Nick’s challenge to Labour/Tories: sign up to to restore public faith in politics

Nick Clegg’s metaphors are on fire. At the weekend we filletted some of the great quotes from his Telegraph interview – and yesterday he came up with another … Speaking of Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s joint refusal to sign up to real political reform, Nick commented:

Listening to the two of them anyone would think they were powerless backbenchers rather than the leaders of the two parties in Parliament which have proved to be the real roadblocks to reform. It’s like a couple of cowboy builders coming back to your house to tell you how bad their workmanship is.”

The quote is from part of a speech Nick delivered challenging Messrs Brown and Cameron to sign up to a five-step programme of political reform as a first step to restore public faith in politics:

    1. Support an amendment to the Constitutional Affairs Bill today to prevent Parliamentary Privilege being used to protect MPs and peers from criminal charges unrelated to their freedom of speech in Parliament.

    2. Undertake to publish, immediately, the tax status of all their MPs and peers and to withdraw the party whip from any who refuse or who do not pay full British taxes.

    3. Require all their MPs who flipped their homes to pay capital gains tax on the profits immediately.

    4. Implement the recommendations of the Hayden Philips report to cap political donations at a maximum of £50,000 to take big money out of politics.

    5. Support implementation of the Wright reforms in full and request that the Wright Committee brings forward more wide ranging proposals to end the dominance of the party managers in the House of Commons, as a matter of urgency, recognising that the current proposals are limited in scope due to the terms of reference of the report.

Here’s how Nick introduced the programme:

“In the light of the charges brought by the DPP against a number of MPs and peers, Gordon Brown and David Cameron are suddenly falling over themselves to talk about political reform. Nobody should be fooled.

“Gordon Brown has been the obdurate obstacle to almost every attempt at political reform over the past 13 years, while the double-speak of David Cameron – who even now refuses to divulge the tax status of one of his party’s biggest donors – is simply breathtaking.

“If they genuinely want political change, it is in their power to deliver it. So I challenge them to cut out the speeches and the rhetoric and get on with the job. They can do that today by signing up to five basic principles of reform.

“If Gordon Brown and David Cameron can’t even sign up to these most minimal commitments, the public will see their rhetoric for the opportunistic party point scoring that it is.”

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2 Comments

  • Someone put this on everyone’s facebook feed now? Now just have to make everyone know that the ball is in their court…

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