Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lib Dems' 'too deep, too fast' letter to The Times is 'too little, too late'


So Liberal Democrats have finally put their heads above the parapet to criticise their government's cuts.

In an open letter to The Times (do they not know Nick Clegg's address?) 88 leading local government Lib Dems say the cuts are 'too fast and too deep'.

Does that line ring any bells? Yep, it's what Labour has been warning since George Osborne unveiled his plans shortly after getting the keys to number 11.

And yep, you'd be right in thinking that it is a sentiment which the Liberal Democrats were spouting during the General Election campaign last year.

The letter comes just hours after Lib Dem treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott found the sharp end of his party's axe live on TV when he dared to criticise the government's "incompetent" negotiations on bankers' bonuses.

It would appear some Lib Dems at least are revolting - something we've always known - but it'll take a lot more than a stiffly worded letter to a newspaper to stop this government's heartless and politically motivated cuts programme.

A programme which has already seen the British economy slip back into decline - don't forget that old phrase, two quarters of negative growth equal recession. Two negatives most definitely do not equal a positive.

If you doubt the 'politically motivated' element of that last sentence, just take a look at this table which was produced in The Times on December 14 showing the winners and losers in the government's cuts.

A real Tory/Labour divide if ever I've seen it.

So while the Liberal Democrat signatories of The Times letter will be patting themselves on the back, all those people who are about to find themselves on the dole queue, or whose vital council services have been axed, or youth centre doors have been closed, or Sure Start centres shut down, those people who are otherwise known as the electorate, are left thinking, 'too little, too late'.

It's a last grasp at regaining some sort of party political credibility before May's local elections.

As flimsy and as cynical a move as the Liberal Democrat party itself.

Read more about this in the Telegraph, the New Statesman and on the Next Left website.

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