December 2023
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Cameron and Clegg – you are both liars! Now sue me for libel, if you dare.

Before the 2010 election, Cameron accused Labour of wasting millions funding ‘a cushy lifestyle for politicians’ and pledged he would ‘cut the cost of politics’.

But in his first year in Downing Street he created 117 new peers – 117 people who were not elected by the taxpaying public; most of whom were probably not even known to the taxpaying public; most of whom had never done anything of benefit for the taxpaying public; most of whom were probably already either wealthy or extremely wealthy and who had no need of taxpayers’ money to support their luxury lifestyles; most of whom were ‘Cameron’s cronies’; but all of whom could from then on claim generous and easily ‘fiddleable’ expenses, paid for by us, till the day they died.

The increase in the number of peers could cost us well over £10 million a year. What is perhaps most surprising about Cameron’s ‘cutting the cost of politics’ speech is that he managed to keep a straight face while fooling us about his real intentions of hugely increasing the cost of politics, mostly for the benefit of himself and his buddies.

Before the election, Clegg seemed to share big-spending, austerity-preaching Cameron’s admirable belief that the cost of politics should be cut. In a September 2009 policy document Mr Clegg promised A Better Politics for Less.

But Clegg too seems to have forgotten his ‘cut the cost of politics’ promise. In 2010, he had two special advisers, by 2012 this had risen to fourteen, costing us almost £1 million a year.

Then Clegg spent about £80 million of our money on his failed AV referendum. This £80 million could have paid for five hundred police officers or nurses for five years, perhaps a better use of our money than increasing the number of Libdems in Westminster.  Had Clegg succeeded, AV would have hugely complicated our voting system and meant at least £100 million of our taxes being spent on a new electronic vote-counting system.

Clegg’s proposal for up to 450 elected peers, all receiving a full salary from our taxes, would have increased the cost of the Lords from £130m to about £300m a year. This may or may not be an example of Clegg’s ‘better politics’, but it certainly wasn’t ‘for less’. Moreover, Clegg’s arrogant disdain for proper control of spending our money was further demonstrated when there was a Tory backbench rebellion against Clegg’s plan. In retaliation for the Tories abandoning reform of the Lords, Clegg threatened to block Cameron’s proposal to reduce the number of MPs in the Commons to 600 – something which would have slightly reduced the cost of politics – unless he got his way on Lords reform.

Once again, Mr ‘Better Politics for Less’ Clegg seemed totally and selfishly unconcerned about how much of our money he would spend on his political cronies. Clegg’s various attempts to squander huge quantities of our tax money on his efforts to change voting systems for the Commons and Lords for the benefit of himself and his party seem to sit uncomfortably with Clegg’s vision of A Better Politics for Less.

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