LibLink: Nick Clegg: Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to stand up for Britain’s place in Europe.

Nick Clegg has been writing over at the Independent to mark 100 days before the European elections.

He has a simple and clear message – you can only trust the Liberal Democrats to stand up for Britain’s interests, and therefore safeguard jobs, in Europe. He says that the Euros don’t usually “set the heart racing”, but this time, there’s a lot to lose:

Ukip has been coming up on the rails in British politics for years and it sees this May as its breakthrough moment. Mainstream politicians have made the mistake in the past of not taking UKIP, or the people who say they will vote for it, seriously. That time has long passed. Ukip is for real. But if it were to win this May and take Britain a further step towards self- imposed exile from Europe, it could wreck the recovery and destroy British jobs.

The Conservatives won’t tell you about the risks of EU exit because, deep down, many of them want to pull us out of Europe too. And Labour won’t tell you either because it thinks you don’t want to hear it. It doesn’t have the courage of their convictions and won’t lift a finger to keep us in.

Nick outlines the reasons to stay at the heart of Europe, jobs, crime and climate change:

 Only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain in Europe. ‘In’ for the sake of more than three million British jobs linked to trade with the EU. ‘In’ so that we can work with our neighbours to tackle cross-border crime and fight climate change. ‘In’ because we know that Britain can only stand tall in the world if we stand tall in our own back yard.

Leaving the EU puts billions of pounds of investment in Britain at risk. British companies could be hit by new export taxes. British businesses know that alone, without unrestricted access to the world’s biggest single market, we will be diminished.

And he warns people not to be taken in by Farage:

I understand why Nigel Farage’s brand of pub-friendly Euroscepticism is appealing. It plays on the fear of the ‘other’, the fear of change, the belief that someone else must be to blame for the ills of the modern world. It offers beguilingly simple solutions: pull up the drawbridge, close the door and turn our back on the world. It is an appealing offer but one that is extremely dangerous.

Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to take the fight to UKIP and stand up for Britain’s place in Europe. We need your help this May. If you want to keep Britain safe and strong, a leader not a follower in the world, we have 100 days. Are you in?

You can read the whole thing here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in Europe / International and LibLink.
Advert

68 Comments

  • Actually I think Clegg is missing a good part of Farage’s appeal. People are fed up with an out of touch metropolitan upper middle class elite. That’s why the man in the pub thing works. Could you imagine seeing Nick Clegg in a pub? Clegg is part of the European elite that knows best.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 1:43pm

    Clegg needs to rule out getting a well paid unelected job with the EU after the election. There’s a conflict of interest.

  • Frank Booth. Unfortunately I can imagine Nick Clegg in a pub. Thank goodness I don’t drink.

    I can also imagine him as the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. That is a much more appealing prospect.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 1:48pm

    I can see the moral case for going for an unelected well paid job with the EU whilst we have them, but we should come out against having them.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 2:46pm

    There are unelected well-paid jobs with the UK as well, as there are in any governing body. Should we be calling for their abolition as well? We could abolish the civil service but what do we put in its place? Maybe (heaven help us) have the US system where each President brings in their own, partisan, advisers, and there is no permanent staff ensuring continuity.
    Incidentally, to characterise the European Commission as “unelected” (with the implication of “unaccountable”) is simplistic. The European Parliament has the final say over who is appointed, and it can also sack the Commission. And, from this election onwards, each party puts up a candidate for President of the Commission, and the EP votes on them.
    And what “conflict of interest”? Conflicts of interest occur when someone is simultaneously in two roles whose duties and objectives conflict. If Clegg takes up a job with the EU after the next election, then he will have to resign his Westminster seat anyway, so the potential for conflict of interest will be removed automatically. And why should he rule out an EU job? It would be a rather pointless pledge to make as there would be no way of holding him to it once he has left UK domestic politics. And what would it matter what sort of job once he has one that anyway?

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 3:10pm

    I believe that the UK should remain in Europe and and therefore in agreement with the Lib Dems.

    The problem is that the Lib Dems now have a broken platform upon which to make this representation.

    They have betrayed so many of their own stated objectives that no one is listening to them even when they are right.

