Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mind the Gap

Nick Clegg
Next sucker for punishment
Having got used to a lifetime of nuanced meanings of statements by political parties it is easy to become somewhat of a cynic.

I don't have the instinctive distrust that many natural Conservatives have of the Lib Dems.

True they do have their beard and sandal brigade, but to be honest I'm not sure they exist in any greater number than Bufton-Tufton hanging and flogging Tories. They have some ridiculous policies on taxation but they will never get to implement them so they don't scare me. They have a naievety on matters European that beggars belief, other than in the European Parliament where naievety gives way disingenuity but that is hardly a problem unique to the Lib Dems. Their "we like to talk positivly not just slag off the opposition unlike the other two sets of pricks" line is clearly internally hypocritical, but on the scale of political hypocrisies it is small beer. Their ability to sell wholy incompatible story lines in different local situations is annoying, but I guess there has to be some kind of edge to being small to the point of irrelavancy.

Jiminy Cricket
The real role for Lib Dems
Electorally, of course, they must fought as the 'NuLab Lite' they are, but for all that I value those times they make an occasional return to classically liberal, small state values. I've no idea how they square this with much of their stated policy objectives, but they do sometimes act as the Jiminy Cricket of the political establishment, sitting on the shoulder of those of our elected representitives, reminding them that just because the state, on occasion, can do does not automatically mean that by implication the state should do.

It is the espousal of these values, consistantly and unambiguously in recent years, by the Conservatives of David Cameron that has made me start to dabble with the idea of rejoining the party. I reject utterly the whining of some Lib Dems that it is some sort of marriage of convenience. To a modern conservative these values are as natural as breathing.

I'll admit that on occasion the Lib Dems do fall on the side of the angels first, but anyone who has listened to the likes of David Davies on ID cards cannot in their hearts truly believe that their opposition to most of the autoritarian claptrap that has emerged from the Labour government in the last decade is anything other than sincere and heartfelt. In fact, sensible Lib Dems should really be considering whether, in the very likely situation that the next general election results in a hung Parliament, their instinctive anti-Tory bile may leave them having to defend the indefensible.

It is then, to reciprocate the general spirit of the Lib Dem's attitude to Conservative pronouncements in this arena, that I comment on Nick Cleggs comments to the Guardian yesterday:
The Liberal Democrats today condemned the policy of holding children's DNA profiles "often without parental consent", as government figures showed almost 150,000 under-16s were on the national database.

The Lib Dem shadow home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg, described the policy as "disturbing".

"Thousands of these children will have been found guilty of no crime, yet samples of their DNA will remain on file for life.

"The disturbing and illiberal policy of adding a child's most personal information to a massive government computer system, simply on the grounds of an accusation, must stop immediately.

Source: The Guardian

I take it therefore that Lib Dem policy is that it is perfectly fine to harvest the DNA of innocent adults then?

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