by Michael Dugher
Nick Clegg looked awfully pleased with himself yesterday. I think he very much enjoys being deputy prime minister. His message to the party faithful yesterday was “I’ll be in government with anyone”, which roughly translates as “I don’t believe in anything”. And though Clegg had a carefully choreographed pop at the Tories yesterday, the truth is the Lib Dems vote with the Tories day after day.
Despite the huge cost of living crisis engulfing most families, with people on average nearly £1,500 worse off a year under this Government, Clegg told the Lib Dems yesterday that they should “feel proud that country’s fortunes are turning”. He also listed 16 policies that he had apparently blocked the Tories from introducing.
Well, just for the record Nick, here’s 16 things the Lib Dems didn’t block:
1. A tax cut for millionaires – cutting the 50p top rate of tax, giving 13,000 millionaires a handout worth on average £100,000 each.
2. Trebling tuition fees. Nick Clegg promised to vote against any rise in tuition fees. He didn’t.
3. Increasing VAT to 20 per cent. The Lib Dems warned before the election of a “TORY VAT BOMBSHELL”. Then he helped them introduce it.
4. An economic policy that choked off the recovery – which is now the slowest for 100 years. Vince Cable warned before the election that “the danger of drastic cuts in public spending right now is that it would make the recession worse and it would make the deficit worse” – but he signed up to them.
5. A £3 billion top-down NHS reorganisation, while queues grow in A&E and over 5,000 nurses are cut.
6. Cutting 15,000 police officers – even though the Lib Dem manifesto promised an extra 3,000 police officers.