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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Oft misquoted phrase by George Santayana (1863-1952), the Spanish born philosopher, essayist poet and novelist.
David Cameron badly misjudged yesterdays historic vote in the House of Commons. The split in his party over Europe evident for all to see. When 81 normally pretty loyal MPs defy your Three line Whip you are in deep trouble. This goes some way to explain Cameron’s attempt today, to put a brave face on it, he’s all over the media like a rash as I write.
Yesterdays unedifying spectacle was occasioned by a petition signed by over 100,000 people calling for a proper referendum on the issue of Europe, the backbench business committee had decided that the issue should be debated on Thursday, but had it brought forward to last night, Monday 24th October. This was done for narrow party advantage. The fact that it backfired, big style, just shows the extent of Cameron’s miscalculation and the real trouble he is now in.
Remember this was a ‘peoples petition debate’. Most of us might assume that this would mean that any vote taken was not to be whipped and turned into a party political issue but of course you would be wrong! Three line whips all round! All the three main parties, yesterday, conspired against the people in the most disgraceful of manners! Don’t our opinions count for anything? Shame on the Liberal, Tory and Labour front benches and hearty congratulations to all the rebels who defied their party machines and voted against their party leaderships disgraceful and fundamentally undemocratic position!
Back to where this post began, has Cameron not learnt anything about his own parties past? Not, apparently, on this occasion, over the European question. A test of wills from the start, he has misjudged the mood both of his own backbenchers and the Tory Party members in the country and has also failed to understand the mood of the people. We have had our belly full of distant greedy politicians who do not listen to us, or fight our corner for a change.
The economy is in the doldrums to say the least. Unemployment is growing disproportionately in the North. We are close to an international banking crisis. The whole of Europe is in crisis economically. Business failures are again becoming commonplace. Inflation way above comfortable levels and not set to slacken for quite some time according to Mervyn King the Bank of England Head. The outlook looks bleak for most ordinary people. Oh, and we are told, ‘there is no alternative’!
The picture painted above should be awfully familiar to anyone who studies the Thatcher years from an objective perspective! Why is Cameron so determined to repeat the same mistakes of the past? One thing is for sure, Cameron is no Maggie!
Seen on a placard waved by a protester, at last weekends Liberal Spring Conference held in Sheffield behind a ‘ring of steel’,“Go back to your constituencies and prepare for oblivion!” Seems to have caught the underlying mood at the gathering of the party faithful!
Hands were rung, anguish expressed, motions carried and more promises made to the acclamation of all present! That was while they were there inside the conference bubble but as soon as they returned to reality, they realised, that for all of the earnest debate and Cleggs’ speech, things are just the same as they were. Amply demonstrated by Cameron’s statement today that effectively said on the NHS, ‘the lady’s not for turning!’ I am sure that’s what he meant.
The Liberal Party has managed to annoy just about everyone whose vote they won last May, no mean feat in such a short time, after all it is only just 10 months since they tore up their principles. Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister and there were plenty of Government places for Liberals, it looked like a sell out then and experience since has confirmed it.
In their haste to get their feet under the table and the salaries and perks that went with them, they appear to have had their heads turned by privileges not granted to mere mortals and now can’t even see what they have done. They are blinded by office and are not worthy of our trust. The Local Elections, this May look like being a disaster since they went from heroes to zeros.