known ones that the Tories and Lib-Dems broke such as the NHS and tuition fees. There are tens of other ones.

    So yes. I can see that this statement can be used. I don't however expect any change if by some miracle they had any power after the election.
    And I don't for one minute think that they care.

  5. Well said Sue, it is true we must keep our emotions out of this in order to fight back effectively because our lives are at stake.

  6. When everybody was saying "I agree with Clegg" during the 2010 election debates and when everybody had lost confidence in Gordon Brown my *emotions* told me NOT to trust the Liberal Democrats and to remind me that Gordon Brown could have been treated better by Labour - he made mistakes BUT he also had a lot to contend with in 2010.

    You cannot kill your own king with a pawn, you can only stop defending your king. Perhaps that is what happened to Gordon Brown, and by so doing Labour allowed the Tories into power in 2010. I don't believe for one moment that what Tories had planned was a complete surprise to ALL Labour MPs at the time of the 2010 elections... anyway... emotions must guide our choices.

    It is about time that we eliminated the chess theories of Niccolò Machiavelli from our Parliament and to actually obtain a democratic government who doesn't play chess with the rest of us. We elect them to represent us NOT to represent corporate interest and their future non-parliamentary careers and retirement packages.

  7. Its an opportunity to say to Cameron "See, fucking told you so - you hairy arsed muppet".
    Its not endorsing the Libdems.

    Quite honestly any opportunity to point out that Cameron and IDS etc are knobs of the first order is a bonus - after all,what else did you have planned for today? ;-)

  8. whatever nick clegg states will count for nothing as he will play no further part in the next government

    if he thinks that it will make the lib dems more electable then he more of a fool then i took him for

    David Cameron had a son who was disabled and died and instead of showing concern to the sick and disabled he chose to make them suffer so much for the universities he attended at Eton College, University of Oxford, Heatherdown School, Brasenose College, Oxford

    my daughter has just received a first class honours in international politics from Cardiff uni and is very grateful that it wasn't from the above disgraced universities in which David Cameron got his' as apart from me not going to Cardiff uni to see her receive it her professor made a great point that she and her fellow graduates were to never cause harm to others in there political careers

    David Cameron has caused the uk more harm then any other politician in the UK's history and will continue to do so if re-elected at the next general election

    as for Oya's Daughter i fully understand her view point the uk is finished in it's way it treats the sick and disabled and as i have said above nick cleggs turn around counts for nothing and is far to late now to say sorry

  9. One can only hope that this brings the end to this awful tax. If it does, then I am thankful, even though it doesn't affect me.
    The suffering will still go on, the hatred towards disabled and long term sick will still go on - worst of all, the government will still go ahead and cut, cut and cut some more just for the hell of it. The ones in government now are all against disabled, they must be as they let it go on!

  10. Attempted to respond to you Sue, without success !

  11. Nick who? Clegg? Isn't he that bloke from 'Last of the summer wine' ?