Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Is there anyone less deserving of a gong than Nick Clegg?

The rumour is that Nick Clegg is due to be handed a knighthood in the New Year's Honours.

Aside from the fact that the British honours system is an absolute affront to democracy, there's surely nobody less deserving of such a politically motivated award than Nick Clegg.

If we think back to 2010 we'll recall the fact that after decades of rebuilding and restructuring, the Liberals were a genuine third party, looking at securing well over 20% of the vote.

The Liberal Democrats were in fine form, with popular and engaging policies like their pledge to oppose any more tuition fee increases, and their determination to reform our outrageously outdated and unrepresentative political system.

In Vince Cable they had another apparent asset in someone who could talk about economics in an engaging and understandable manner. Before the General Election he cautioned against the fire-sale of public assets at below their true market value, and against austerity dogma with appeals for increased public investment in infrastructure projects.

By 2017 the Lib-Dem share of the vote has collapsed to just 7%, Nick Clegg is gone as party leader, and ousted from his Sheffield Hallam constituency too.

The reasons for this collapse in fortunes are obvious. 

 One of the main reasons is that Clegg and his Lib-Dem chums immediately betrayed everyone who voted Lib-Dem because they believe education is a right and a social benefit, rather than a privilege to be commodified and sold at the highest possible price.

By colluding with the Tories to increase tuition fees to £9,000 per year, with interest on the debts hiked to an absolute rip-off 3% above inflation, Clegg has lumbered hundreds of thousands of students with vast debts that over three quarters of them will never pay off, despite paying 9% of their disposable income in aspiration tax for their entire working lifetimes.

When it came to much-needed reform of the political system, Clegg betrayed that core Lib-Dem demographic too. 

Instead of making fair votes one of his red lines in the coalition negotiations, he capitulated and agreed to nothing more than a referendum on a worst possible voting reform called Alternative Vote. A voting system Clegg himself once famously referred to as "a miserable little compromise"

The referendum was lost and reform of the House of Lords wasn't even attempted as Clegg actually sat by and watched David Cameron stuff the Lords with unelected cronies at a faster rate than any Prime Minister in British history!

Then there was Clegg's economics spokesperson Vince Cable, who went from warning against public asset fire-sales and ruinous austerity dogma, to serving in George Osborne's treasury, selling off the Royal Mail at way below it's true market value, and helping Osborne slash Britain's rate of infrastructure investment to the lowest level in the developed world.

What's worst of all is that the Lib-Dems are rabidly pro-European, and only the most blinkered of Lib-Dem fanatics could possibly try to deny the vital role Nick Clegg played in creating Brexit.

Firstly he enabled the Tories back into power and then backed their ruinous austerity fetishism and wage repression policies to the hilt, thus eroding the living standards of millions and creating the ideal situation for a massive public "fuck you" to the political establishment.

Then there's the way he normalised lying to the electorate with his absolutely brazen deceptions about opposing tuition fee increases. Watching Clegg completely get away with that extreme level of dishonesty surely emboldened the most shockingly dishonest Brexiteers like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, and Iain Duncan Smith.

Then there was his refusal to press the Tories into electoral reform to make the voting system fairer and more representative. Had he made the introduction of a proportional voting system a red line in his coalition negotiations, David Cameron would never have been able to win a thumping majority with just 36.8% of the vote, and he would never have been able to gamble the entire future of the UK on a whim like he did.

Not only has Clegg wrecked his own party and rendered himself so politically toxic that his own constituency got rid of him, he's also played an instrumental role in bringing about the Lib-Dems own worst nightmare in Brexit.

Anyone with any grip on reality whatever would look at a man who wrecked his own party, lied to the electorate, wilfully imposed ruinous Tory austerity dogma and wage repression on millions of people, played an instrumental role in delivering his own worst nightmare in Brexit, and even got dumped by his own constituents, must surely conclude that he deserves a badge of shame rather than a reward.

However the Westminster establishment club are so shockingly out of touch with reality that they can look at an incompetent, profoundly dishonest, self-defeating, and massively discredited charlatan like Nick Clegg and think he deserves one of the highest honours the nation can bestow on a person!

Nick Clegg's reward for such abject failure actually tells us way more about the ridiculous bubble of delusion the Westminster establishment club exists in, than it tells us about the man himself.

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