If… The Clegg Version (with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

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by Jim Grundy

If you can keep your job when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men hate you,
But make allowance for their loathing too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
And being a liar, don’t deal in ‘whys’,
Or being hated, don’t give way to baiting,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make principles your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the shite you’ve spoken
Exposed by knaves as a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you sold your soul for, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one referendum for an alternative vote,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word of anything of note;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve yourself long after the voters are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hang on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep a straight face,
Or walk with Tories — having lost the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can stand you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving electorate
With sixty seconds’ worth of coverage in the Sun,
Yours is the Coalition (or the fag end of it),
And—which is more—you’ll be a Clegg, my son!

Related posts:

One little word so powerful it lost the Tories the last election (and probably the next)  (Tom Pride)

Nick Clegg Hails 2012 ‘Breakthrough Year’ As Party Skates On Thin Ice (Tom Pride)

Why do the Lib Dems stay in the coalition?

The contradictions of Liberal Democrat opportunism

Councils in a Pickle

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First posted THURSDAY, 20 DECEMBER 2012

COUNCILS IN A PICKLE BY 

Liam Carr

This year’s cuts to council budgets has been announced and councils in the north have again been targeted disproportionately for cuts.

One of the most striking examples of gross unfairness is the difference between Bolsover and Uttesford, in the leafy Saffron Walden constituency where Tory stalwart Sir Alan Haselhurst has been the MP since 1977.  Uttesford council will be given an budget increase of 6.4% this year. Contrast that with Bolsover, where a very different long standing MP has served since 1970 – Bolsover Council, in Dennis Skinners’ constituency, will be cut by a staggering 8.8%.

To put this outrageous inequality into perspective, the average cut is 1.7%. The average cut seems like a small percentage but in money terms it is a big very deal.  My own council County Durham is being cut by an extra £50 Million pounds in the coming year, this is on top of cuts imposed last year. The new settlement leaves councils with no choice but to sack workers and cut essential services.

Councils in northern rural areas where business rate incomes are lower, will be particularly hit by the Tory idea that councils should make their own money rather than looking to central government.  One idea that has been suggested is that libraries sell coffee.  I don’t want my council to sell me a Latte in the Library.  I can buy coffee from a small independently owned cafe near the Library. I want the the council to house the homeless and care for the vulnerable.Tories like to speak of Councils being less reliant on funds from central government.  This would be a persuasive argument if it wasn’t for the fact that it is our money anyway collected from our taxes, we just want a bit of it redistributed, for our local council to spend on essential services.

We are not all in this together.  The Tories give millionaires a tax cut to encourage them to choose to pay more tax, while working families have tax credits removed. Councils in the southern counties have their budgets protected while the northern towns are decimated. We have seen it all before from Tory governments, but these posh boys act with impunity; ‘Hitting people they will never meet and whose lives they will never understand’(1)

(1) Ed Miliband – PMQs – 13/12/1

Related posts:

What Tories mean by Localism

The Unnatural Death of Affordable Housing

Planning to Blame Immigrants? Get Your Facts Straight & Get Rid of Your Prejudices, Nick Boles

Privatising Council Services – Where Barnet goes, others will follow.

LIBRARIES – At The Heart Of Power

Cameron attacks our hard-won ‘Right to Challenge’