bête noire, not to be beaten Clegg put a brave face on it mounted his trusty white steed and rode to the rescue of the NHS to save it from Andrew Lansley's hated Liberating the NHS" reforms. Almost immediately he rode into trouble, because there on the horizon just disembarking his no-frills airline "privately frilled" plane was the feared "black knight" in a navy polo T-shirt and dirty crumpled jeans jousting at him with his prime ministerial poking stick, sadly for Nick Clegg it seems that David Cameron has had the same idea of becoming the NHS saviour. However, it would appear that the irony is, although it hasn't quite dawned upon either of them yet that they are both trying to save the NHS from themselves, after it is thier government that is trying to push through these monstrous reforms!
While they play political football with our NHS it appears that the "Court Jester" Gideon (Osborne) has ran into a "little local difficulty" with the economy. Apparently after Osborne has been playing around with the brakes they have failed and the economy is now on an unavoidable collision course with a brick wall.
The chancellor has suddenly become persona non grata, no one is returning his calls and economists who previously backed him are now lining up to criticise him. It appears they have suddenly realised what many of us have realised from day one, that Osborne is a dolt and should never have been allowed anywhere near this country's economy, his only remedy was an already failed concept of his "mother's" Margaret Thatcher, who never understood economics either. These economists are all now like rats leaving the proverbial sinking ship (in some haste) before they become tarnished with the chancellors failures, no doubt in a year's time they will be all saying that of course they saw this coming all along and it will be extremely hard to find anyone that never saw this coming, and will be equally as hard to find anyone who will admit to voting Tory (or Lib Dem).
However, where does all this leave Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrat party? If this dire economical news is bad for the government, then it is even worse for Clegg. Clegg has pinned his and his party's very survival on Osborne's unprecedented gamble with our economy paying off. Last April Osborne was forced to borrow and unprecedented £46 billion add this to the £42 billion LESS that the previous Labour government were forecasting and we see that Osborne has created a huge £88 billion black hole for us all, so from that alone we can now deduce that at the very least Osborne's target of paying the deficit down inside this parliament will fail, and fail catastrophically. This means in basic terms that there will be no money for tax give-aways come the next election and with that unemployment will be probably be around 3.5 million, interest rates will have risen, inflation will be high, the banks will still not be borrowing, benefits will be cut and wages frozen, bankruptcies and repossessions will have risen dramatically and we will have experienced a double dip recession, which will all affect economical growth.
This and more is something that I have stated before when talking about the chances of the coalition government surviving.
After the local elections the Liberal Democrat party had two options 1) they cut their losses and walk away from the coalition, regrouped and reformed, started to rebuild lost trust and start their long journey back to the political arena. or 2) They stayed and prayed for a miracle with Osborne's economy.
I predicted that if they chose the latter then they are likely to lose everything come the next election, because they are being used as the Tories human shields now, by the time the next election comes around it will be a 100% worse and the Tories and Cameron and Osborne will seek to hide behind them and blame Lib Dem policies for the failure. Of course the Tories will no longer be able to blame labour, because labour have been proved right on the economy, so they will turn their fire at the Lib Dems. To paraphrase "Hell hath no fury like a Tory who looks like they will lose a general election".
I believe the recent events in the economy will have forced the hand of the Liberal Democrats, I think we may see a leadership challenge in the not too distant future, as Lib Dems wake up to the fact that if they stay much longer in this coalition then they are going to lose their party completely.
Of course walking away from the coalition and choosing a new leader now is a gamble, but not as much as an unwinnable gamble as staying on, that way only lays complete destruction, at least this way most Lib Dem MPs may retain their seats, if they wait then they are going to face complete wipe-out at the polls, as people turn on them and blame for the mess and confusion that George Osborne is causing in the economy.
I believe the only way forward for the Liberal Democrats is to walk away from the coalition now and I think it will happen sooner rather than later - I sincerely hope that Ed Miliband is ready to roll!