Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Clegg in the House on the Queens Speech

. It was more than a little disappointing that the chamber virtually emptied for Nick Clegg's response and Gordon Brown's obvious indifference to Clegg's remarks was irritating too; however, lets draw out some positives.

  • Finally, we got some acknowledgement that maybe; just maybe the Conservatives have no answers when it comes to civil liberties and a hat-tip to legislation brought in by the previous government was welcome.
  • I liked the fact that Clegg appeared to be edging towards some sort of 'broken politics' narrative but stopped just shy of outright saying it was which in my eyes was a slight mistake. We should go all out on this because it ties together our package for economic changes with political changes.

Now the negative; I understand that Clegg wants to balance between two conflicting tendencies on interventionism but I found what he said to be dangerously incoherent on this question. On the one hand he was criticising the government for 'wanting to do everything' but stopping short and on the other he made that sound like a bad thing that they 'wanted to do everything' in the first place. I know that the message he is trying to get across is that intervention is ok if it is the right kind but that didn't seem apparently obvious to me from hearing him speak.

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