Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tories vote for more immigration and more public expenditure

You begin to get a handle on big Nick Clegg's achievement was last night when you realise he inveigled the Tories into our lobby to vote for more immigration-and what is more for immigrants not from the old white commonwealth.

I remember when things were really dire, just after Paddy took over the leadership, the Greens had pushed us into 4th place in the Euro elections and there were real strains within the merged party. Paddy led a campaign to give people from Hong Kong the right to settle in the UK after the hand over to China. I frequently heard nasty racist taunts from our some of our Conservative opponents (I was a Councillor and PPC in Congleton at the time and it is fair to point out that the truly awful MP Ann Winterton subsequently got kicked of the from bench for telling racist jokes at the rugby club)

Anyway back to Paddy's campaign. It was a moment that gave many of us hope and the belief that we were in the right party and that no matter how difficult things were we should soldier on under his leadership

Clegg has gone one better and won the vote in the House of Commons. Last night I was speculating when the Liberals last defeated the government. The FT journalist reviewing the papers on the News channel suggested that it was in the 1920's. I thought it would be more like 1916-but as several of you have pointed out we were in government in 1916 which rather precludes that. So the question is when did the Liberal party last defeat a government on an opposition supply day and I guess the answer is somewhere around 1903/4 when Campbell Bannerman led the party