You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 20, 2010.

In the fevered excitement accompanying Nick Clegg’s rise in the polls over the past few days, how many people know exactly what the Liberal Democrats — the wheelie bin party — support?  (Today’s graphic comes from the conservativehome blogs, outlining yet another LibDem policy.)

The Sun commissioned YouGov to do a poll published on Sunday, April 18.  All the policy questions were taken from the Liberal Democrat platform.  Interestingly, people dislike most of their policies.

Did you know about these?  Questions and results which the Lib Dems are worried about:

Tax: Scrap income tax on earnings of less than £10,000 a year. The £17billion cost of this will be paid for by a tax on bigger houses, a tax on airline flights, restricting tax relief on pensions savings for higher-rate taxpayers, and attempting to clamp down on tax avoidance.

Support: 66%

Oppose: 20%

Don’t know: 14%

Defence: Replace Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system and develop a variant that is a lot cheaper but less powerful and possibly easier to detect and stop.

Support: 37%

Oppose: 37%

Don’t know: 26%

Europe: Give the European Union more powers on justice issues, bank regulation, the flow of asylum seekers, limiting climate change and cooperate more on security and defence.

Support: 18%

Oppose: 65%

Don’t know: 17%

Euro: scrap the Pound and join the Euro when the conditions are right.

Support: 21%

Oppose: 65%

Don’t know: 14%

Immigration: Give an amnesty to 1 million illegal immigrants who have lived in Britain for ten years, speak good English and don’t have a criminal record.

Support: 35%

Oppose: 49%

Don’t know: 16%

Prisons: Allow 58,000 criminals a year to do community service instead of going to prison by banning jail terms of less than six months.

Support: 33%

Oppose: 50%

Don’t know: 17%

Public sector pay: Limit pay rises for public sector workers for the next two years to £400 a year.

Support: 57%

Oppose: 24%

Don’t know: 19%

Higher education: scrap university tuition fees over six years, and increase taxes to pay for this.

Support: 31%

Oppose: 48%

Don’t know: 20%

Voting: Change the voting system for electing MPs, so that individual constituencies become much larger and parties are represented in parliament broadly in line with their national vote.

Support: 54%

Oppose: 16%

Don’t know: 29%

Energy: Stop any new nuclear power stations from being built and attempt to solve the energy crisis by coal-fired power generation plants and wind turbines instead.

Support: 32%

Oppose: 41%

Don’t know: 27%

Some of these things sound pretty good until you start thinking about what the Lib Dems are leaving out.  Here are my questions:

Tax: So will there be a mansion tax on larger houses?  How large does that house have to be before it qualifies?  And even more tax to pay on our flights?   

Europe: Give the EU more powers to step all over us?  No, thank you.  He says he’d give us a referendum on whether to leave the EUThat’s a sop to UKIP voters to prevent them from swinging to the ToriesDon’t believe it.  How will they pose the question? It’s bound to be in some way that gets us all to say, ‘Yes!  Let’s stick with the EU bureaucracy!’ Instead vote Tory to hold ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron to his cast-iron promise on this subject.   

Euro: So we join when the conditions are right.  What are those conditions?  Who determines them?  Do we get a referendum?

Immigration: Are there 1m illegal immigrants who have lived here for 10 years, speak good English and don’t have a criminal record? How do the Lib Dems know?  If we have 1m of these, how many other illegal immigrants do we have living here?  The mind boggles.

Public sector pay: The £400 a year — is that across the board?  Is it the same for everyone’s salary?  £400 a year will mean more to a lower-salaried worker than a hospital administrator.

Higher education: Will there be a mansion tax for the rich to stump up to pay?  Before Labour brought in tuition fees, this cost was borne by every taxpayer.

Energy: Are coal-fired power generation plants and wind turbines enough?  Why not move into nuclear power, or won’t that sit well with the party base?

This is sheer hell.  And, no, Labour wouldn’t be bothered by any of this if they plan to move into a coalition government with them. 

But there’s more … abortion and euthanasia

Catholic commentator Cristina Odone, writing for the Telegraph, says the Lib Dems are big on abortion and euthanasia:

This is a Jekyll and Hyde outfit. It’s not just the party of Nick Clegg, with his lovely bright wife and faith school-educated children. It’s the party of Dr Evan Harris.

Dr Harris believes in euthanasia – and, I mean, really believes. He was instrumental in ensuring that legalising euthanasia became Lib Dem party policy …

Dr Harris also believes our present abortion laws are too strict, and the fact that an astonishing fifth of pregnancies are terminated is of no great import. No wonder he is known as “Dr Death” by his critics.

… as the subject turns to the ethical or religious issue of the day – faith schools, say, or teenage pregnancies – I watch him turn pop-eyed with bilious indignation. He becomes almost a caricature of the National Humanist Society spokesman: God is bad, his followers mad.

Labour still has a rump of Christian socialists. The Tories are relatively sympathetic to faith. The Lib Dems are now the most secular party in the Britain – and not in a good way.

And still more … giving violent criminals the right to vote

The Lib Dems — since Ming Campbell was their leader — have wanted to give the right to vote to hardened criminals in preparation for their release. Labour in Birmingham have distributed leaflets to highlight this fact and include some local notorious criminals.  According to a commenter on conservativehome, where this was raised, it’s because — get this —

a European Court of Human Rights decision in which judges from such long-standing democracies and respecters of human rights such as Hungary, Germany, Spain and Bulgaria have found Britain deficient.

Oh, right, so, those countries — all of which have endured totalitarianism at some point in the last century — find Britain deficient?  Give over!  This is what I mean by being concerned about handing even more powers to Europe!  NO!

Just remember: vote yellow, get Brown. 

Message to UKIP voters: It’s immaterial whether you are mad for David Cameron — vote Tory and we’ll pressure him to come good on his ‘cast-iron’ promises. 

For more articles see:

Nick Clegg defends Liberal Democrat stance on Europe

‘Nick Clegg’s appeal “will last as long as an insect bite”‘ (‘clegg’ means ‘horsefly’, apparently)

‘Nick Clegg tries to hide Liberal Democrat Euro-federalism’

‘Lib Doomed’

‘Warning as Libs Lead Poll Race’

‘Absent Liberal Democrat Donor Convicted of Fraud’

‘Inconvenient truths for leaders who got debate facts wrong’

‘Leading Lib Dem quits over sex scandal’

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