Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Clegg: The New Order

"Power may justly be compared to a great river. While kept within its due bounds it is both beautiful and useful. But when it overflows its banks, it is then too impetuous to be stemmed; it bears down all before it and brings destruction and desolation wherever it comes. If, then, this is the nature of power, let us at least do our duty, and like wise men who value freedom use our utmost care to support liberty, the only bulwark against lawless power, which in all ages has sacrificed to its wild lust and boundless ambition the blood of the best men that ever lived...."
Andrew Hamilton, The Trial of John Peter Zenger, 1735
This evening Nick Clegg gave the Hugo Young Lecture, the text of which can be read here

Discussing "progressive politics" Clegg said:
"The need to make choices is revealing an important divide between old progressives, who emphasize the power and spending of the central state, and new progressives, who focus on the power and freedom of citizens. For new progressives, the test is not the size of the state, it is the relationship between the state and the citizen."
He therefore admits, right at the beginning of his speech, that he is in fact an old progressive, by his belief in government central control of funds and policy, the fact he is not concerned about the size of the state and his adherence to the creed expounded by the European Union.

Clegg continues:
"For now, just let me say that while old progressives instinctively hoard power to the nation state, the new progressive approach is intrinsically internationalist on issues such as Europe, migration, trade and foreign aid."
Well that answers why he believes in our membership of the European Union, anyway. It also shows that he no longer believes in his own country as a self-governing nation and has no pride in his country.

Do go read the whole speech as it is so riddled with contradictions, it becomes laughable. Were I to attempt 'fisking' the contents of this speech, I would be still at the keyboard tomorrow morning! The final irony comes when Clegg quotes John Stuart Mill:
"A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes -- will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished."
Which is exactly why Cameron and Clegg will discover, to their cost and at our expense, that their ideas are unworkable and that their vision for a state of unbounded size - and one that decides what liberties we may be granted - will mean that our nation and us, all remain "small men" who will never be able to accomplish great things!


Sue said...

Go on, fisk.. you know you want to :)

Witterings From Witney said...

Sue: If I only had time! I am out most of tomorrow and won't be home till midnight - need my kip tonight!

Woodsy42 said...

Isn't it depressing that someone in 1735 could talk with such clear conviction, eloquence and understanding that it rings true 250 years later. Meanwhile we get the febrile utterances of 'small men' who wouldn't know a moral conviction if it bit them on the arse.

I shall have to give up this retirement business, it leaves me way too much spare time in which to get annoyed!

Anonymous said...

The difference between "old" and "new" progressivism? The former is overt Marxism. The latter is overt Marxism.

The Talking Clock said...

Nicely deconstructed - well observed and broken down. Thanks for the interesting read.

Anonymous said...

And who is surprised, that is the lib-dim mantra. Keep telling lies, over time more people believe them. The bigger the lie the easier it is to get people to believe it, said by some German I seem to recall.

Witterings From Witney said...

W42: retirement is a bitch in some respects, is it not? Still someone has to keep these bastards on their toes! Much prefer the rope option though!

Anonymous and Anonymous: agreed.

TCC: my pleasure and thanks for visiting. If you return to this - request, wud you email me thru my blog?