A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Foreign affairs for Nick Clegg?

Nick Clegg meeting Dutch PM Mark Rutte - did they
speak in English or Dutch?
I've just read the link that Iain Dale put on his blog. This is about an interview he has given to So So Gay. He suggested it was read and I did. And it is a good read. Two things strike me. On civil partnerships, the current ban on a religious element to them and objections to the ban, the article says, "Dale, who is in a civil partnership himself, is open to that objection despite his own agnosticism. ‘I don’t think the law should prohibit a religious element, but I also don’t think that churches should be forced to offer services for gay people if they don’t want to.’ That's the point. Not forcing people, either way. His comments on Chris Bryant and Ben Bradshaw are also telling. But it's like all things with Labour. If they think you are stealing their political clothes they will try to say you look like a tramp.

On the Coalition and Nick Clegg's position in it after the poll slump last week for the Liberal Democrats, Dale sees Clegg in the foreign secretary role. "Dale can see Clegg as a potential future foreign secretary – subject to William Hague’s standing down at the next reshuffle". I think this would be a good idea. I've never really understood what a deputy prime minister is for or does. John Prescott spent some of his time humping his desk and carpet about his office. He also spent time knocking old buildings down in Northern England. Michael Heseltine was deputy prime minister as was Geoffrey Howe. Neither seemed fulfilled in the job.

I think, if William Hague does go in a reshuffle, that Clegg would be ideal as foreign secreatary. This is a proper job in government. He has the background from his Dutch and Russian blood and he is married to a Spanish politician's daughter. In Europe, I am told, he would come across well. Not because he is pro-European but because he would not be perceived as "arrogantly English". That's what I've been told. If the continental Europeans would be happier with that, surely that is to our advantage.

Of course, if like Peter Bone MP, you want the Coalition to collapse tomorrow, then Nick Clegg should be left to his own devices as a role-finding deputy prime minister. Mr Bone wants to "be rid of the Liberals" as if he was seeking help from a rat catcher. Personally, I want the coalition to succeed in its mission. Peter Bone may not like "liberals" but he should have helped the Conservative Party to be more electable last year. We've got what we've got. Let's do the best with it and stop infighting and move forward.


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