“d” is for ‘diktat’ or ‘democracy’. Ask the Iraqis & Afghanis to choose, Mr Clegg

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    25th September 2010

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    DIKTAT OR DEMOCRACY?

    A “D” for effort, Mr Clegg.

    Nick Clegg is a guy who came from obscurity to the second top job in government. And now, four months on, he knows it all. Some complain that Tony Blair’s first four years were wasted as he took the temperature and time to find policy positions and political direction. Very, very arguable, with Northern Ireland, devolution for Scotland and Wales, Bank of England control of interest rates, minimum wage to name but a few. This Fabian Society post seems to conclude that Blair’s first-term was fast-moving, even while their listen/don’t listen to Tony message betrays confusion on the Left. Blair himself says that in their first term he did not move as fast as he later wished he had.

    But it seems that in comparison to most governments Tony Blair’s first term DID make enormous, reforming changes, though not as many as he might have liked to. Too much time spent finding out what the voters wanted? Too much consultation?

    In contrast it has taken all of four months for Clegg to neatly “diktat” to us all.

    Of course if  Gordon Brown hadn’t boobed as usual (and had taken a leaf from his predecessor’s book, journey, as it were) Clegg would never have had the chance to shine like a Blair/Cameron clone and thus fool enough of the TV celebrity fans, at least some of the time.

    Thus one becomes Deputy PM.

    But as Clegg opined at the UN General Assembly last night, his coalition colleague in the audience, Conservative Foreign Secretary William Hague, must have been thinking “the tail now surely wags the dog.”

    Clegg said in a tone reminiscent of an Obama apology for ‘past mistakes’  – “Democracy cannot be created by diktat”.

    Except that if one accepts Clegg’s premise on ‘democracy by diktat’ – which I don’t since it’s a false premise – the evidence in Clegg’s terms  is that democracy actually HAS been so created. (Or is that ‘crated’, in Clegg-speke? Odd how when someone irritates you, the way they verbalise also irritates.)

    Clegg got his words and ideas in the wrong order, of course, as often he does. He clearly meant –

    “diktat can’t be created by democracy”.

    So, when his tail continues to tweak away at the Conservative dog’s head he needs to remember that the big dog supported the previous big dog’s policy on Iraq AND, at least ostensibly, on liberal interventionism.

    And yet Clegg, the “liberal”, diktats against both.

    On the domestic scene he may also wish to take note that Liberal Democrat voters did not provide a mandate for Clegg’s party to support right-wing Conservative policies on the economy, jobs, health and education.

    But, regardless, Clegg in the name of compromise, diktats too, in support of all of the above.

    And all done with an air of careless sanguine that would embarrass ‘diktaters’ from the Blair era. I suppose that’s Cleggite for “practising what we preach”?

    I do hope Mr Clegg will ponder on this when he, with his evidently superior understanding of history, reminds himself of the hopes as well as the limitations of liberal internationalism. Or even those of its parochial more self-absorbed and far more supercilious domestic variety – liberal democracy.

    [An analysis of the need for and effectiveness of Tony Blair’s 1999 Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention]

    A view shows Tigris River in Baghdad September 1, 2010. Iraq celebrated its sovereignty as the U.S. military formally ended combat operations on Tuesday, despite political deadlock and persistent violence, and warned other countries not to interfere as U.S. troops depart. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: CITYSCAPE)

    It’s democracy. But not as Clegg knows it.

    Deputy PM puts forward vision of liberal foreign policy, and promises that UK will ‘practice[sic] what we preach’

    Still there would have been ONE guy in New York yesterday who echoed Clegg on the limits of democracy, not to mention practising and preaching –  THIS ONE –

    This quick video below is, some might say unfortunately, just a bit of fun. But it’s great fun. I imagine that even Obama might be quietly saying something similar in the White House after Ahmadinejad’s disgraceful conspiratorial nonsense the other day. Let’s hope so anyway.

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    3 Responses to ““d” is for ‘diktat’ or ‘democracy’. Ask the Iraqis & Afghanis to choose, Mr Clegg”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      You’re a cynical old bugger aren’t you? Grumpy? What’s the matter, didn’t you get an invite to Gordon’s leaving do tonight? Or are you just scared that Big Teddy Balls is not just going to lose but be utterly humiliated? More than likely I’m afraid.

      Maybe the old blood sugar’s a bit wobbly is it? I noticed yesterday you switched from Big Macs to triple cheeseburgers. Be careful now. A delicate constitution like yours needs careful management.

      To be honest, I tend to agree with you on Nick. He lacks a little substance I think. He’s not as bad as Dr Vince though who seems to have bottled out on everything. It’s all very well making populist speeches but it seems to me he’s had ages and done bugger all.

      In fact, I’m with the lefties on this week’s AQs. Triple the bank levy and legislate immediately to separate investment banks from retail. That’s what we need.

      I have to agree with you, good ol’ Tone got a lot done very quickly. You don’t always know what you’ve got til it’s gone, eh?

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Got to rush off to watch Mili the Elder win the whadtheycall it – the Labour leadership. Oxymorons. Well, morons.

        Can’t stand Balls – he’s the Blair killer. Well, him and a dozen more pygmies.

        You sure don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

        But wait till NEXT year if Ed wins, FGS.

        It seems Gordon’s prattling on at Manchester now. Suppose I should watch. It’d be nice if Tony turned up to put his arm round the winner, or put his hands round Balls’s throat. Of course he’s not allowed out any more.

        Chat later for the post mortem over the would-be PM-to be and all that pie-in-the-sky.

    2. Question to The Independent: If not us – who WILL stand against terror and dictators? « Tony Blair Says:

      […] nothing of the sort, Nick Clegg must surely know the futility and even fallacy of his own words “democracy cannot be created by diktat” at least in relation to Iraq (Libya is as yet an unfinished story). If only Clegg and the […]

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