3/04/2008

Nick Clegg - Out of his depth and made to look silly

Nick Clegg has just been on Newsnight trying to defend the indefensible, and mightily stupid he has made himself look, and the Liberal Democrats.

The point was made to him that a week ago the Lib Dems walked out of parliament because they were not allowed to vote on an issue, but now they are intending to enforce a three line whip to tell our MP's not to vote ? It seems daft in the extreme. But worse than that, Nick Clegg kept making the point that our MP's would not support calls for a referendum because it was not the preferred referendum we wanted. rather like a starving man refusing a sandwich because "I prefer wholemeal bread", the Lib Dem stance is just plain daft.

Perhaps the most interesting point though was the lack of a sincere response from Nick Clegg on the question put to him by Jeremy Paxman, had he asked for pre-prepared resignation letters from MP's prepared to vote for the referendum ? Nick's response of "how could I, the vote has not taken place yet", was met with another repetition of the question by Jeremy Paxman. It was clear Paxman wanted Nick Clegg to be given a chance to change his mind on this question or dig a bigger hole for himself. Clearly someone has tipped of the BBC that resignation letters have been asked for.

Sadly, the whole piece on Newsnight made the Lib Dems look daft, out of touch and irrelevant. Very sad indeed.

10 comments:

lettersfromatory said...

Clegg is still swinging and missing. The Lib Dems are looking just as bad as Labour, and Clegg has completely failed to get a grip of the referendum issues and his party's voting intentions.

He doesn't have anywhere to turn now.

Man in a Shed said...

Nich,

Firstly I commend your willingness to call things the way you see them. Politics will only move away from the media spin and presidential leadership cult if more political party members make similar stands. Well done.

I think right now the damage is chiefly to Nick Clegg. Newsnight effectively dispatched him and destroyed him with his own words quoted from before the 2005 election.

I'm not sure Nick Clegg has much commitment to this country but rather to his natural home in Brussels. His personal history and family must make this position seem very natural to him.

The Lib Dem party have to decide if they want to follow him on this vision to dismantle the UK and hand our people over to a new European Empire. You are now too big a party to just enjoy creative ambiguity on these issues.

Anonymous said...

Clegg has been around Scotland offering all sorts of further self rule in return for scottish people sending more scottish lib/dem mp's down to help him rule non devolved England.
I believe people like Clegg(there are many of them) know they are being pig ignorant but they just don't care.

jailhouselawyer said...

He got slaughtered. After last night's poor performance I believe the LibDems have lost all credibility as the 3rd party. I suspect neither the Labour Party nor the Tory Party will entertain the thought of any kind of alliance for the next election and see the LibDems as a huge liability.

Anonymous said...

During that interview, Clegg blurted out, 27:32 in, here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/default.stm

"Jeremy, am I supposed to be surprised that the Labour party, that has reneged on its commitment to a referendum, and doesn't want to have a referendum of any sort ... "

The Lib Dem commitment was the same as the Labour party commitment - support for a referendum just on the new treaty, not on all the previous treaties plus the new treaty.

So "logically" (to use one of his favourite words) Clegg was admitting that the Lib Dems are also reneging on their commitment - notwithstanding all his sophistry about the Lisbon Treaty being very different to the Constitutional Treaty, not being the treaty mentioned in the Lib Dem manifesto because it didn't even exist at that time, etc etc.

Joe Otten said...

Nich,

By all means disagree with the party line and give your reasons. By all means complain that the position is too nuanced to be effectively communicated.

But give the insults a rest, mate.

It would be better to be out of the EU than in it, grudgingly, stropping all the time. It would be better still to be in it with enthusiasm. The in or out referendum is the choice between the two best options, and even the Tories know the third option is pants, but they are pursuing it out of naked opportunism.

The easy course would be to cave into them. Resistance is honourable and principled.

Joe Otten said...

Anon,

It was a different new treaty that included all the previous treaties. You rather defeat your own point there.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

It must be galling for you, Nich. I believe no party has a good leader in Britain.

Anonymous said...

I watched Clegg on Newsnight and was amazed. How did this man get to be the leader of a political party, he will destroy it. I am not now a Lib Dem supporter but any idiot can see Vince was basically a sound chap with broader appeal to the non aligned. I suggest pretty but dim Clegg is visited in his Office and given the floor plan so he can find his way quietly to the library. Leave the usual things on the table. a glass of whsiky and revolver I think it is.

Joe Otten said...

Anon - the Crick piece? You don't wanna listen to Crick. You know he brought a device to Nick's campaign launch that interfered with the PA. He switched off the lights during Simon Hughes campaign launch last time round. That man is bored reporting the news and fancies himself making it.

Watch the actual speech here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm

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