Clegg and the securocrats… and er… the Irish Green Party September 20, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
…entertaining to see as reported in the Guardian that:
[Nick] Clegg chose to depict the Lib Dems as an “anti-establishment” force in government, even denouncing elements in the security establishment who pressured him to support the so-called “snoopers’ charter” proposals to track everybody’s email, internet and social media use.
“Government ministers, loud voices in the Labour party, the securocrats and Whitehall were adamant I should say yes,” he said. “But when push came to shove it became clear that the surveillance powers being proposed we disproportionate.”
The term securocrat was originally coined by Sinn Féin during the early stages of the Northern Ireland peace process to criticise elements of the British security establishment who opposed republican involvement in the politics of the province.
Still there was another Irish resonance, that being the Green Party during its brief enough time in government. They too sought to project themselves as being a restraining influence on the larger party of government at the time, sought also to make the best of a bad and worsening situation, though I can’t quite recall if they ever went quite as far as outlining the list of FF policies that they’d prevented being implemented. But however comfortable the Liberal Democrats appear to be in office, they were easily matched by the GP, so perhaps that wasn’t quite as necessary. Indeed one could argue that the GP did all it could not to depict itself as an ‘anti-establishment’ force while there. Quite the opposite. Straining for respectability just about sums it up.
As to the list:
Here – in Clegg’s words – are the full 16:
• Inheritance tax cuts for millionaires
• Bringing back O-levels
• A two-tier education system
• Profit-making in state schools
• New childcare ratios
• Firing workers at will, without any reasons given
• Regional pay penalising public sector workers in the north
• Scrapping housing benefit for young people
• Ditching the Human Rights Act
• Weakening the protections in the Equalities Act
• Closing down the debate on Trident
• Parliamentary boundary changes
• Scrapping Natural England
• Holding back green energy
• Stopping geography teachers telling children about how we can tackle climate change
• The snoopers’ charter (draft communications data bill)
The words of Paddy Ashdown at the weekend in the Observer come to mind (though a silly interview on his part where he said ‘Ally with Labour or the Tories? Instinctively, I hate both’. Pull the other one Paddy, that’s not what you were saying in 1997 when you and one T.Blair were ‘discussing’ an LD/LP coalition in the eventuality that Labour didn’t win sufficient seats. Then it was all big brush strokes about mending the historic rift on the British centre left and so on).
“The public don’t do gratitude.”
And thinking about it those are words with a resonance closer to home too.