    This was a terrible mistake that has opened the door of the UK to further right wing ideology.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 3:12pm

    Alex, my main point is that we need to be more principled. Scaremongering and thinking it is other people’s job to hold the EU to account is not good.

  • It is an absurdity to imagine that there is a job waiting for Nick Clegg in Brussels. It is a UKIP fantasy. There is only one scenario that I could envisage it, which would require a) Liberal Democrats in government with Labour in the next parliament ; b) a commissioner or high representative position becoming available close to the start of a new parliament.

    In the more likely event of either Labour or Conservatives winning the 2015 election outright, what does Eddie Sammon think is the chance that Miliband or Cameron would propose Clegg as the UK nominee? Just conceivable is that Miliband would like to take Clegg out of Westminster by such a nomination, but then the post would have to be there, which will not happen anyway.

    Aside from the fact that there is next to no chance that Clegg could be appointed to the commission (by an elected government incidentally), actually I cannot think of many from the UK better suited to such a posting. Moreover, whatever anyone thinks of Nick Clegg, had his principal objective been to become an EU commissioner, he would not have become a Liberal Democrat politician.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 3:27pm

    “Maybe (heaven help us) have the US system where each President brings in their own, partisan, advisers, and there is no permanent staff ensuring continuity.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that this does not already occur in the UK?

    “And what “conflict of interest”? Conflicts of interest occur when someone is simultaneously in two roles whose duties and objectives conflict”

    Conflict of interest also happens when MP’s and Peers are allowed to have large shareholdings in private companies and simultaneously vote on whether to pass bills that favour those companies.

  • Mack (Not a Lib Dem) 12th Feb '14 - 3:27pm

    “And Labour won’t tell you either because it thinks you don’t want to hear it. It doesn’t have the courage of their (sic) convictions and won’t lift a finger to keep us in.”

    Completely untrue. Labour has absolutely no desire for withdrawal from the E.U. and has refused to be affected by UKIP and Tory populist arguments for withdrawal. Labour is a pro European Party and its supporters value the protection that workers receive as the consequence of European employment legislation and health and safety laws. Laws that the Coalition describe as “Red Tape”. Indeed, the reason that the Tories and UKIP wish to take us out of Europe is so that they can destroy workers’ employment rights and abolish the minimum wage . Don’t forget that Labour represents millions of trades unionists whose jobs are either directly or indirectly dependent upon our membership of the European Union. That’s just one of the reasons why we remain a strongly pro-European party. It is the Liberal Democrats that do not have the courage of their convictions. If they really were as pro-European as they say they couldn’t possibly contemplate shoring up the anti-European Tory party. If you had any real principles you wouldn’t even be able to sit on the same side of the House of Commons as the Tory xenophobes and little Englanders.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 3:33pm

    Right guys, the opposite of cynicism is naivety. I don’t think we should be either, but if you never question somebody you become naive.

  • @ Mack (not a Lib Dem)
    “Labour is a pro European Party”
    Not true historically and not really true now. Labour is sporadically in favour of the EU but only when it suits its aims.
    Now is not one of those times, apparently.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 3:42pm

    It’s a fair statement Eddie and sometimes I can fall into cynicism when I look at Westminster. Perhaps despair is a more accurate word.

    To be honest I am struggling to see how we can get good people into power who treat their role as a vocation and act in a truthful and honorable way.

    The process itself seems to prevent this from ever occurring.

    And how did we ever end up allowing the right wing press to dominate the argument over Europe to such an extent that we are on the verge of isolating ourselves.

  • @ Mason Cartwright

    “They have betrayed so many of their own stated objectives that no one is listening to them even when they are right.”

    Utterly untrue. As if Labour or the Tories don’t have even more disastrously “broken platforms”, and unlike them, we did not even have more than a tiny (eleventh) share of MPs with which to deliver ours.

