14 December 2011 2 Comments
I wrote sometime ago that Nick Clegg needed to stop being so reasonable with the Tories and considering what has happened I think I need to revisit this idea.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. —George Bernard Shaw
Nick Clegg is a reasonable man. In the TV debates he was seen as ‘Mr Reasonable’ and many liked this. When a Coalition was announced Cameron said that reasonable, civilised, grown-up behaviour was what they would have in government. And now in Government Nick Clegg has gone on to try and be as reasonable as possible even using the word to explain difficult decisions such as when he said it was ‘reasonable’ to cap the amount of housing benefit claimants can receive and what we asked for at the EU summit was ‘reasonable’.
While this may be an admirable trait, particularly in opposition against a back drop of fighting within and between the two main parties, this is starting to cause a lot of problems in power. The Guardian have seized on his reasonableness in an attempt to ridicule him
Immediately following each unpleasant new announcement, Cleggsy Bear shuffles on stage to defend it, working his sad eyes and boyish face as he morosely explains why the decision was inevitable – and not just inevitable, but fair; in fact possibly the fairest, most reasonable decision to have been taken in our lifetimes, no matter how loudly people scream to the contrary.
While everyone understands there needs to be compromise in Coalitions it seems to many that he is being very reasonable with the Tories and then trying to win people over with persuasion. It is this reasonableness with the Tories that has left us worse off, damaged, and many Lib Dem members feeling the Coalition was a mistake and voters wondering why they should vote Lib Dems. It is time Nick Clegg stopped being so reasonable with the Tories and started being more unreasonable.