Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nick Clegg 'searched conscience' over spending cuts.

Nick Clegg has told Desert Island Discs that he had to search his conscience when making the cuts in benefits which have caused so much outrage here in Britain.

Speaking about the cuts, he said: "I have spent every day of this process, pretty well every minute of this process, asking myself whether there are pain-free alternatives, whether we are doing the right thing, and I genuinely believe there is no easy alternative.

"I have certainly searched long and hard into my own conscience about whether what we are doing is for the right reasons.

"I am not going to hide the fact that a lot of this is difficult. I find it morally difficult. It is difficult for the country."

Why is it that politicians think that we will feel for them if they tell us that their acts of cruelty were difficult for them to bring about? And why does he imagine that the rest of us would only have accepted "pain free alternatives?"

I should hope, at the very least, that Clegg was tortured before he threw 490,000 public service workers on to the dole, that is the very least he could have done.

And, likewise, one would hope that he felt anxiety before removing benefits from the disabled.

But, missing from all of this apologia is any explanation as to why alternatives were not explored. Why were the rest of us not asked to contribute more? Why was the top rate of income tax not raised? Indeed, why are so many people who earn a good living, like myself, not asked to contribute in any way other than a 2.5% increase in Vat? Why aren't the city bankers, the people who caused this economic crisis more than anyone else, being asked to contribute more than the £2.5 billion scheme which Osborne has conjured up?

Clegg and the Tories can expect little sympathy when they tell us how hard they found it to be so cruel to the sick, the old and the disabled.

The entire budget is a regressive disgrace. It was a genuinely hateful way to address the deficit and revealed the Tories as utterly unchanged from the days when they were known as "the nasty party".

The main difference at the moment is that the Tories have the Liberal Democrats acting as their heat shield, absorbing the public anger and attempting to give the Tories a fig leaf of respectability as they carry out this act of political thuggery.

So, if Clegg is expecting sympathy for how hard he found it to bring himself to agree to what he agreed to, he won't get an ounce of it from me.

As far as I am concerned he, and his party, are dead in the water. They will be slaughtered at the next election because of what Clegg has agreed to, and they will fully deserve it.

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