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chrisblore
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Some pretty disgraceful spinning is in evidence from Robert Peston on his BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16133286 Like most of the rest of the organisation, me does not even attempt to hide his dismay at Cameron's decision to put the country first. It also sounds as though he has been speaking with Vince Cable or at least his close aides when he reassures us that we can indeed breathe easy that the saviour of British business is not about to resign! Why are we compelled to fund this organisation which no longer even pretends to be impartial?
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Clegg is all over the place on Andrew Marr's show this morning, blaming at the same time France and Germany and the Conservative Party. For how long will this disloyalty from the swivel-eyed europhile Lib Dems be tolerated? Clegg should be careful how far he pushes this, when an election would surely see his party annihilated.
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The BBC are spinning that last night was a success for Ed Miliband, totally ignoring the huge personal error of judgement that he made in backing the Yes to AV campaign. Quite extraordinary!
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Sorry Ken, it's time for you to retire from front line politics (again). Of course this could be put down to the fact that we are in a coalition but one rather suspects that this is what he truly believes in. Yes, we all need to make savings but surely the maintenance of law and order must be right up there with such priorities as education and the defence of the realm. Oh, hang on...
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What I am disappointed at is not so much the actual settlement achieved as Cameron is obviously operating under difficult conditions (being in the coalition with the generally europhile Lib Dems) but the manner in which the press seemed to have been briefed before the summit. The Times for one appeared to be under the impression that Cameron was going to secure a budget freeze which never even seemed likely given the clamour by the EU's bureaucrats for more cash. It's all about expectation management and while he and indeed most Conservatives would have wanted a freeze, things have not turned out that way. This will not be the first difficult encounter for Cameron with Europe and I expect him to learn from this and use this as an example of British pragmatism when it comes to defending our interests in the future. Let's just hope the Europeans don't now see him as a soft touch.
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Which of course Labour and Tony Blair never had...
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Brilliant news isn't it? Let's not get carried away though, it's a good start but we are going to be very unpopular over the next few years as the pain of the cuts starts to set. When it comes down to it though, while we mustn't let the electorate forget what this lot did last time they were in power, by the next election we are going to have to have achieved a lot of positives alongside the negativity and doom and gloom of the cuts. The Big Society, while admirable in its objectives, needs much more fleshing out and sadly just hasn't captured the heart of the nation. We'll need a much more powerful and positive message by the next election or this lot will waltz straight back in just by virtue of not having been involved in the deficit reduction.
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It's a question of priorities. The axe has to fall somewhere. Just listen to the IMF. Personally, I'd say abolishing the aid grant to India, a country hosting a $3bn international sporting event and which runs its own space programme would be a good start. Cutting the armed forces budget at this time would send completely the wrong message to our troops, our international allies and indeed our foes!
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I can only hope that it wasn't Liam Fox who leaked this to the Telegraph as that is certainly not the best way to build support for the difficult decisions that will inevitably have to be made in the course of the next few months and as the cuts begin to take effect. As it happens, I agree with him that it would be very harmful both politically and to the morale of the troops at a time when they are being more stretched than ever and when the public perception is that they are under resourced and overstretched. What I cannot support would be if there were to be any truth whatsoever in the notion that Liam Fox or any of his staff deliberately leaked this to the Telegraph.
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If Cameron was serious about tackling immigration and unemployment he would not be backing this policy.
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I'm inclined to agree.What worries me even further is this idea of "flexible learning", making it possible to pick yourself up a degree from a university without ever having actually been to the place! Willetts showed he was out of his depth with Grammargate and has done nothing to convince me that he actually "gets it" since then. I can't see what David Cameron sees in him to be perfectly honest.
