Coffee House

Nick Clegg pulls those fences down

16 March 2010

Continuing the current vogue for sensible economic debate, here’s what Nick Clegg said on Radio 4 just now:

‘We’re not entering into this dutch auction about ringfencing. Good outcomes aren’t determined by drawing a redline around government departmental budgets.’

Given the current speculation about a hung parliament, you’ve got to wonder what this might mean for any potential Lib-Con partnership.  The common wisdom, almost certainly correct, is that the resulting political paralysis would sink the public finances.  But it would be intrigiuing to see if Clegg could get the Tories to tighten their fiscal plans, and perhaps even smash a few of their ringfences.

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Show comments
  • Novparl

    Tories could eaily win if bonnie Scotland were independent. We’d also save a lot of loot. That’s what I call fair, Mr Clegg, Mr Vince Compo and Mr Foggy Huhne.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Nick Clegg will never get to DO anything with the Tories. For why? Because his own members will not let him. Jeremy Thorpe wanted to make common cause with Heath in 1974 against the miners. But he could not. Why not? Because his members would not let him. They are Labour in disguise. The sainted Vince is a good example.

  • Irene

    For goodness sake – Clegg/Cable/LibDems are irrelevant, always will be.

    No hung parliament!

  • mongoose

    good for cleggie. He’s quite right on this.

  • jaybs

    The performance of Clegg over the past few weeks demonstrates clearly the electorate should ensure there is no hung parliament and no longer do I go with Saint Vincent Cable, more and more he sounds like “The Same Old Song”

  • Ludwig von Crises

    @Cuffleyburgers: Well, quite. My point is not whether the EC is right or wrong, nor to say whether I think they should be dictating UK economic policy. Merely to point out that Brown will cheerfully – well, as cheerfully as his disposition will permit – ignore anyone who disagrees with him, and he would treat any future system of assessments, advisories, warnings etc from international bodies in the same fashion.

  • Yosemite Sam

    I actually think Clegg is right on this point. However, a number of questions are raised which I can summarise thus: What do St Vincent of Cable, St Simon of Hughes, St Christopher of Huhne, St Stephen of Webb and numerous other later-day saints think?

  • Cuffleyburgers

    Ludwig – who gives a flying f**k what Brussels thinks? They’re not going to bail us out, we are not in the Euro, their comments are pure grandstanding and in fact counter productive.

  • Ludwig von Crises

    Slightly O/T, but slapheaded Brown lickspittle Liam Byrne’s response to the EU’s criticism of the government’s economic plans – to simply say ‘they’re wrong, we’re right’ – is a typical piece of Brownian arrogance, and undermines his already piss-weak case for more international regulation, co-operation and ‘leadership’.

    International regulators can issue warnings until they’re blue in the breast, as plenty of them did in the years leading up to the Brown bust. But a delusional, narcissistic psychopath like Brown just says that they are wrong and carries on because he knows best, and every flaccid muscle in his sagging, deflating body tenses to resist the merest suggestion that he has got anything wrong…

    But if it’s OK for him to do that, because – despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, the gallons of red ink across his balance sheets, the steaming printing dies and the flutter of moths’ wings in the Treasury cellars – he genuinely believes he is an economic genius and need pay no heed to his gainsayers, why should anyone else bother?

  • Short the UK

    Economic quote of the day:

    Cam Hui – 16/3/10:

    Governments have the choice of cancer (inflation) or heart attack (deflation). They can either spend and print money like crazy in order to put off the day of reckoning, or they can bite the bullet now by defaulting on debt, raising taxes or drastically cutting spending. We just don’t know which path they will choose or whether the markets will allow them to choose.

  • Danko

    This is something the Tories should have been onto from the beginning, but with the obsession with sustaining our soft image it falls to the LibDems to announce it. I hope that someone in Cameron towers is taking note of the gaping great open goal we gave them.

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