Danny Alexander - SHUT UP !

In the local elections in my part of the world we (the Lib Dems) highlighted a regular concern that people have that the local Tory Council see consultation as a process to be gone through in name only and after the decision has already been made. Nobody in their right mights would consider it to be consultation or negotiation when the person leading these talks has already made his or her mind up. SO WHY CAN'T DANNY ALEXANDER SHUT UP !

He is doing exactly what people dislike most, and he is doing it over and over again. Watching an old episode of "Have I Got News For You" tonight, they talked about Danny Alexander leaking figures of how many public sector workers would lose their jobs, and for the last 48 hours Danny Alexander has been going around like the worst type of Tory MP telling anyone who will listen to him that the public sector "Will have to accept ...".  Where the hell is the negotiation Danny ?

Since when has the Chief Secretary of the Treasury had to speak to the press so much ? In previous government's the Chief Secretary has been a background figure, but no, in this coalition, Danny Alexander has decided that he wants to be the hard man, the face of the cuts, as if people are going to somehow reward or credit him. Stop seeking publicity for doing unpopular things and get back to doing your job for the sake of the of us in our party who remember when we were here to do Lib Dem things, not the Tories dirty work !

At a local level I am proud of what the Lib Dems do to represent local people in their wards and county divisions in Norfolk. But the way some members of our party behave in government, and don't even got me on to the subject of education where Michael Gove comes up with increasingly stupid comments and ideas by the week, whilst the Lib Dems say absolutely nothing, is nothing less than shameful !


Alan said...

I am afraid that once some of the public sector unions decided to strike, this became an issue that will be decided by public opinion - not behind closed doors.

The striking unions have already started to get their public message out - it was inevitable that the government do the same. That is what Danny Alexander is doing. The government have obviously decided, for one reason or another, that he is the best person to lead on the message.

As is to be expected, both sides are stretching statistics to slightly beyond their breaking point, with the unions claiming a typical pension is only £4k, and the government that a typical worker amasses a pension poet worth £500k. Each can be justified only if you make heroic assumptions about the word "typical". There are plenty of other inaccurate numbers bandied around.

For what it's worth, the Hutton report is actually quite well researched, and reasonably temperate. However, very few will actually read it - this issue will now be decided in the court of public opinion.

(Whether it should be or not is interesting, but moot).

Liberal Neil said...

I think Danny has come across well, and sounds a lot more reasonable than the various Union leaders.

Given that several Unions have already decided to go on strike over pensions it is unfair to accuse him of jumping the gun.

To most of the people watching the news, most of whom would love to have a pension scheme as generous as the Government's proposals for the public sector, the Union leaders look like they've got their heads in the sand.

Unknown said...

But he should be quiet. By constantly courting the cameras in a way no Chief secretary ever has before, and by Pre judging the negotiations, he is totally playing the role of an inept Tory who gas pre judged the negotiations and is allowing the unions to have good justification as to why they have sought a strike ballot. If he can do it , why can't the unions ? He should shut up, stop being a media tart, and set an example.

Matthew Harris said...

Is telling people to "shut up!" a constructive way in which to conduct a political debate?

Liberal Neil said...

But a large part of what he was saying was that the Government is negotiating and that most of the Unions are engaging positively with that process.

That was one of the points that made him look reasonable.