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What’s the worst the Lib Dems have done?

What is it? The worst thing? Lying about student fees? Continuing to sell out on the NHS? Not for me. It’s the economy stupid. Making Labour the scapegoat for the deficit instead of facing up to the problem. Cameron couldn’t have done it without them.  And now they’ve bounced along the bottom in the polls for months, they’re trying to sound anti-Tory. Vince Cable says the country faces the “economic equivalent of fighting a war”. He may be “talking the talk but the reality is he is not in any way funding the walk” retorts Richard Murphy in his aptly-named blog:  “you can’t fund growth from the petty cash tin“.

The fact is that on the economy, they know they need a plan B but they can’t even bring themselves to say it. They won’t discuss it at their conference — too democratic, you see (not like ours). And when pressed on their stance by the BBC this morning, Nick Clegg would not budge an inch from the Tories, arguing that deficit reduction had to come before growth stimulus measures were possible:

Because I think changing on the deficit reduction strategy would be exactly the wrong thing to do now. No I think the case for getting on top of the Government’s finances has strengthened not weakened over time. Look what’s happened in Italy today, where there’s been a downgrading of Italy’s ability to service its own debts. If governments don’t show the political will to balance their own books, you know what happens? Governments lose control over their own destiny. Countries start becoming victim to the bond traders in the bond markets.”

Let’s not forget these words when things get even worse. Let us not forget who is to blame for allowing the Tories to wreck the lives of the hundreds of thousands they throw onto the dole queues and of the millions whose living standards they have slashed.

They live in fear of the bond markets. Of the traders who made billions out of the boom and were bailed out of the bust. Instead of being willing to take them on, regulate them, nationalise them, or let them go bust, as we must be when we get the chance. We must not shirk that task.

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