What's the Point of Nick Clegg?
Nick Clegg and his ilk are the irrefutable proof that politicians
are there for status and not for convictions, writes Andrew of band
From plucky idealist fighting above his weight to a complete irrelevance
with a Mitty-esque look on his future, Cleggs career as a career
politician is getting shorter and shorter. I actually hold him to
blame for the state of the country equal with Cameron and Osborne.
Face it; we knew Cameron and Osborne were Wolves in incredibly thin
(but well-tailored and far too expensive for you!) Sheeps clothing,
desperate to appear moderate enough to be elected by a public still
irritated with Labour over Iraq and hamstrung with an indecisive Prime
Minister who bottled it at the wrong moment. That much was obvious.
It should be noted that even with that amount of ill feeling towards
his main opposition; Cameron didnt actually win enough seats
for a majority. Not that youd know now.
Whats even more bizarre is that there was a point when Nick
Clegg was the most powerful man in British Politics. That is no exaggeration.
That time was from 6 May 2010 until the 12 May 2010.
There was a hung parliament. The Tories had the most seats, but they
didn't have enough to make a government. They needed someone else.
It wasn't going to be Labour, obviously, and a coalition of all the
small parties wouldn't work either, so it could only be the Liberal
In general the Liberals lean to the left. Their popular support always
has and always will. Nick Clegg leans to the left. Its rare
for a political party to change its basic principles. Its even
rarer for a party to adopt a left wing libertarian position, and then
change it overnight on the premise that we will be the hand
on the tiller. So why did they jump into bed and swallow all
that right wing policy? Do they think theyre in power because
they're sat on the government side?
Well they arent. They are Yes Men. The Government knows this
and it knows that generally, it can count on Lib Dem support because
of the way party politics works. All Clegg did was provide 53 more
Tory MPs and in return, he got a referendum on voting reform
where the only option for change was one that he didnt actually
want, and a debate on House of Lords reform which fell spectacularly
on its arse. After that, unless Cameron was on holiday, you wouldnt
know Nick Clegg was alive. At one point, Theresa May took PMQs.
Free School meals are a great example of the Lib Dem role in Government.
Free School Meals is an odd Lib Dem policy as it benefits many of
those who already have the means. In order to get that through, Clegg
had to relent and allow the Tories ANOTHER tax break policy (Married
Couples) in order to get it.
The Tories have played the Lib Dem's like the political masters the
Tories are. The meeting in the garden? The laughs and taps on the
shoulder? The camaraderie? All a Tory show. David had a Joy Buzzer
full of polonium. Cleggs victory was Pyrrhic in the extreme.
Now, Clegg is talking about another coalition at the next election?
Presumably it will be between the Lib Dems and the Greens and it will
total 1 MP, providing Caroline Lucas retains her seat.
What annoys me is that I fell for it. During the 2010 election, the
Liberal Democrats gained so much support from people like me. Disaffected
Labour voters who allowed ourselves to dream that things could be
better. We thought that the biggest underdog movement in British politics
might just get in while a nation fills with apathy. