There is something refreshing about a politician saying sorry. One of the more recent cases was Theresa May, Home Secretary, and somewhat of a gay icon (at least to me, even though I despise her politics), being challenged on her former voting record on LGBT issues, she voted against the Equal Age of Consent, Gay Adoption and against the repeal of the infamous Section 28 of the Local Authorities Act that made ‘the promotion of homosexuality’ illegal. Suddenly she decides she is for Gay / Equal Marriage. When questioned on her voting records he argument was that she had been persuaded by the arguments. I will accept this defence because it seemed genuine and is exactly what the we were hoping for – changing people’s attitudes by force of reason. Theresa is a politician so she could being lying, if she is pretty damn good.
When Nick Clegg apologies I, frankly, don’t believe him. I want to believe him, but I don’t. Look at his body language, at Prime Ministers Questions he is totally disengaged, when he speaks he lacks conviction, it is more like a technocrat speaking than a conviction politician. I don’t trust Nick Clegg because he has taken the art of political expediency to new heights in this country. He has sacrificed the NHS, the Welfare State, and Education for, to quote Simon and Garfunkel, a pocket of mumbles such are promises.
His latest apology, the second in as many weeks, is apologising for voting for the student top up fees which has seen tuition fees raised to £9,000 a year in the majority of cases even though when campaigning he ‘signed the pledge’ in public to abolish student top up fees. When you are in opposition it is easy to promise the earth, you have no way of achieving your goals so you make promises to get into power – it is the nature of politics all over the world – but when you have no hope of being in power it is more seductive. The problem for Nick Clegg he is in Government now, and his first act was to vote for the raising of student fees.
To U-Turn so publicly is pretty reprehensible, with no hope of spin leaves you politically vulnerable. It has taken Nick Clegg two years to apologise for not keeping his election promises, or at least fighting for them.
Waiting two years for an apology is bad, what is worse is the apology that remained unspoken
Not only did the Liberal Democrats campaign on a platform of no Student Fees, but they did so knowing that the policy was untenable. This Deputy Leader of the Government not only failed to keep his promise, he lied and publicly and deceived the electorate in a craven manner that has not been seen (or at least publicly revealed) in British politics. This man is a disgrace.
How craven can you get?
To fair David Cameron lied when he was speaking in front of a group of Nurses prior to the election ‘no more top down re-organisation of the NHS’ – until, supported by Nick Clegg, he was in power. For some reason I have a special disdain for Nick Clegg, the Tories are doing what Tories always do, the Lib Dems are not so much supporting them, they are enabling them and that is far worse.