In the cartoon, Popeye will accept all sorts of indignities and then his patience snaps! “I’ve had all that I can stand” he growls “And I can’t stand no more!” before beating up Bluto. Many Tories and certainly Boris have had all that they can stand from the Lib Dems and they can’t stand no more! The nutty proposals from Nick Clegg for House of Lords reform are indeed the last straw.
Boris is now at the head of the biggest Tory revolt for decades, and it’s about time.. Boris believes that the proposed reforms will be an “absolute disaster. In his forceful article in the Daily Telegraph today, Boris says: “It really seems to be the case that the Coalition (actually the Lib Dems) wants to push on with a system of elected “senators” – 300 of them – to replace the present Upper House. These people will apparently draw a full parliamentary salary, they will have all the usual researchers and correspondence units, and they will luxuriate in power for a full and unchallengeable 15-year term! The whole thing will cost about half a billion pounds over five years, according to the Labour peer Lord Lipsey.”
The Lib Dems have hardly any seats, and their policies were firmly rejected by the electorate. Why then should such a useless, radical and expensive reform be forced on the country at their instigation? This is an abuse of democracy. David Cameron has said several times that he wanted to bring in a reform but “the Lib Dems wouldn’t let me!”. Is the tail wagging the dog?
Can anyone imagine in this world or in any other parallel universe, Boris saying feebly “I wanted to do such and such a thing, but the Lib Dems wouldn’t let me?” Does David Cameron have any idea how weak such a remark makes him sound?
The Lib Dems have got away with far too much already. They are being allowed to run riot unchecked, bragging and showboating that they have brought in all their major reforms by imposing them on David Cameron. They were needed to prevent the disaster of another Labour government, but the price is too high and there has to be a showdown. It’s about time that somebody showed Cleggers who is boss and put him firmly in his place.