What did George Osborne agree to do that Nick Clegg refused to do?


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Compare and contrast:

This…

Nick Clegg gives house sale profits to taxpayer
Nick Clegg has sold his constituency home, giving almost £40,000 in profits to the taxpayer. The deputy prime minister is now renting a two-bedroom flat, having received £325,000 for his four-bedroom house in Sheffield. … The Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister told the BBC: “I’ve written a cheque and sent it today to the House of Commons authorities to make sure it goes back to the taxpayer. It’s not something required of me. It’s not something I expect other MPs of any party to do. I’ve had the benefit of living in that house and I wanted to give the benefit back to the taxpayer.”

With this:

George Osborne makes £400K profit on constituency home
George Osborne has sold his constituency home, which has been part-funded by his MP’s expenses claims, for an estimated £400,000 profit, it emerged last night. The Chancellor bought the second home for £445,000 near Macclesfield, Cheshire a year before he was elected MP for Tatton in 2001. He quietly sold off the property in January when it looked as though changes to constituency boundaries might mean he lost his seat, the Daily Mirror disclosed. A neighbour told the paper that the house was sold for an estimated £800,000 to £900,000 without going on the market.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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8 Comments

  • And whom is this supposed to impress.Those,dependent on UC,which by all accounts is a disaster waiting to happen.Had Nick Clegg,actually stood up for the poor,sick and disabled rather than attacking them with Daily Mail rhetoric,your party would not be doing so bad in opinion polls and may have even gained seats rather than lose them.Such is life.

  • Helen Dudden 22nd Nov '12 - 3:59pm

    Like others who work in the public sector, MP’s are doing a job, We have to play fair with tax payers money. I think that it is time to change the views on the public purse.

  • Helen Dudden 22nd Nov '12 - 4:02pm

    Could I add I meant on the subject of expenses, and what is morally correct in the situation of MPs and what they are paid.

  • The strapline isn’t snappy enough Stephen, but the concept is. Although Nick Clegg’s house was sold a year earlier the two sales can legitimately stand comparison and the fact should be noted by the media and communications team. They might even wake up to using a variation of your graphic when certain tabloids come for the LibDem leader shortly before the next election. If anything like the Daily Mail’s 2010 “Nazi Slur” story on Nick is ever again contemplated by the Chancellor, voters could be reminded that Osborne and Little really are the only ones in this together!

  • They’re all selling their homes? I expect that means the market is going to take a dip..

  • The positiveness of Nick Clegg choosing not to profit should have just stood on its own. The fact that Nick Clegg behaved differently and therefore not a Conservative is an underlying message. Being bludgeoned by the underlying message obscures the initial positive act. More subtly is required.

    The trouble is with the ‘in govt due to the national interest but separate values’ thing to differentiate is that what is in the National Interest is hugely debatable. For example, the austerity program and suppressing growth is not in the National Interest ; that’s an economic and political view of a sizable portion of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

    Is it in the National Interest to be associated with polices and rhetoric of the demonisation of the poorest and those on benefits (as reported by Sarah Teather) ?Arguably, demonisation of the poor protects the people and the system that caused the economic crash, diverts blame and prevents a serious national discussion on what went wrong. /
    My view is that Nick Clegg and David Cameron and to a certain, George Osbourne, in their values relating to economics are very close, hence the neo liberal free market policies. It is very debatable whether it is in the National Interest to enable the Conservative ideological project – obsession of dismantling and outsourcing / privatising all public services . Arguably private companies and individuals benefit from in big profits, but there is no discernible improvement on service but with great risks of monopoly behaviour, higher bills, poorer services and rationing. Look at the energy privatisations and pricing for example.

    These are big major discussions and results of policy that dwarf a small public image campaign to improve Nick Cleggs image. Drawing the two things together – or any other similar type stories / evidence needs to be carefully done. I may think slightly better about Nick Clegg this morning than before the article but bluntly linking that with a ‘national interest / different values’ arguments does not work.

    The slogan, ‘national interest / different values’ may just aggravate voters more than it changes them particularly when linked to a personal individual story. At best, the two things need to be carried out separately in an image improvement / differentiation campaign.

  • Helen Dudden 25th Nov '12 - 1:40pm

    I agree with the above view on the economy. Somethings are political, others most certainly are not. Being in the public employ should be the first thought, in the minds of those who are. I think sometimes lost in translation is one way of looking at an issue. A good MP is one who serves his constituants and his party, in a fair percentage. I often wonder if being an independent, does give you an upper hand.

  • Stephen, you visually undercut the effectiveness of your graphic by putting the word “Lib Dems” under Osborne’s picture and “Tories” under Clegg’s. This induces a kind of mental chiasmus which will either leave viewers frustrated and confused, or else (counter to your ostensible message) deciding that “Tory” and “Lib Dem” mean the same thing.

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