12 May 2010

The Way Things Are Is Not The Way Things Have To Be

Interested in what a third party in Britian has pulled off, I was looking for some comments by the LibDem's leader, Nick Clegg.

Here's some of his comments from the 15April Leader's debate, that I think can help encourage anyone interested in third-party politics and a change from the two legacy parties:

On the need for change -- I believe the way things are is not the way things have to be. You're going to be told tonight by these two that the only choice you canmake is between two old parties who've been running things for years. I'm here to persuade you that there is an alternative. I think we have a fantastic opportunity to do things differently for once.

If we do things differently, we can create the fair society, the fair country we all want: a fair tax system, better schools, an economy no longer held hostage by greedy bankers, decent, open politics. Those are the changes I believe in. I really wouldn't be standing here tonight if I didn't think they were all possible. So don't let anyone tell you that the only choice is old politics.

On immigration -- You have had lots and lots of tough talking about immigration from both Conservative and Labour governments, and complete chaos in the actual administration of the system.

The truth is that there is good immigration and there is bad immigration.

We have had both major parties running governments over the last 20 years talking tough about immigration and delivering complete chaos in the way in which it's run.

I'm like anybody else. I just want a fair, workable immigration system that counts people in, counts people out, only makes sure immigrants come here if there's jobs for them to do in parts of the country where they don't place unreasonable strain on housing, public services and so on.

On politics -- I don't think that any politician deserves your trust - and you talked about credibility - deserves any credibility until everybody has come clean about what has gone wrong.

It's not good enough to keep talking about how we need to change politics, if when you've got an opportunity to change, you actually block it. I think that's a betrayal, I think that's a con. I think you deserve the right to sack your MPs when they're corrupt, but you also deserve a politics where we finally get the big money out of politics altogether.

I'm not sure if you're like me, but the more they attack each other, the more they sound exactly the same.

On the budget -- You simply cannot seriously suggest that we should believe that you can cut the deficit immediately as you want, then have a whole blizzard of tax breaks, including a great big tax break for double millionaires in the inheritance tax system, and provide huge lashings of extra money to the public services. You might be able to do one of those things. You can't do all three. I want to say to people, let's be straight with you.

All I would appeal for is just a bit of honesty in this debate. People know that money is tight. People know that you can't promise something for nothing. You can't say you're going to fill the deficit tomorrow and you're going to give lots and lots of tax breaks to people, inheritance tax breaks for double millionaires, tax breaks for one in three hand-picked married couples, and also extra, extra money to the [health care system] without explaining how you're going to do it.

On chosing a new party -- I believe we can rise to all of those challenges if we say no to the old parties and yes to something new and something different. That's what I offer and that's what the Liberal Democrats offer.

So don't let them tell you that the only choice is between two old parties who have been playing pass the parcel with your government for 65 years now - making the same promises, breaking the same promises. Making the same old mistakes over and over again.

I think, despite all the challenges, all the problems we have, I think we can be really hopeful about the future. I genuinely believe we can have a better fairer country if we do things differently. So give real change a chance. Trust your instincts. Support fairness. Choose something different. And that will give you and your family a better, fairer life.

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