    Your accusation is wildly inaccurate, unjust and unfounded.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 3:57pm

    Thanks Mason. I agree with what you say. My point is not to question people, which is different to accusing people, but to explain why people are attracted to Nigel Farage and not the Lib Dems. Such is Farage’s charisma that he is basically the party and people think he is an honest man who is fighting for what he believes in. Nobody is perfect, but he has the charisma in bucket loads.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 4:01pm

    Eddie Sammon: You’re the one scaremongering by talking up the possibility of Clegg going to Brussels, which as noted is unlikely. As for accountability, this post is in the context of the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament, which is the elected body that holds the other two EU bodies to account. Clegg cannot be held to account in this election, and nor can he be held to account for what job he does or does not do after leaving UK domestic politics. Our leader pledging not to take up a hypothetical post that is unlikely to be available to him and which would necessitate him leaving domestic politics is not being principled, it’s gesture politics.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 4:02pm

    @ RC

    I must elaborate on my previous post.

    They have betrayed many of their own stated objectives. The fact that the Labour Party and the Conservatives have done likewise does not make this statement untrue it simply means that the Liberal Democrats have joined up.

    I voted for the Lib Dems in 2010 because I was sick of broken promises by the other parties and believed that the Lib Dems represented hope.

    They have sadly not delivered and I now do not know who to cast a vote for going forward.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 4:14pm

    Hmm, well Alex, that is the first time I have been accused of scaremongering.

    The guilt of breaking a promise is worse than being held to account legally. I just made a suggestion, I don’t know why it has bothered you so much. All I was doing was questioning someone’s motives, a reasonable activity.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 4:18pm

    @ RC

    I just wanted to add one other thing.

    I read across all newspapers (even the tabloids although it is a soul destroying process) and one of the most interesting aspects are the comments left by readers.

    In general when a senior Lib Dem makes a good solid intellectual and moral point the comments are negative not because the view is poorly founded but rather because there is mistrust of the messenger.

    This is a terrible sign.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 4:23pm

    I didn’t understand the comment scaremongering either. A view is not scaremongering it’s simply a view.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 4:26pm

    Alex, you sound like a principled person, so I don’t want to fall out, I just feel like I and the public need reassurance that Lib Dem politicians are not influenced by the EU offering jobs.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 4:51pm

    Perhaps if the Lib Dems had not:

    Signed us up to the wrong kind of NHS reform that gave the tories a salivation party of privatisation glee
    Assisted in making education a preserve of the rich again.
    Backed secret justice.
    Enabled deficit reduction that disproportionately harmed the most vulnerable whilst closing allowing aggressive tax avoidance for those able to hire expensive lawyers/accountants.

    They may have a platform to make the European case and be listened to.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 12th Feb '14 - 5:03pm

    Eddie,

    Why just Nick Clegg? Why just Liberal Democrats? Why not all politicians? Being opposed to Europe hasn’t stopped a whole bunch of UKIP MEPs accepting a salary from an institution they despise, which does strike me as a bit of a conflict of interest.

    In most European countries, politicians spend time in their domestic Parliaments, perhaps do a few terms in Brussels, then return to their state – swapping between the two is commonplace. Isn’t it better that we send people to Brussels who believe in the concept of working together where appropriate?

    And how long should any pledge not to take a job last for? A year, five years, forever?

    Personally, given his age, I don’t see why he couldn’t hold a senior role in one of the European institutions, should he be interested, but this resembles one of those questions where merely by answering it at all, you set a whole bunch of hares running.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb ’14 – 4:18pm
    In general when a senior Lib Dem makes a good solid intellectual and moral point the comments are negative not because the view is poorly founded but rather because there is mistrust of the messenger.

    One cannot deny Mason Cartwright’s observation it is a matter of fact. It will not change until there Is a new leader of the Liberal Democrats and until that new leader restores the party to a Liberal Democrat left of centre position.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 5:17pm

    Hi Mark,

    I don’t mean just Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats, but I am mainly interested in improving the Lib Dems and he is the leader.

    The pledge was a suggestion to reassure the public that the Lib Dems are on their side. An alternative would be to drop the Party of In campaign or come up with a new idea.

    I don’t see what is so wrong about trying to do something about possible cronyism.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 5:22pm

    @ Mark Valladares

    Am I correct in thinking that you believe that revolving doors are ok and they are ok because other people do it. Is that the basis of your argument?