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I agree that it's good to see politicians seemingly putting aside differences in order to work together "in the national interest" but I can't honestly see it lasting. While the leaderships may be able to get on, the ideological differences between the rank and file of the two parties are simply too great for any kind of coalition/confidence and supply arrangement to last very long. The Liberals are adamant that PR must be introduced, while the Conservative consensus seems to be that Cameron must not give any ground on this whatsoever. Personally, I'd allow a Commons vote on whether to have a referendum and then campaign vigorously against it if it were to be passed by the Commons. As long as the two parties can hold themselves together long enough to steer us out of the immediate financial crisis, that's all well and good but I can't see this "consensus politics" lasting much beyond that before the pet projects of the parties (for which most of us voted rather than some wishy washy hung Parliament) come to the fore once again.
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It depends what you value the most. I personally believe that the constituency link is an extremely important facet of our system and one to be maintained. That is especially true if we are talking about introducing the power of recall for MPs. Under a fully proportional system to whom exactly are these MPs going to be responsible and how exactly are the electorate supposed to ensure that they are kicked out at the next general election? People already complain of the political classes being too far removed from the lives of ordinary working people. One way to ensure that gap increases would be to make it unnecessary for them to meet people by getting rid of the constituency link!
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If true, that confirms my thoughts that Alastair Darling is generally a decent man but dealt a very bad lot by Brown's fiscal incompetence. This is nothing to do with us. We declined to join the Euro because we did not want to give up yet more of our sovereignty and to lose control of our own economy. As it is now clear that the Eurozone is a total failure, we must remain on the sidelines and let Eurozone countries pay the price.
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I can't believe that he actually means that. Michael Gove's plans for reforming the educational system are probably the most popular of the party's policies.
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I'm not sure what else people expected of Cameron. The reality is that we have made huge gains across the country and were coming from a very weak position. People are deluding themselves if they think that we should somehow have waltzed to a majority as the mathematics were always going to be against us. As for any possible deal with the Lib Dems, I can't help but think that this is just the first round of a rather long game of negotiation. I would not be at all surprised if Cameron in the end was to form a minority government, having failed to get the Lib Dems on side. The inquiry that DC has offered into PR will not, I suspect, be enough to placate the Lib Dem grass roots and parliamentary party to which Nick Clegg is beholden. Clegg will then be backed into a corner and will have to make a very difficult decision as to whether he goes into a "losers' alliance" with Labour. What is absolutely paramount is that the party holds its nerve. Yes, everyone's disappointed that we haven't won a majority but the reality is that whichever government comes out of this is unlikely to last very long. It's all to play for yet much of the party seems determined to go into self-destruct mode!
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Clegg has just made a statement saying that he believes it's up to the Conservatives to try to form a government.
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I've previously been very wary of any notion of devolution in England for fear of terminally destabilising the Union. However, the current situation is untenable and I think it is now time to seriously address the West Lothian question. Although still far from the favoured option, I can't help but think that last night's results makes an English Parliament more likely.
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As a Labour supporter, I'm not sure you're in any position to be calling anyone a "selfish self-centred person more concerned with ensuring he is able to hold onto office" given the last three years we've endured under Brown!
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I certainly vote for the party that best represents me which is the Conservatives. On the other hand, the last 3 years have provided us with an incompetent "leader" foisted upon us by the Labour Party because he threw his toys out of his pram and wouldn't permit Blair to see out his "full third term" that the 2005 Labour Party Manifesto promised. Like it or not, British politics is becoming more and more presidential and the latest TV debates have placed an increasing amount of emphasis on the leaders of the parties and while certainly not desirable, more and more people are basing their decisions on what they think of the men at the top of the parties rather than their actual policies and the teams they have around them. I fear this is just another step in the "presidentialisation" of British politics.
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Yes because leading on immigration worked out so well for us in 2005...
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Good evening Bad Al Campbell. Not sure which debate you were watching!
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What's the mood like in Lib Dum HQ?
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I don't believe that either but it's somewhat disingenuous for Clegg not to be up front about a hung Parliament when his party's only hope of getting into government is by allying themselves with one or other of the two main parties.
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Clegg hasn't been at all up front about what he would do in the event of a hung Parliament and for him to claim that he has is ludicrous!
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