Skip to main content

The silence of the Liberal Democrats, the silence of the lambs.

Casting aside any attempt to rescue the economy the Tory government with the connivance of the Liberal Democrats have set about a fundamental transformation of welfare and the National Health Service. It is the most right wing agenda we have seen in government. It is more ruthless than the government of Mrs Thatcher, and hers was a ruthless government.

I suspect they have abandoned any hope of pulling the economy round by 2015; they have abandoned hope of winning the general election on the economy. Their remaining strategy is to implement a divisive and profound attack on the poorest and to break up the NHS. Should they succeed, the consequences will be, at least in any short to medium term, irreversible. The damage once done will be difficult and expensive to restore.

Several readers of this blog have pointed out to me that it isn't that the government are bereft of ideas; they are ruthlessly putting their ideas into practice. That is a fair assessment.

Under the cloak of coalition they are working to an extremely right-wing agenda. It is difficult to understand what the Liberal Democrats are doing. They can hardly claim to have had much influence on the agenda. Their concerns, if there are any, or if any have been expressed, have been largely dismissed or ignored.

The Liberal Democrats act like a fig leaf, barely covering the real Tory purpose of the government. And even as a fig leaf, a token gesture to Tory modesty, they are discarded in the machismo thrusting of Ian Duncan Smith and George Osborne.

But the Liberal Democrats are trapped in a contract of their own making. I doubt they could give a significant list of how or where they have made a difference in the major areas of policy. Mr Vince Cable, grumbles from the sidelines of economic policy, but is largely ignored. He once gave a warning of the dangers of stoking up division with the 'strivers' and 'shirkers' approach to welfare.

Now he sits in silence as Osborne  and Cameron link the Philpott case with welfare scroungers. The silence of the Liberal Democrats is deafening. Their silence is a disgrace. The silence of the lambs, heading for slaughter.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services.

It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared.

Utilitarian ethics considers the balan…

Keir Starmer has a lot to offer

The Labour Party is in the process of making a decision that will decide whether it can recover from the defeat in 2019 General Election.  All the candidates have much to offer and are making their case well.

No doubt for some the decision will be difficult.  Others may well have made up their minds on the simple binary of Left-wing-Right-wing.

The choice should be whoever is best placed to pull the party together.  Someone who can form a front bench of all talents and across the spectrum in the party.

That is what Harold Wilson did in the 1960s.  His government included Roy Jenkins on the right and Barbar Castle on the left; it included Crossman and Crossland, and Tony Benn with Jim Callaghan.  It presented a formidable team.

Keir Starmer brings to the top table a formidable career outside politics, having been a human rights lawyer and then Director of Public Prosecutions.   He is a man of integrity and commitment who believes in a fairer society where opportunities are more widel…

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods. 
Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects? 
A new report now provides some of the answers.

New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism.

Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases caused by …