    What happened to the view that we should set our standards higher that the rest because we want to be better than the rest.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 5:31pm

    Whether Nick Clegg is offered an EU position does not depend on this election campaign or its outcome. No principle would be at stake if he were to accept an EU position. For him to make any sort of pledge not to accept a senior EU post would give credence ot the idea that (i) it is at all likely to happen, and (ii) that this election campaign will make it any more likely. EU jobs are not handed out by some EU office to people depending on how much they have sucked up to it, they are generally given by national governments according to their suitability to do that specific job. Not to make any pledge at all would be a principled stand against making pointless pledges based on faulty logic.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 5:34pm

    Mason Cartwright: Your points about the Lib Dems record are well made, but they all relate to the party’s record in national government. This is an election to the European Parliament. Have our MEPs broken any manifesto promise? Incidentally, Tory MEPs have voted against their own EU election manifesto at least once, on climate change.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 5:35pm

    To close the can of worms I appear to have opened: I think I made a bad suggestion about Nick ruling out a possible big EU job, but I think the party of IN campaign needs to be scrapped. It seems unfair that if you stand up for the EU, you get a nice job. People should stand for what they believe and how do we know if they are when there is such blatant cronyism.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 5:41pm

    This is not about Nick Clegg taking up a role in the European Parliament. This is about the Lib Dems having a credible platform to prevent a right wing ideological exit from the EU that will damage the UK.

    The secondary issue is perhaps about revolving doors and Nick Clegg may very well benefit from this practice. Only time will tell.

    In addition my earlier comments referred to a mistrust of the Lib Dem leadership and not simply Nick Clegg. Nick Clegg is a symptom of something more fundamental that has gone wrong in the party and unless that is addressed we are all in trouble.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 5:47pm

    @ Alex Macfie

    Alex you may well wish to separate them in a strategic sense and the pure argument is that you should separate them.

    Having said that we live in a world where the public makes no such strategic distinction. For them it is a simple case of “are you trustworthy”.

    The idea that we can prove untrustworthy on a national level and expect trust on a European level because it is a different election platform is not realistic.

    People don’t work that way.

  • @ Mason Cartwright.
    “Signed us up to the wrong kind of NHS reform that gave the tories a salivation party of privatisation glee
    Assisted in making education a preserve of the rich again.
    Backed secret justice.
    Enabled deficit reduction that disproportionately harmed the most vulnerable whilst closing allowing aggressive tax avoidance for those able to hire expensive lawyers/accountants.”

    Since it certainly didn’t do any of 1, 2 and 4 and there were good reasons for 3 (i.e. not spreading our defence and intelligence secrets around creating massive harm to the UK), I’m not sure you have a very strong case there.

    You should actually bother to look at the detail of what the Liberal Democrats have REALLY done, rather than simply repeating what the Labour party says we have done.

  • To anyone who wants a new leader, I ask who do they want exactly?

    The point is if anyone thought they could do a better job than Nick Clegg, they would have put themselves forward.

    So far, no one has. And that is entirely because they know what a tough role it is. The last thing the party needs is people putting down its own leader without bothering to suggest an alternative.

  • “I voted for the Lib Dems in 2010 because I was sick of broken promises by the other parties and believed that the Lib Dems represented hope.

    They have sadly not delivered and I now do not know who to cast a vote for going forward.”

    1) You’re ignoring the vast numbers of things we *have* delivered on e.g. £10,000 personal allowance, Pupil Premium, Green Investment Bank, free school meals, infrastructure investment, increased capital gains tax, higher stamp duty, vast expansion of apprenticeships.
    2) You’re also ignoring the fact we have just one eleventh of the MPs in the House of Commons.
    3) The third thing you’re ignoring is that Nick Clegg said back in 2009 there would have to be massive cuts. Where exactly did you think they would fall. With an 11.4% of GDP deficit left by Labour, they had to happen. What areas could we have cut (bearing in mind the Tories have six times as many MPs) that have not been?

    Don’t you think that might just be judging the Lib Dems a tiny bit harshly and unfairly under the circumstances?

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 6:14pm

    @ RC

    Let’s assume that you are correct and I am wrong. Even in that best case scenario the damage is done because that is how the Lib Dems are viewed.

    The reality is however that I (and most others) are not wrong.

    Please do not confuse me with a media tourist that skim reads and buys into silly propaganda.

