By Ben Cohen
British politics follows pretty much the same pattern as American politics. Two parties vie for power, offering almost identical policies completely identical rhetoric. New Labour was born out of the Labour party, a party that used to represent working people (hence the name). It no longer does, and is a slightly milder version of the conservative party that Margaret Thatcher built. It represents big business, and has virtually nothing to do with real labour.
However, the Liberal Democrat party, headed by Nick Clegg, represents a much truer version of 'liberalism' than New Labour, and has routinely opposed the conservative policies of the supposedly left wing government. The Lib Dems have a sizeable presence in the U.K, and have 63 members of parliament. It is nowhere near being electable, but Clegg's insight into the economy may give his party a much needed boost. Clegg predicted the economic crash, and has been proven right about his economic philosophy in an undeniable way. So when Clegg says the problems are deepseated and will most likely last a long time, we should probably listen. In an interview with the Guardian, Clegg said:
"I would love to believe this was going to be a short and shallow
recession but in all honesty I don't think that's likely. The shock of
the financial crisis has been absolutely massive. There is no sign yet
that the banks are restoring lending. The British housing market was
more overvalued than any in the western world, with the possible
exception of Ireland's. There's an enormous stock of personal debt in
relation to people's earnings, which is now going to have to be
replaced by a build up of personal savings. All of those things
mitigate against an early recovery."
Will anybody listen this time around? Unfortunately, the just might have to, and Clegg could find himself in a real position of power. And that might not be a bad thing.