Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Nick Clegg: Fallen hero

The majority of the people I would consider my heroes are long dead.

Oberst Werner Moelders who overcame chronic air sickness to become one of the greatest fighter pilots and tacticians of the Second World War died in an air crash in 1941. A man who loved his country and disliked the political party in charge but was loved by his men.

General Lord Charles Cornwallis the man who surrendered Yorktown and conquered much of India died at the beginning of the Nineteenth century.

Finally, Admiral Natasi Daala, the flame haired Imperial admiral who fought the sexist Imperial navy's command structure and rose to full Admiral and eventually head of state is fictional to begin with.

My only living heroes have been my Grandfather, who sadly passed some six years ago and Nick Clegg.

Nick has symbolised everything I wanted to get into politics for. His drive for change, an open honesty, fairness and what has come to be known as "The new politics."

I have always been proud to say; I agree with Nick.

I admit, there have been set backs and I have questioned my loyalty - as every good foot soldier should do from time to time. Tuition fees was the first major hurdle, I really struggled with that one. Then watching some of the Conservative cuts come through and the harm it has done to elements of society like the disabled, the poor locally who now have to pay council tax for the first time, the ex servicemen, the elderly...

All I could do was keep telling myself that the party have been doing good within the Coalition. We have too, cutting income tax, helping those with dementia, trying to tax the richer harder, electoral reform a lot of what we, as a party, said we would do has been done.

I accepted the bad as part of being in Coalition. For the victories you had to look to the top. Nick has worked hard to get what we're got and he has taken a lot of flak from all sides and I've defended his conduct repeatedly and consistently on this.

This Rennard situation though has shaken me yet again.

First Nick knew nothing, then he knew something but he was assured it was all dealt with.

It just seems like an odd contradiction and with the bad press (which came at a really pivotal time for the party with the last days of the bi-election) and the usual sneers at work about Clegg the liar and I, like many activists are caught in the middle.

What Lord Rennard has been accused of is wrong and the party are acting (some five years late) in the proper manner. I agree with Tim Farron that the party screwed up and this should have been dealt with properly back when they heard the rumours. I also agree with Nick that a running commentary in the media is wrong too and the party should not be reporting every sordid detail for examination in the press - after all Lord Rennard is innocent until proven guilty and the media does have a record of acting as judge & jury on these cases.

I'm pleased that there is now swift action, I am pleased that there will be change and the party needs to protect the victims and stop this happening again.

The question will still hang though - how much did Nick know? Was there a cover up? Will we ever find out? My wife said to me last night;

I don't know why you are surprised - he is a politician after all and politicians have to lie to save their own arses.

But it is worse than that, he's human and humans make mistakes, make bad decisions and heroes are always elevated above hero level.

The majority of my heroes are dead, as history has already declared on their records - they can no longer disappoint you and prove that they are humans and fallible and maybe that is why I am so disappointed by it all.

 I still agree with Nick but I have to remember that he is one of us and a politician and that he can fall into the same traps as all the others.

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