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article imageMan arrested after deputy UK PM Nick Clegg hit by paint bomb

By Andrew John     Aug 26, 2011 in Politics
It’s being said that an anti-cuts campaigner – protesting at the alliance between the UK Tory and Liberal Democrat parties – was behind a paint-bomb attack on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Clegg’s face and clothing were struck by blue paint while he was in Scotland for a meeting with Lim Dem party activists.
A man in his 20s has been arrested and, says the BBC, still being held by police.
The leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, Willie Rennie, was also hit.
“A website is reporting that a man who left the Liberal Democrat Party after the last general election was behind the attack,” says the BBC, saying that it “understands an anti-cuts campaigner has said he carried out the attack in protest at the Lib Dem coalition with the Conservatives.”
The so-called Con–Dem coalition has introduced massive cuts to welfare and other areas since it came to power in May 2010, in order to plug a massive deficit. Many argue that the coalition is making cuts in the wrong places, and criticise the handouts of huge sums of money to the banks and continuing presence in war zones.
Cuts are also being blamed for shortcomings in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), according to the Morning Star.
“As one of many thousands now waiting for an NHS operation I am taking a more personal interest than usual in the figures on waiting times, which are increasing rapidly as the coalition’s cash squeeze gets worse,” writes Star contributor John Lister, a doctor and director of Health Emergency, a health pressure group.
“[Chancellor] George Osborne’s cuts and [Health Secretary] Andrew Lansley’s policies are rolling back the progress made through investment under new Labour, which reduced the maximum wait to 18 weeks.”
Master plan
Lister sees cuts to the health service as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s “master plan to privatise most of the public services” reflected in the headline on his Morning Star report: “Queues spell cash for private health.”
The choice of blue paint for the attack on Clegg is significant: it’s the colour of the Tory party with which the Lib Dems have formed their coalition.
A contributor to Indymedia Scotland names the man arrested and says he’s a former Lib Dem member who was appalled by the Con–Dem coalition, but the BBC says this has not so far been verified.
Indymedia Scotland quotes the man as saying: “I joined the liberal democrats two years ago because I wanted to stop Neo-Liberalism and so I was shocked and appalled when Nick Clegg allowed the Liberal Democrats to prop up the Tories in order to carry out an assault on the welfare state. If we’re going to defeat this government we need a concerted effort to put them to a stop.”
More about Nick clegg, paint bomb, deputy prime minister, Morning star, indymedia scotland
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