Nick Clegg says Lib Dem-Labour coalition possible

Seems Nick Clegg is touting his party round looking for another host to latch onto.

I wonder what the Labour leader’s response will be?

Ed MacDonald, or was it Ramsay Miliband?

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Nick Clegg and Distributism?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Deputy Prime Minist...
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So says the BBC. No, I don’t think he really is calling for a form of Distributism, merely offering up sound bites that seem to be rounding the edges from our current form of rampaging Capitalism. There’s lots of talk in political circles at the moment of a more ‘friendly capitalism’ and I think he sees this as an opportune moment to claim some media time.

Nick Clegg talks of cutting red tape and reforming the tax system, both of which may have merits but go no way to reigning in the current monster. He also seems to parallel a quote of GK Chesterton’s but misses the point entirely:

“We don’t believe our problem is too much capitalism – we think it’s that too few people have capital.

It’s worth quoting the great GK Chesterton here:

“Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.”

Clegg’s call is not for a more responsible capitalism, or a kinder face of capitalism but the continued rampage of neo-liberal economic thinking with a nod to worker participation as a way of heading off the unions. After all, if you have shares in a company then the last thing you’ll be doing is calling for industrial action? This is worker participation, but just enough participation to nullify the unions but not enough to pass any power to the workers or to make any difference to current practices whatever.

True worker involvement would mean the reduction in the ratio of high and low earnings within a company, worker participation in strategy and planning together with workers sharing equitably in the success of the endeavour. I would also like to think that it would involve a healthy does of Catholic Social Teaching to give the whole system a moral basis by which everyone would be catered for and not be left behind.

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Equality of Opportunity

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has come up with a scheme to help open up top careers to people from less privileged backgrounds. He’s arguing that getting on the ladder in many professions is more a case of who you or your parents know rather than ability, suitability and educational achievements.

I think that part of what Clegg is trying to do may be driven by what this case from last year exposed where:

According to the Mail on Sunday, however, 900 Tory supporters paid a minimum of £400 per head to attend its Black and White Party, formerly known as the Winter Ball, at which an auction of 30 lots took place, including a number of internships. Millionaire backers paid an average of £3,000 each to ensure that their children had a chance to undertake work experience at the companies involved.

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It strikes a chord with me as I have witnessed my youngest son get turned down for internships and summer placements from bank after bank after bank. This was in despite of his impeccable character and his fantastic academic achievements through the first two years of his mathematics degree at a university renowned for mathematics. The thought of nepotism and cronyism was always lurking at the back of my mind but I feel it’s been confirmed.

It’s ended well for him though as he has secured a contract with a local firm including further training and education to obtain a professional standing which will see him well for the future.

I do hope that what Clegg is attempting isn’t just a token piece of electioneering, this country desperately needs to embrace equality of opportunity.

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