And so today, in the midst of events that are transforming our world, we meet united (apart from those idiots Purnell and Blears, obviously) and determined to fight for the future.
Our country confronts the biggest choice for a generation. It’s a choice between two parties, yes. But more importantly a choice between two directions for our country. (You can tell I was a crap Chancellor, as I can't count beyond two).
In the last eighteen months we have had to confront the biggest economic choices the world has faced since the 1930s, as a result of my stunning incompetence in regulating the financial system and failure to stop the unsustainable debt-led boom.
And times of great challenge mean choices of great consequence, so let me share with you a little about the choices we are making. Our first choice is to blame anyone but ourselves for the economic chaos. And our second choice is to splurge even more dosh on our ballooning deficit between now and the election, to really screw things up for the next government. And our third choice is to make ineffective gestures which might get a headline or two, such as our VAT cut last year. We also made the choice to introduce a mortgage rescue scheme which has benefited only a
handful of homeowners.
And although we're hopeless, the Tories would be even worse. Did you know they eat babies and indulge in Satanic rituals under the guise of Bullingdon Club drinking sessions?
As for the bankers, I guarantee that they will all be whipped three times daily and survive in future on a of bread and a glass of water. The fact that I have no real ability to enforce this is irrelevant, as is my own failure to regulate the banking system properly.
Now it's time for some buzzwords about fairness, ignoring the fact that the gap between rich and poor has widened under 12 years of Labour rule. The word values should also be used a lot.
I grew up in an ordinary family in an ordinary town (unlike those toffs Cameron and Osborne). Like most families on middle and modest incomes we believed in making the most of our talents.
But we knew that no matter how hard we worked free education was our only pathway to being the best we could be, but despite that I'm proud of saddling students with tuition fees and record levels of debt.
And I come from a family which, independent and self reliant as it was, could not have kept going without the compassion and caring of the NHS which has not been a sixty year mistake but a sixty year liberation. Take that, you swivel-eyed loon Hannan.
And it has been those experiences, and that background, that has taught me that yes, too much government can make people powerless, but that won't stop me from leading the bossiest and most authoritarian government of modern times, which wants to make 11 million people prove they are not paedophiles before taking the neighbours' kids to swimming lessons.
We will not allow those on middle and modest incomes to be buffeted about in a storm not of their making. We'll just create the most complicated tax system anywhere in the western world, so that people won't realise that when we give them a minimum wage and tax credits (pause for cheers), we're just going to take it back by other means.
And so this is our choice – to make rules about how to toughen the rules on those who break the rules, as the more rules we have, the better. That's why we'll introduce new rules on bankers’ bonuses (pause for boos). And any director of any of our banks who is negligent will be disqualified from holding any such post, although such rules won't apply to Prime Ministers or former Chancellors of the Exchequers, obviously.
In the uncharted waters we sail, the challenge of change demands nothing less than a new model for our economy, a new model for a more responsible society and a new model for a more accountable politics. Do you think if I say the word 'new' enough, people will forget we've been in power for 12 years?
Staying with the status quo is not an option. The issue is not whether to change, but how, although there can't possibly be any change which involves me leaving Downing Street.
It's now time for some guff about the economic principles which underlie my approach, although obviously I don't want people to remember any of my previous principles like the 'Golden Rule' on borrowing. I probably also ought to mention the Post Office somewhere in here, despite my government's record of closing thousands of post offices. And I also ought to say some green buzzwords as well.
Next I'm going to announce all sorts of spending pledges on education, jobs and care for the elderly, even though we won't be able to afford a single one of them due to the government deficit. But I'm absolutely not going to announce any spending cuts anywhere to pay for them.
However, I do have to say something about the deficit, so I'll pretend that by passing a new law, the problem can somehow be tackled. It's nonsense, but I'm hoping no-one will notice that. I'll also mention a rise in National Insurance to help tackle the deficit, even though it's a tax on jobs.
By the way, did I mention the Tories want to burn down every hospital and school in the country? In contrast, under Labour the UK is a land of milk and honey (insert all the buzzwords here about the minimum wage etc to get the delegates cheering).
Now it's time for some more authoritarian stuff. I think teenage mums should be locked up. We also need to boss parents around a bit more. And all our teenagers are drunken yobs who must be given ASBOs. We're also going to backtrack on 24-hour drinking which was introduced by the evil previous government (Tony Blair's, obviously).
I'm also going to continue the fear-mongering over terrorism and immigration. Bloody foreigners must continue to have ID cards, but I'm not going to make them compulsory for British citizens, even though we're going to keep the massive ID database which underlies them.
I love Britain, I do.
Time for a name-check for President Obama, in the hope that people will think I'm just like him. I probably also ought to mention some guff about all the problems the world faces, even though I don't have a clue how to deal with most of them. Overseas aid (pause for cheers).
Did I mention I love the NHS and will guarantee unlimited funding for it, so that we can get rid of all diseases? Unlike the Tories, who want to leave everyone to die horribly on a hospital trolley.
But a fair and responsible Britain must be an accountable Britain. Tory MPs who fiddled their expenses should be drowned in their moats. I'm aware that some Labour MPs were also on the take (yes, Blears and Morley and Moran, I'm looking at you).
And so where there is proven financial corruption by an MP and in cases where wrong-doing has been demonstrated but Parliament fails to act we will give constituents the right to recall their Member of Parliament. But we're not going to legislate on this before the election, even though we could.
I'm also going to announce a referendum on the unproportional Alternative Vote system, even though we promised a referendum on electoral reform in 1997 and never delivered. I'm also going to end the hereditary principle in the House of Lords, even though I've had 12 years to do something about it and not done it. Who knows, both these pledges could be enough to get one or two Lib Dems into voting for us, the fools.
I’ve been honest with you about where we’ve got it right, which is actually not very much, if I were actually being honest. And where we’ve fallen short and have to do more, which is in just about every area.
Did I mention the Tories are evil toffs?
And so I say to the British people the election to come will not be about my future, as we all know I'm doomed.
And I say to you now: Insert peroration here, not that anyone will actually believe a word I've said.
Recommended Lib Dem blogs and websites
- Andrew Reeves
- Caron's Musings
- Charlotte Gore
- Cicero's Songs
- Cllr Debra Storr
- Councillor Alex Graham
- David Boyle
- Duncan Borrowman
- Fraser MacPherson
- Freedom Central
- Himmelgarten Cafe
- Jock Coats
- John Hemming MP
- Lib Dem Blogs Aggregated
- Lib Dem Voice
- Liberal Burblings
- Liberal Bureaucracy
- Liberal England
- Love and Liberty
- Lynne Featherstone MP
- Mark Reckons
- Millennium Elephant
- Norfolk Blogger
- Peter Black AM
- Quaequam Blog!
- Sara Bedford
- Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Social Liberal Forum
- Stephen Glenn
- Steve Webb MP
- The People's Republic of Mortimer
- UK Liberal Democrats
Other good political sites
Miscellaneous non-political sites
- Brown's Labour conference speech: first draft
- Lib Dem Federal Conference: Vince Cable
- Lib Dem Federal Conference: Tim Farron
- Lib Dem Federal Conference: Real Women
- A complete history of England
- Will we myth history if it's left in the past?
- I agree with Brendan Barber
- Delight for Michael Shields
- This is what health fascism looks like
- Farewell to Keith Waterhouse 1929-2009
- In (partial) defence of Lembit Opik
- ▼ September (11)
- ► 2008 (206)