Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nick Clegg Part 2

(In response to this riposte.)

Why am I disturbed by Nick Clegg's spurious popularity - because of his plans to obliterate our democratic system and lock us into a ghastly alternative that protects, above all else, the vested interests - which at that point would include the Lib Dems.

Which "accusation" against Clegg is untrue? That government contractors paid money directly into his personal account? (The Lib Dems have confirmed this.) That he claimed three kitchens, cake tins, paper napkins and a rose for his wall garden on expenses? (Published in his expense accounts, confirmed by Clegg.) That his party received £2.4m from a convicted fraudster and never returned the money? (A matter of public record.)

Ashcroft has not lied to or cheated anyone - he never told anyone he was moving to the UK for tax purposes, he was never required to do that (everything he did was agreed with the government and they have confirmed that he acted above board the entire time) - and the fact is he's the only person in history who has been given a conditional peerage - Labour's Lord Paul, for example, hasn't been subject to similar standards (even though his situation, with stiffed employees and expenses claims added into the mix, is a decidedly dodgy one) - nor has he been subject to the kind of press scrutiny Ashcroft has despite being the Prime Minister's personal bankroller.

(By the way, Ashcroft does pay UK taxes on his UK earnings. He is taxed in each country his earnings are made, at the appropriate rate - why on earth should he pay another whack of tax on them again in the UK - surely that would come to 90% or something?)

Can you legitimately justify the weeks of coverage that story garnered? The story didn't even go anywhere, and was hardly relevant to the general populace - an obscure individual who hadn't broken any law. Nick Clegg is asking us to vote for him - so surely it is fair to ask him why he charged the taxpayer for business class flights when he flew economy class?

(Fortunately it looks like the supposed "Lib Dem surge" has subsided... polls have snapped back to what they were in March.)

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