Chutzpah is a great Yiddish word. It describes the kind of bare-faced cheek that takes your breath away and leaves you scratching your head in amused bewilderment. It’s always good to have a word like this at your disposal when the Liberal Democrats are in your neighbourhood delivering their propaganda sheets.
The latest edition of “Twickenham & Richmond News” (sic) arrived on my doormat in the past few days, thankfully proclaiming that it is ‘paid for by individual donations at NO cost to local taxpayers’. It shows the Liberal Democrats to be stalwart campaigners for local services, sworn enemies of the Conservatives and valiant crusaders against government cuts.
Let’s just take a pause at this point while we slap ourselves vigorously, stick our heads in a bucket of ice-cold water and check that we’re actually awake.
CUTS TOO FAR screams the splash on the front page of the tawdry tabloid, which is packed with endless snaps of Munira Wilson, a Lib Dem candidate in next year’s Greater London Assembly election. Tory-run Richmond Council is supposedly hoarding millions of pounds while ‘needlessly’ cutting services.
This is the politics of the madhouse. The Lib Dems seriously believe that they can form a government with the Tories and help them to implement a nationwide austerity programme, while at the same time pretending in local constituencies that the cuts are all the fault of the Conservative Party.
Note the weasel words. Conservative-controlled Richmond has taken the cuts ‘too far’ and is slashing services ‘needlessly’. Presumably, the Lib Dems are happy with a lot of cutting, but become a little concerned if it passes some completely arbitrary threshold. What shameless hypocrites. If their Tory pals are indeed taking things to excess in south-west London and are sitting on some hidden surplus, then why doesn’t Nick Clegg have a quiet word with David Cameron? Or, better still, make a public announcement condemning the Tories?
Let’s be clear what’s going on here. The Lib Dems believe in coalition with the Conservatives, but know that this is poison for them in certain constituencies. Business Secretary Vince Cable MP goes into every election in Twickenham, for instance, explaining that he is the only viable anti-Tory candidate and that Labour supporters should rally to his cause.
This long-standing claim is now exposed as complete bunkum, but Vince and his band of two-faced followers return to the theme, because they have absolutely nowhere else to go. Even now, they say ‘elections in Richmond and Twickenham are always between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives’.
Wow. What a great choice. Which Chuckle Brother would you rather have deliberating over the hard economic choices? Paul or Barry?
I have no doubt the Lib Dems would make a great psychoanalytical case study. They have forged a marriage of convenience with someone they previously told all their friends they hated. When their domineering partner is away, they slag him off to anyone who will listen, but are all nicey-nicey to him in public when he’s back. Friends feel sorry for their former mate, but start to drift away. There’s only so much sickening hypocrisy they can stand, after all.