The state should "back off" and allow charities and private organisations a bigger role in running public services, the Liberal Democrat leader has said.
Yes, that's right. The Lib Dem leader says elected government should stick its nose out of things like education and health. Pretty much exactly what New Labour and the Tories would say as part of their privatise-everything, when in doubt choose the private sector agenda. A shame for those of us wondering what options are left in the face of Labour's scramble to be just as right as Dave Cameron can go.
He outlined plans for a new generation of non-selective, so-called "free schools". These would be free from government interference with councils reduced to an overseeing role. The schools would be created by "any suitable sponsor", including parents, charities or voluntary and private organisations.
Nick. Sorry to break this to you, but these 'free schools' already exist. New Labour created them as 'city academies' to privatise education, getting the rich to run schools however they want, even deciding to teach religion as science so long as they've got the two million smackeroos required.
And he invited controversy by proposing that patients should be treated free in the private sector if the NHS could not provide treatment within a defined period.
Well if you're going to join the scramble for the Right, you might as well go at it full tilt. 'Treated for free'. Really? No-one pays? The private sector does it as a favour does it? No. Thought not. It charges cost-plus to the taxpayer, doesn't it Cleggy? Come on, just be honest. Say 'cost-plus' and I'll admire your honesty. Say 'for free' like that and I'll say you're the same sort of mendacious cunt as Brown and Cameron when it comes to fiddling the figures to make PFI, privatisation and outsourcing appear to be a much better deal for the taxpayer than it actually is.
Urging a "progressive" agenda, Mr Clegg made it plain he had no intention of raising taxes, telling supporters: "The big questions now are these - how do we make Britain a fairer place without raising the overall tax burden? "How do we promote real social mobility without relying on the discredited politics of big government? In seeking to make Britain fairer, we need to stop just asking, 'How much?', and to start thinking hard about, 'How?'.
I think the more apt question is 'Why?' I mean, why not really go for it, Cleggy? Seeing as you've gone this far to the Right, why not embrace it completely? Come on, you can do it. Forget those unfortunate words 'Liberal' and 'Democrat' in your party's name - Labour did it with 'Labour' so you can do it! Why not propose a special 'poor tax' for the poor, who can't possibly emigrate or offshore to avoid it, while at the same time reducing taxes for the hardworking rich, who are having a hell of a time of it? Why not? Come on, you've come this far, it's not that much of a leap now... you can do it! And why bother yourself with questions like 'how do we make Britain fairer?' - well, you've admitted you don't know the answer! You haven't got any answers, have you? You just want to make it clear: no more taxes for the rich, maybe more taxes for the poor (but we'll sneak that in later, if we should ever have the good fortune to come to power), copy Brown and Cameron with everything, then just join in the brand wars.
It's Labour v Tories v Cleggy Lib Dems. Absolutely nothing between them whatsoever, in every sense. No ideas. No policies. Nothing that might upset Murdoch and the rabid right-wing press. Just no more taxes for the rich, we'll make that clear, and if possible, reduce them. Privatise everything. Make the private sector run everything we can, and if possible, make them rape us up the arse with a cactus on the end of their pus-filled corporate cocks for the next 25 years while the taxpayer foots the bill for interest and shareholders' profits for schemes that could have been done cheaper by the state if the figures hadn't been fiddled. Yes, that sounds about right. Oh and no mention of first-past-the-post. No, we'll quietly drop that kind of idea of fairness, which the party has believed in for decades; bit too controversial isn't it? Might not go down well with Mondeo Man or Sun readers. Doesn't matter if the party agrees with it or not, we don't give a shit about the grass roots.
So now it's clear. That's a big red line through Lib Dems for anyone who genuinely believes in fairness - not the kind of bullshit fantasyland 'fairness' of Nick Clegg's world (much the same as Dave Cameron and Gordon Brown's Disneyland of corporate niceness and charities running everything instead of the state) in which the poor will be cut adrift, corporations given everything they ask for and taxpayers asked to foot the bill, but actual fairness for working people, taxpayers and the corporate world alike.
The choices are becoming simpler and simpler for anyone. Sure, you can vote for Labour, or the Tories, or the Lib Dems, if you want exactly the same thing to happen. In that sense, Cleggy's made it easier for everyone to differentiate. If you don't believe in this chummy consensus that's stitching Britain up for the private sector, you have to do something about it. The choice is stark. There needs to be another option. Maybe not voting. Maybe voting somewhere else. But it needs to happen if we have a chance of saving our democracy.