Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Why this blog is so down on the Lib Dems

After yesterday Posting on   the Lib Dems  at " Subordinate Central"  seemingly  to achieving  a record in posting 5 "News Stories  what seems at the same time. I received a comment  from a Anonymous contributor.

 "it's incredible how much of your blog is dedicated to the Lib Dems - probably more so than even Labour or the Tories! They must be doing something right!
And I'm sorry to say this: but the way you criticse is tribal beyond words. Willott's campaign on girls toys has been quite a potent one I think".

My defence was that ... "its probably Laziness on my part as the Lib Dems keep leaving me a target".

Take the argument over Tax raising powers 

Legislation is going through Parliament to give the Assembly, subject to a referendum, the power to raise or lower income tax. However, due to a so-called “lockstep”, it will only be possible to vary personal tax rates across all three bands in unison; it would be impossible, for instance, to take a penny off the top rate.
Last Week  Nick  Clegg was in Cardiff  to visit British Gas’ main UK customers service operation, which employs 1,300, where he spoke to a new intake of apprentices.
Earlier the Liberal Democrat leader issued a joint statement with the Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, offering additional tax and legal powers to Scotland if it remains in the UK following next month’s independence referendum.
Mr Clegg said that it was Wales to generate its own devolution agenda, but said he was relaxed over the lifting of the so called lockstep which as it stands would only give a Welsh Government scope to vary personal tax rates –whether up or down – across all three bands and not on an individual basis.
Earlier this year, Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander gave a robust defence of the lockstep in a letter to  Plaid Leader Leanne Wood  
.In his January letter, Mr Alexander stated:

 “We have been clear that tax devolution should not benefit one part of the UK at the expense of others, but should be a lever to generate additional growth. Requiring any change in the Welsh rate to be the same for all bands is consistent with this approach.”Mr Alexander noted that if the rates paid by the upper bands were lowered there would be a “considerable incentive for high earners to move across the border, benefiting Wales at the expense of the UK as a whole.”
He concluded: “The method we are proposing would provide the Welsh Government with responsibility for almost half the income tax in Wales, which would provide flexibility over levels of tax and spending in Wales and increase its accountability for funding its spending.”

 The Plaid leader said: ,,

“In the first instance I think it is time the Deputy Prime Minister came clean and actually spelt out where his party stands. As the letter I received from the Lib Dem Treasury Minister clearly shows, in Government the Lib Dems have no intention of contemplating tax devolution that might lead to Wales being equipped with the powers needed to kick-start the economy.“If there has now been another Lib Dem change of heart, I would expect Lib Dem MPs to back Plaid Cymru calls for the removal of the lockstep and to vote accordingly at Westminster. The current Westminster scatter-gun approach to devolution is another example of why Wales needs to move towards self-government, as advocated by Plaid Cymru.“Rather than waiting for London parties to drip feed powers to Wales, it is the people of Wales themselves who should decide for which decisions should be made at home and which should be shared with others. Pre-election, unionist pledges of jam tomorrow just won’t wash with the people of Wales anymore.”

Now this Blog has argued that Tax raising powers with the Lockstep is worthless and even Ms Wood  admits its not a priority for they stand
But for a Liberal Democrat leader of a so called federal party to be simply "relaxed" , whilst one of his ministers  defends a worthless gesture  is incredible. Remember the Lockstep is currently be i place since the formation of a Scottish parliament and as never been used .
The reason  "much of your blog is dedicated to the Lib Dems - probably more so than even Labour or the Tories! is because they often change their values to suit the electorate, saying whatever thy think will go down well in whatever part of the UK they are  currently addresing.
I find it incredible that a Party that claims to be federal and has offered Scotland so much, can't come out with strong commitment to Tax raising powers for Wales that are not worthless.
Maybe I should look at Labour or the Tories more, But so long as the likes of Peter Black and Subordinate Central keep irritating me with they spin on Lib Dem "successes" whilst in particular ignoring their role as Tory bag carriers in Westminster. I will continue to Blog about them in my usual way.


  1. Hiya,

    Original commentator here.

    Plaid had an article on walesonline last week making the same arguments as you on the lockstep. They wanted a headline. However, I'm confused that you will make the same point....

    Surely it's not THAT strange to you that clegg is 'relaxed' about removing the lockstep, whilst danny alexander said he wanted to keep it. THE LIB DEMS ARE IN COALITION. Danny Alexander was responding as Chief Secretary to the Treasury - that was made entirely clear. Therefore he stated Govt policy. Clegg was clearly speaking as a Lib Dem - that was made enitrely clear. Therefore he stated Lib Dem policy.

    I agree the lock-step is a load of crap. However, firstly, it does give the welsh govt access to borrowing powers. Secondly, removing the lock-step would be pretty easily done. So why refuse the powers now when there's a high chance they won't be offered again.

    "they often change their values to suit the electorate" - this coming from a tribal Plaid supporter is amusing. Both parties have been guilty of it. Plaid have a far smaller electorate to appeal to (3m rather than 64m), yet manage to say opposite things all of the time. In Wales, they are worse than the Lib Dems at it.

    Thanks for the responses.

    1. So you are saying that we can ignore any statement from a LIb Dem Minister including the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as a cabinet member but not as Lib Dem leader because its not Lib Dem policy . You can't take of your black hat and swap it foe a white hat when it suits you.

      It may be the price you pay for being the Tories bag carriers sorry coalition partners but tje Lib Dems have chosen to enter the coalition and can't go around promising one thing whilst doing another.