Wow! A political rambling?! It’s about bloody time. I know, I’ve been very lapse of late and I think this is probably the first proper ramble I’ve had since the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. My political fire has reignited and it’s mostly thanks to the memoirs of ex-Business Secretary Lord Mandelson; reading The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour has really spurred me on to get back into following British Politics.
And what a day to rediscover my political passion. With Prime Minister David Cameron in the United States on his first visit to President Obama since assuming office in May earlier this year, it was left to his deputy and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg to stand in the firing line for this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions. Facing questions on the topics of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the refusal of a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and numerous other questions from backbenchers, the first Lib Dem leader to take questions in the commons was under pressure to pull out a good performance.
After watching the full thirty-minute session with the help of the trusty BBC iPlayer, I have to concede a victory to the man. He managed to withstand constant battering from the former Home Secretary Jack Straw and coped competently when he faced pressing interrogation from backbenchers from inside the coalition.
I must admit, when news of the proposed student tax emerged last week I felt slightly let down by the Lib Dems; they were (I always believed) the pro-student party – so why on earth should I have to pay extra tax to have a degree? Granted, I misunderstand the proposal to replace tuition fees but in principal I disagreed totally with the idea. I felt he had sold himself out to the Tories just for a taste of power, as true as this still may be, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him openly disagree with the Conservative’s stance on Afghanistan, “I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman’s [Foreign Secretary William Hague] stance on Afghanistan, but I admire his consistency in arguing his case.”
It may seem small, but that statement alone really demonstrated that this government is still a coalition, formed by two different parties with opposing views and that Nick Clegg is still a Liberal Democrat, and he is staying true to his liberal ethos, thus replacing my faith in the third place party. I still don’t think that this government will last the five year fixed-parliament, but who knows – I may be pleasantly surprised yet again.
I do hope this has satisfied some of your political hunger, for now though, that’s it. Should I decide to read some more of The Third Man and should I discover something very interesting that I feel I should write about well then, I will. For the moment I’m in the process of moving house so forgive me if I don’t ramble for a few days.
Take care of yourself.