    I read the legal text associated with the health and social care bill and it was so wide you could drive a coach and horses through it even after Shirley did her bit.

  • Mark Valladares says:
    “Being opposed to Europe hasn’t stopped a whole bunch of UKIP MEPs accepting a salary from an institution they despise, which does strike me as a bit of a conflict of interest.”
    That’s because your point of reference is skewed. Stop thinking Ukip MEP’s and think Ukip Guy Fawkes. And for that purpose they are well worth their salary.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 6:34pm

    @ RC

    I’m certain that you and I would probably share political views and if we sat down for a beer would perhaps get on.

    Where I differ from you is in believing that the Lib Dems have done all they could have done given their privileged position.

    Please ask yourself the following questions:

    Have the positive policies outweighed the bad policies in terms of the long term future of the UK and it’s citizens?

    How many times have the Lib Dems held the balance of power for a particular policy and yet voted against their own party’s principles when there was no compelling reason to do so?

    Why did they not pursue tax avoidance/evasion as a means to deficit reduction in combination with across the board cuts?

  • Mack (Not a Lib Dem) 12th Feb '14 - 6:41pm

    @RC
    ” ‘Labour is a pro European Party’ Not true historically and not really true now. Labour is sporadically in favour of the EU but only when it suits its aims.Now is not one of those times, apparently.”

    What on earth are your grounds for such factitious, half baked assertions? Yes, I, like many Labour members and supporters was opposed to Britain’s entry into the Common Market in 1971 but having realized the benefits of being members of the EU we have moved a long way from that former position. When did you last hear of Labour pledging to take us out of the EU? I hate to sound pompous and arrogant but as a member of the Labour Party I think I know rather better than you what the Labour Party’s position on Europe is. Do the Liberal democrats think that by falsely characterising Labour as anti-European they will attract back the hundreds of thousands of votes lost to Labour? Is that the strategy? It’s not going to work, you know.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 6:52pm

    @ RC

    Perhaps you could also have a read through part 6 of PPERA as I have done including the amended part 2

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/41/part/VI

    Once you have done so please advise how the Lib Dems have not damaged the ability of campaigning groups and charities to represent the public.

    The truth is that they have and their plaform for making the european case is compromised by this and all the other issues I have touched upon.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 7:04pm

    @ John Dunn

    I’m guessing that you are a UKIP supporter?

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 7:19pm

    @ Mack (Not a Lib Dem)

    I agree with your earlier post and hope that their latest guy doesn’t prove to be another Clegg as I am one of the voters who may swing back to Labour this time around. They might be the least bad at this time which is all the FPTP system caters for.

  • @Mason Cartwright
    ” I’m guessing that you are a UKIP supporter?”
    At council level I vote Lib Dem, because they are the best people for the job. But sadly Lib Dem (ism) doesn’t seem to scale up. And when it comes to the EU which is corrupt, peppered with megalomaniacs, and wastes money on a breathtaking scale, Lib Dems are besotted, drooling,…. and blind.
    I’m convinced that one day, Lib Dems will look back at the smoking wreckage of the EU, and ask themselves ‘ What were we thinking?’

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 7:50pm

    “Revolving doors” in politics refers to “the cycling of employees between an industry and government agencies that influence that industry” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door_%28disambiguation%29), for example industry lobbyists getting elected to a legislature in order to vote for the same legislation that they were lobbying for. This is not an accurate characterisation of the movement of politicians between different legislative and executive bodies, for instance between the UK Parliament and the EU Parliament or Commission: these bodies are not “lobbying” each other. For example, EU Commissioners don’t come into their job to do the bidding of the government that appointed them (Leon Brittan is an excellent example of this); former MPs who are later elected to the European Parliament don’t become mouthpieces of their old legislature (although they may well work on the same sort of issues as they did before). So the term revolving doors” is inappropriate here.
    Eddie Sammon:

    It seems unfair that if you stand up for the EU, you get a nice job.

    But the point is you don’t: they have nothing to do with each other. I think the campaign is a mistake, but principally because it does not focus enough on the role of MEPs and our specifically liberal vision of Europe. But I don’t think it’s opportunistic; it’s based on a sincere belief that the UK is better off in the EU.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 8:00pm

    “Revolving doors” in politics refers to “the cycling of employees between an industry and government agencies that influence that industry”

    Seriously?

