Talk about bashing a man when he is down. Today Nick Clegg published his white paper on the reform of the second chamber and the response from Labour MPs in the House? ‘We hate you Clegg’. Sadly it’s not an inaccurate representation of what happened. Sadiq Khan lambasted the Deputy Prime Minister and tried to open with a Avram Grant joke (it could have been clever and mildly amusing had he not fluffed his lines). He said that no-one cares and it is a waste of time as people only care about jobs, hospitals and schools. David Blunkett said something boring and Frank Dobson echoed his colleagues sentiments.
But wait what is this now? Two Conservative MPs in seats where I have lived (Bernard Jenkins and Andrew Turner) both say that it is a sad little obsession of Nick Clegg’s and they shake their heads when Clegg points out that they fought an election with House of Lords reform in their manifestos. I want to ask people who asked these two on the campaign trail whether they were against their party on this issue, I bet they didn’t but now they feel strong enough to shout down the idea. As John Thurso just put it people in the House of Commons are only interested in ‘featherbedding’ their own interests.
Watching the debate now it seems pretty clear that both Labour and the Conservative Party were lying to the electorate over wanting reform of the House of Lords. The MPs of both parties will shout down these (or any proposals) as they are being put forward by Nick Clegg and will result in a more electoral and representative system of government for this country.
So many Labour and Conservative MPs are in the game for their own goals and not for the will of the people. The latest political game is ‘Kick the Lib Dems both in the house and in public to ensure that they become insignificant even if it goes against what we stood on in 2010. No-one cares about our manifestos as whatever we do/say will never be as widely reported or disliked amongst the electorate as what the Lib Dems did over tuition fees so we have carte blanche to do/say what we please because we can stand in 2015 on the platform of ‘We aren’t the Lib Dems”
(wow that was a long bracket)
In all seriousness that is a problem the Lib Dems have at this juncture. Whether or not they are doing the right or wrong thing the perception will always be bad. Tuition fees are the elephant in the room that MPs of other parties can stand behind and do what they please.
Reforms of the second chamber should be a no brainer considering all three parties had it in their 2010 manifestos but now there is that avenue of kicking the Lib Dems – it seems as though some MPs may well take it and the question is just how big that number will be.
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