The Thick of It

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Lib Dem credibility hits a new low


Just over six months ago Nick Clegg was basking in the glow of being publicly recognised for the first time after the televised leadership debates. In Islington his party had clung on to power since a knife edge election in 2006, controlling the council since 2000. How things have changed. Islington went Labour in a landslide result and Clegg faces revolt from his party after selling out to take part in a slash'n'burn Tory government. Golden boy Vince Cable can't even work out whether he supports his own policy of hiking tuition fees.

Not content with letting the Tories push through a severe programme of cuts to education funding nationally, in Islington the Lib Dems are up to their old scaremongering tricks (see leaflet, left). Their latest leaflet suggests that the local Labour council is planning to close a range of primary schools.  What is going on? I thought the Lib Dems were in charge of education now as part of a coalition with their Tory chums? Former Islington Lib Dem councillor Sarah Teather runs the education department with Michael Gove and Cable is pushing through the tripling of tuition fees.

Admittedly Islington Lib Dems have mis-spelt the name of "Hugerford" (sic) school so I can only presume that this latest campaign isn't serious. What I expect is the Lib Dems to "campaign" against the fictitious school closures and then claim victory in a few months when, miraculously, the schools don't close. That means at least two more leaflets.

Local councillors, like me, are perplexed at where these allegations have come from. Perhaps this list was written by another Lib Dem activist, just like when Kingston Lib Dem Dan Falchikov admitted he was behind the bogus claims that Kingston Hospital was going to close. Of course, Clegg was quick to jump on that bandwagon and have his photo taken "campaign" there.

Latest Voting IntentionHaving lived under a Lib Dem council in Richmond and then Islington for many years I've got used to their negativity. I've never got used to the cheek of it all though.

Lets not forget that elsewhere, Lib Dem leaflets are smelling the coffee and encouraging their former voters to go with Labour. At least the Lib Dems have managed to overtake "other" in the latest YouGov poll. There is at least some comfort for the wicked.

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