    Did you think that I did not know the common usage and needed to be informed of it by also including a weblink?

    Today someone referred to Stockholm Syndrome referring to a senior Lib Dem. Will you contact the paper correcting them on it’s, technically inaccurate, usage,?

    It’s a useful phrase to express a point but you already knew that 🙂

    Maybe we need to lift the level a bit here and get back to the real issues rather than playing around with periphery items because they offer an expedient distraction.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 8:12pm

    Alex,

    I accept I might have been overly cynical, but I can’t go as far as denying there is a problem with cronyism and soft power in UK and EU politics.

    Regards

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 8:17pm

    The use of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” there has some metaphorical accuracy. Your use of the term “revolving doors” is not a metaphor, it is simply inaccurate. An instrinsic part of the definition of “revolving doors” (itself a metaphor) is that the person is working for a new employer in order to do a previous employer’s bidding. Without this condition, the metaphor breaks down. It is simply going from one job to another. “Revolving doors” would be if the UK government appointed an EU Commissioner who proceeded to support the UK government on everything.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Feb '14 - 8:24pm

    Of course I know there is cronyism in UK and EU politics; my point is that you’ve got the wrong target. Clegg’s chances of getting a senior EU position will not depend on this euro campaign, he is more likely to get one by sucking up to his colleagues in government or to the Labour leadership.

  • jedibeeftrix 12th Feb '14 - 8:28pm

    promising not to take an EU position post-ousting would be terrible politics for the Lib-Dem’s.

    it would just play to the perception that the notion was attractive, and begrudgingly discarded as unacceptable.

    Nick has to convince us that his only important ambition is to govern his country with integrity, and to the best of his ability.

    nothing else [should] matter.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 8:29pm

    Alex, I now understand.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 8:32pm

    @ John Dunn

    I agree with you in some ways: the Lib Dems have been a disappointment but I do think we are better of being with the rest of Europe.

    That doesn’t mean that I believe all is well with Europe. It needs to change but the change must be change that helps our citizens.

    In the UK our right wing parties seek EU exit largely to secure a platform of pure capitalism that promotes pockets of wealth but ignores the wider social consequences.

    Many citizens who have been coached into hating the EU are not aware of this and are in effect cheering for a policy that will harm them directly.

    Have you read the full portfolio of UKIP policies beyond the EU and please don’t take that as attempt to demean you in any way because that is not how it is meant.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 8:39pm

    @ Alex Macfie

    When I was at University I had a friend who once said to me “when you are in a hole keep digging”

    Somehow this comes to mind.

    I am confident that everyone else knew what I meant and knew why I chose that phrase even if it has not satisfied you forensic examination. It used to be called imaginative use of language when I was at school.

    Perhaps you should beam your spotlight on the more crucial aspects of what is happening in the UK as a result of these policies.

    Being penny wise and pound careless never ends well.

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 8:51pm

    It wouldn’t be terrible politics if it was done alongside a campaign to make the EU more democratic. It is similar to refusing to take a seat in the Lords.

  • “To anyone who wants a new leader, I ask who do they want exactly?
    The point is if anyone thought they could do a better job than Nick Clegg, they would have put themselves forward.”

    You really need to think through the implications of this mantra you chant endlessly.

    Apparently you are determined to ram home your assertion that no one in the party could do a better job than Nick Clegg. Given the electorate’s perception of Clegg, what message do you think that conveys?

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 9:20pm

    @ Alex Macfie

    Alex I want to apologise for my pointed language.

    I get quite passionate at times about our nation and it doesn’t always come out well.

    Cheers,

    Mason

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 9:22pm

    My idea was only in case of a refusal to scrap the party of IN campaign anyway. UKIP are painting us as sell outs and if we just champion the EU and then take jobs with them then it doesn’t do much to counter this accusation.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 9:29pm

    @ Eddie Sammon

    Sorry Eddie I didn’t quite understand what you meant. Can you expand a bit more?

