Last night in the House of Lords, Liberal Democrat peers ABSTAINED on the very subject that Nick Clegg ordered his people to storm out of the Commons on! UKIP had put down an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty legislation calling for an In/Out referendum.
Whether this shows the weakness of Clegg in trying to hold to what he said, for all its fatuity, was a key party policy, i.e. an In-Out referendum, or the ludicrous nature of the Liberal Democrat party, I'll let you judge - but you might want to look at col.1438-9 of Lords Hansard yesterday to see the pathetic explanation of the "unembarrassable" Liberal Deputy Leader in the Lords for not supporting Clegg's policy.
The laughable fiasco of Liberal Democrat policy continues to unfold in the Lords - the tragedy is that Clegg, who sacked Commons Front benchers who did not abstain on the referendum vote, now looks on course to buckle weakly, and let his peers in the Lords do what David Heath was sacked for - buck the party line to abstain on a vote on the referendum Treaty. Surely Lord Wallace of Saltaire should now be given his P45?
If he lets that happen, then there is one person, in addition to Blair and Brown, who will be personally responsible for denying the British people the referendum all parties promised, it will - unless he whips his peers into line - be Nick Clegg.
"Laughable fiasco" is almost as good as "bogus sham".
You Tories really have a way with the language.
If you are going to cover this can you also cover his article in the Independent on Tuesday "Democracy what a great idea" to which reader comment was not available. As much as the early paragraphs highlight a deficiency in what James Arbutnot should be doing*, the rest of the article flew in the face of his actions over the Treaty of Nice. That he wishes to sweep his compicity in contempt for the electorate under the carpet is telling.
James Arbutnot, head of the Defense Select Committee aquired the newly formed North East Hants constituency in 97, Guerkas based in Fleet, within that constituency -prior to 97 are the ones being expatriated.
What do you think about direct democracy in general? My view is that democracy exists to deliver the policies wanted by the majority. That objective would be achieved more successfully if we could have referenda on individual issues, rather than just voting for a party.
I can see that there might be difficult cases, like proposals which force the government to spend money, but don't say which tax should go up. However, these problems can be solved; for example, there might be a rule that any referendum question must be revenue neutral. If you want to propose that the government spends money on something, you must also propose a tax increase, and vice-versa.
Clegg 'had to' refuse to back a referendum because Shirley Williams threatened to rejoin Labour. Spineless or what? Most Liberal peers pro-Europe anyway.
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