Tag Archives: Change Coalition

Danny Alexander T-Minus 2 days to resignation?

Well, perhaps the headline is overplaying it a little, but it seems that the Daily Telegraph is now getting it’s teeth into Danny Alexander over avoiding capital gains tax – whether it’s legal or illegal will be the big question – Telegraph attempt to skewer Danny...whether an answer is needed before they decide he should be hung drawn and quartered is another thing.

The Telegraph is now full out gunning for the coalition, my spies tell me that they’re being briefed by Labour yes, but that to be be expected, more worryingly is the rumour that one or two Lib Dem staffers are briefing hacks that are way above their pay-grade. I’m not sure whether to believe this or not, I certainly wasn’t expecting a barage of messages surrouding David Laws yesterday though – so who can say who’s side they’re playing on.

What is true is that The Telegraph can no longer hide behind the veil of ‘the public interest’ in their theft of expenses data – if it is in the public interest, let’s have full disclosure; all out, right now… all parties all the data, otherwise it’s going to be a drip drip drip that does nothing but increase the circulation of The Telegraph (benefiting from the proceeds of Stolen goods one could possibly argue). It’s hard to see how the coalition can function effectively if one side of it is being taken apart one person at a time; it’s even harder to see how Nick Clegg’s reputation will recover after his protestations that his was a party of new politics, whiter than white.

Communications Control

Dear lord, the past few days have been interesting: the Liberal Democrats are really showing how far in opposition they really are – they’ve got so little control of their communications it’s hard not to feel sorry for them – they’re a mess. No clear line, briefing against each other secretly (but in a horribly obvious way) and just generally having the communications strategy of a bunch of rabid puppies.

They desperately need to get a grip: for the first time in their history they’re in power – and it’s all about to go awfully wrong if they don’t stop a few movers from acting like they’re running a university debating society, it’s shabby and unbecoming of a party in power.

This goes for the Conservatives as well – better press handling will result in slicker relations with the media; not spin, but at least making sure people are saying the same things at the same time: what will kill the coalition dead is the press, if they scent descent or a mixed message it’ll be leaped on every single time. I’m amazed with all of the support they have from really influential lobbyists, communications specialists, old-style PRs and digital and social media people that it’s still such a mess.

Some have blamed it on the state of the economy, the mess they’re having to sort out – the rush of the coalition talks, but they’re all just making excuses. A good communications plan and superb people to carry it out will work whatever the situation, so please. Stop making excuses and start exercising some communications discipline.

The Great Reform Act

A blinder of a speech from Nick Clegg, I’ve been wanting to hear a politician talk like this for a very long time – and I’ve not felt so enthused since I heard Cameron’s speak at the Conservative conference without notes about how he wanted real change.

Nick Clegg today laid out what the Change Coalition can do: and it’s exactly what Britain needs right now – a rebalancing of power, more trust in us the people of the UK to run our own affairs, and a real movement toward a fairer, safer society that isn’t feared by it’s people.

I have spent my whole political life fighting to open up politics. So let me make one thing very clear: this government is going to be unlike any other. This government is going to transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state. This government is going to break up concentrations of power and hand power back to people, because that is how we build a society that is fair. This government is going to persuade you to put your faith in politics once again.

I’m not talking about a few new rules for MPs; not the odd gesture or gimmick to make you feel a bit more involved. I’m talking about the most significant programme of empowerment by a British government since the great enfranchisement of the 19th Century. The biggest shake up of our democracy since 1832, when the Great Reform Act redrew the boundaries of British democracy, for the first time extending the franchise beyond the landed classes. Landmark legislation, from politicians who refused to sit back and do nothing while huge swathes of the population remained helpless against vested interests. Who stood up for the freedom of the many, not the privilege of the few. A spirit this government will draw on as we deliver our programme for political reform: a power revolution.A fundamental resettlement of the relationship between state and citizen that puts you in charge. So, no, incremental change will not do.

It is time for a wholesale, big bang approach to political reform. That’s what this government will deliver.

It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop.

So there will be no ID card scheme. No national identity register, no second generation biometric passports. We won’t hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so. CCTV will be properly regulated, as will the DNA database, with restrictions on the storage of innocent people’s DNA. And we will end practices that risk making Britain a place where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they accept it without question. There will be no ContactPoint children’s database.Schools will not take children’s fingerprints without even asking their parent’s consent.

This will be a government that is proud when British citizens stand up against illegitimate advances of the state. That values debate, that is unafraid of dissent. That’s why we’ll remove limits on the rights to peaceful protest. It’s why we’ll review libel laws so that we can better protect freedom of speech. And as we tear through the statute book, we’ll do something no government ever has: We will ask you which laws you think should go.

Because thousands of criminal offences were created under the previous government… Taking people’s freedom away didn’t make our streets safe. Obsessive lawmaking simply makes criminals out of ordinary people. So, we’ll get rid of the unnecessary laws, and once they’re gone, they won’t come back. We will introduce a mechanism to block pointless new criminal offences.

Nick Clegg 19th May 2010

Strong stuff – said from the heart from both Cameron & Clegg: but by god – we will be watching. So don’t let us down.

The best of both worlds?

So, Nick Clegg, bless is cotton socks is standing by his word – speaking in the first instance to the party with the largest number of votes and seats. Cameron made a particularly Prime Ministerial speech, no nonsense and no tractor facts, just a plain speech laying out the points of outreach and the redlines which they won’t move on.

I’m extremely excited about this, many people seem to assume the Liberal Democrats are in some way social democrats: but I don’t think that’s their position – most of the Lib Dems I know are just that “liberal” “democrats”, conservatively focussed on freedoms of the people, freedoms of the markets within strong frameworks and a realistic view that many ‘unmovable rocks’ in British democracy are in fact entirely movable; and in an open democracy always should be.

A conservative liberal coalition would for me deliver many of the things that I’ve always wanted from a parliamentary party: strong reform of our public bodies, fairer voting, a more balanced outlook on Europe and a tempering of the budget.

I find this extremely exciting.