    Thanks, Mason

  • Eddie Sammon 12th Feb '14 - 9:45pm

    Hi Mason,

    I just want the Lib Dems to stick up for the UK more. Sticking up for the UK means sticking up for me. So does sticking up for the EU, but the Lib Dems fail the first part of this test. UKIP fail the second.

    UKIP are distributing leaflets criticising all the parties and our criticism is “EU sellouts”. However I don’t really care about other people’s criticisms, I am more concerned about my own, explained in my first paragraph above.

    I’m off to get away from LDV. Good night and hopefully speak to you soon.

  • @ Mason Cartwright
    “Have you read the full portfolio of UKIP policies beyond the EU..”
    I’ve read as much as I can stomach, but I actually despise Ukip. But they are unfortunately, a means to an end. I was all for, and indeed, voted FOR the EEC in 1975. But the scales have since lifted as each year it becomes clear what the real aims of the project were. And it [ EU Superstate ], either (must be stopped), or (UK exit, and let the Euro locked countries go on their merry way into the abyss ).
    “In the UK our right wing parties seek EU exit largely to secure a platform of pure capitalism that promotes pockets of wealth but ignores the wider social consequences.”
    That comment seems on the surface to be reasonable, but misses the point that the centre of gravity that shifted 40 years ago has ALREADY ignored the wider social consequences.
    It’s difficult to flesh out an argument on these threads but I’ll try to ‘punch in’ with a one off issue, to make the point.
    In the 1960’s Liverpool was, despite its ‘workforce issues’, still a fairly thriving port, and could easily have been a Southampton equivalent, around the age of ‘container-ism’ in shipping. Around 1963 Skelmersdale was built as a commuter limb of Liverpool, and in around 1972 the M58 was a much needed linkage, to the rest of the motorway network.
    After the 1975 EEC vote, Liverpool died, Skemersdale became pointless, and some midweek days, you can drive on the M58 in any empty lane of your choice.
    In 1975, the economic centre of gravity (for the UK), changed. But that was not the worst of it. Over a period of 40 years since, slow a shift of sovereignty to the centre of Europe, has made the periphery (of ALL EU countries!), not just economically inferior, but mere ‘vassals’, to the word of a megalomaniac Brussels.
    We in the UK, must stop that madness, or simply, get off the bus, so that we can recover some measure of control over our lives. And that is why Ukip (through gritted teeth), is the only way forward.

  • Mason Cartwright 12th Feb '14 - 10:02pm

    @ Eddie Sammon

    Take it easy 🙂

  • Mason Cartwright 13th Feb '14 - 8:34am

    @ John Dunn

    I think that we are broadly in agreement although I believe that we should remain in the EU.

    For me almost every issue the UK now faces is due to poor domestic governance and failed domestic governmental structures.

    We should be very careful not to allow the political class to scapegoat an external entity and deflect accountability away from themselves.

    Leaving the EU will not solve our domestic problems.

  • “Leaving the EU will not solve our domestic problems.”
    You and other Lib Dems may be very happy for an unelected governance from Brussels. But living in Lib Dem world is not the norm,.. (9% poll rating?), and it is certainly, in no way democratic.
    But having a choice on the EU, is the battleground here. And on the EU, the 3 party cabal, have cynically ‘locked down’ democracy. And the public are angry. The reason for Ukip’s existence is to smash that democratic lockdown, and give the UK an in/out choice on Europe.
    Having an in/out referendum is the only way forward, because this is a seeping wound that will not otherwise heal. And the in/out referendum WILL happen, even if it means dragging Westminster, kicking and screaming to the ballot box.

  • Alex Macfie 13th Feb '14 - 1:02pm

    Mason: Apology accepted; I stand by my understanding of “revolving doors”; for me the phrase implies there is some sort of ‘quid pro quo’ when moving from one job to the next: the person in the new job will use their position to benefit whoever it was that helped them get the job. If people in EU jobs did this, then it would actually be a very serious breach of the rules, as a violation of the separation of powers mandated by the EU constitution. If they don’t, then I can’t see the issue. But since Nick Clegg is not likely to be appointed to any role in Brussels any time soon (and the same is true of any other senior Liberal Democrat in the government), this is all moot.

