I read the Jemina Khan interview with Nick Clegg in this weeks' New Statesman'. She is not a particularly good writer and she was bending over backwards to me generous to the smuck,yet he still managed to come across as a shallow smarmy lightweight.
Policies?-pshaw!! Principles?-pshaw!! Ideas-Your havin' a laugh!
Clegg has only one policy,to get into the Cabinet at whatever the cost,his principles evaporated when he got into Cabinet and if he ever had an idea that vanished in the first sniff of the Cameron smooch.
Even a simple question-did he ever play tennis with Cameron became a no-er yes- response.He reminded me of a guide we once had in Beijing-the delightful Louis who when asked a question would answer 'no,no,no,er-yes'.
Louis was however extremely frank and very charming and quite quickly forgot the party line.
I suppose Clegg has that in common with Louis.
What I find nauseating about Lib-Dems generally is that they pretend to be some sort of new politics,but are sadly just as two faced and cynical as the others.Any casual reading of any faded Focus leaflet will remind you of just how vicious they can be.
The gospel according to the Lib-Dems is that in Northampton for instance everything before they won NBC four years ago was rubbish and hopeless,everything that has happened since has been down to the wonderful Lib-Dems!
Even winning Britain in Bloom was not about the people who planted the flowers but about the magnificent leadership and inspiration of St Trini of Crake.
Nationally the Tories are the worst ideologically driven government for over 100 years, and they have the fig leaf of Clegg that allows them to get away with whatever they like.
They are systematically selling the NHS to the lowest bidders and taking Clegg along to pretend that if a few councillors get on the new boards then democracy will be served.
Ironic really when you think that after May there will be very few Lib-Dem councillors to choose from!
Locally the Tories are biding their time,quite wisely they are putting little in their manifesto and their current commitments barely amount to a hill of beans-wait till they win and see what will emerge!
Finally my old party.
Nationally Milliband appears to be offering very little of substance, with a coalition going nowhere fast other than the most comprehensive destruction of the NHS and the dismantling of education,social security and pensions it should be possible for the Labour Party to galvanise resistance.
Yet it was the TUC who so far has taken the lead and offered at least some alternative.Of course the Labour Party is hampered by the posiution that says the only difference between us and the Con-Dems is that they are cutting faster than we would do!
Hardly a ringing endorsement of an alternative programme.Not least because many economists are saying quite clearly that reduction of 'the deficit' is not a priority-indeed not even close to the top of a priority list.
We have lived with a national debt since Henry VIII raised the debt to buy boats to invade France.
To compare the UK with Ireland,Greece and Portugal is also misleading tosh, and suggests not an analysis that will challenge the status quo,but rather a lazy and uninspiring position designed to keep a couple of hundred MP's in full time employment.
Locally the Labour Party,faced with an open goal of a lousy administration and a tired Tory opposition have managed to screw up bigtime.
Over the past 40 odd years Labour always managed to field candidates even in the safest of Tory seats.To miss out on 14 seats,some of which were almost certain Labour gains is a dreadful state of affairs and perhaps accurately reflects the poor state of local Labour.
Over the next few weeks there will be many,or those that are left,Labour loyalist blow hards who will claim it was a tactical move and they are going to win control.
I tghink you know the response.
That leaves the future locally uncertain, the best hope we have of resistance to the national ineptitude is the election here in Northampton of a block of independent minded councillors who will stand up for their communities and put need before political ambition and party hackery.
Over the years the Labour Party used to produce local councillors who did just that.Sometimes they were not stunning performers in the Council Chamber and sometimes they were too quiet for their own good.But there was a time when Northampton produced fine brave Councillors like the late Ron Linsdell, a working class socialist who stood for all that was good and positive in the labour movement and was a fine local representative.
Ron was an independent minded socialist-the sort of man who now appears in the ranks of the independents, the SOS group,and the Green Party.
This May could be the rebirth of localism as a force for change.