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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.

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