  • Alex Macfie 13th Feb '14 - 1:08pm

    I would have more respect for UKIP if its MEPs worked constructively within the European Parliament for a looser EU, by, for example, getting on the appropriate committees and arguing that case in the debates and votes there and in the plenary sessions. In other words, they should behave like SNP MPs in the Westminster parliament. If they do not recognise the legitimacy of the European Parliament, then OK, they can boycott it (the Sinn Fein approach), but in that case they should not draw the salary or claim expenses. Instead they try to have it both ways: not participating seriously in the business of the EP while still drawing the MEP salary and claiming expenses, milking the system as much as they can.

  • Mason Cartwright 13th Feb '14 - 2:38pm

    @ John Dunn

    I share your anger at the lack of democracy in the UK but this is not due to the EU. Our political parties have shown continually that they are quite capable of damaging democracy without assistance from beyond these shores.

    I actually trust the wider community (despite the failings) far more than I trust Westminster to deliver democracy and morally founded policies.

    We actually have political parties in the UK now stating that not only do they want to scrap the human rights act but that they also want to pull us out of the european convention for human rights.

    Do you trust Westminster to replace these things with alternative legislation that will protect our citizens? I certainly don’t.

    I’m actually not a Lib Dem although I did vote for them in 2010 and somewhat regret it now. I just happen to agree with them on this issue.

  • Mason Cartwright 13th Feb '14 - 2:57pm

    @ Alex Macfie

    Thank you for accepting my apology and you are correct about the common usage of “revolving doors”, I’m not disagreeing with that.

    I chose to expand the metaphor because if you are a Westminster MP you have links into many groups, some profit making, some non-profit and some that are of a political nature.

    If you use your influence in parliament dishonourably to create a future place for yourself in the private sector this, for me, is much the same as using your influence in parliament to create an opening in another political organisation that offers you a nice fat salary.

    Our political system tolerates conflict of interest far too easily.

    Does an MP serve his constituents, his party, the wider national view or his own vested interests and in which order?

    You can’t serve all these masters simultaneously and for far too long vested interests have had the upper hand in Westminster.

  • Alex Macfie 13th Feb '14 - 5:29pm

    Mason:

    @If you use your influence in parliament dishonourably to create a future place for yourself in the private sector this, for me, is much the same as using your influence in parliament to create an opening in another political organisation that offers you a nice fat salary.

    Fair enough, but I still cannot see how this can possibly be used to link Nick Clegg’s supposed aspiration for an EU job with the European election campaign. As has been noted already, the possible circumstances in which he is at all likely to be offered such a job are rather limited. These jobs are largely in the gift of the Prime Minister, so it is hard to see how campaigning for a vision of the EU that is antagonistic to that of the main governing party is going to influence Cameron to give him an EU job. Indeed it is hard to see what influence Clegg could have to get him into a well-paid EU job. The job would have to be there, and it would have to be in the interests of the government at the time to send him there.

  • Mason Cartwright 13th Feb '14 - 6:37pm

    @ Alex Macfie

    My comments had nothing to do with Nick Clegg they were more to do with a wider point about parliamentarians in general as per the earlier part of this thread.

    I think we are at cross purposes a bit.

  • Alex Macfie 14th Feb '14 - 1:18pm

    @Mason : Sorry, yes my misunderstanding there. I think it’s called “riding the gravy train”…

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJAMES COLE 18th Nov - 3:49pm
    There may some disparity between national and constituency polls, however think the poorest national polls were more recent and best from weekend polls under constituency...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 18th Nov - 3:31pm
    The speech looked better than the summary above.
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 18th Nov - 2:51pm
    @ Tony Greaves. Yes @ Innocent Bystander The High Street is not just about shopping. It gets you out into the community, you meet people,...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 18th Nov - 2:37pm
    Currently we are being squeezed in The National Polls, probably to around 14% "Now" but thats not because Voters like what they see in The...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 18th Nov - 2:36pm
    Peter Martin, when a country goes bankrupt a change of government to sort out the mess usually follows. When a a company goes bankrupt it...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 18th Nov - 2:31pm
    Peter Martin, the fiscal policy is based on a current spending budget of +/- 1% of GDP and a capital spending or borrowing budget of...