Rapid Responses

Clegg’s apology

[Re: How one ticking economic timebomb is being slowly defused, yesterday]

Nick Clegg’s apology wasn’t just confused. It’s another step in the quiet unravelling of the coalition. You can see how Clegg and David Cameron are slowly beginning to reposition their parties in preparation for the next election. Whether either will still be in charge in 2015 is an open question, and unfortunately it looks like Labour will get in. This coalition has wasted much of its potential. Although it has made moderate progress in education and welfare, its central purpose – to eliminate the deficit – has disappeared in a morass of theatrical attempts to stimulate growth. Time is up for Clegg and the LibDems.

Julia Forth


Civil Service reform

[Re: How I plan to apply the lessons of business to government, yesterday]

Stephen Kelly is certainly optimistic. I’m glad someone with business experience is putting their mind to changing the Civil Service, but I wonder how much he can really do. There’s a fundamental difference between business and bureaucracy. The first thrives if it creates wealth. The second thrives if it spends it. No amount of tinkering or innovation can change that.

Anthony Anderson

Kelly is right that he can “help get Britain’s finances back into shape.” But that’s all he can do – help. Politicians need to start taking some much harder decisions.

Andrew Harwood



Something tells me that by the general election in 2015, Nick Clegg will be apologising for apologising in 2012.

The Eurozone is currently in phase two of its end. It’s basking in the temporary calm of official reassurances and half measures.

I’m in favour of humanities education, but always amused when humanities grads think they can project manage engineers.

Clearly the Lib Dems need two manifestos in future: promises they will keep if they’re elected, and what they’ll do if they’re not.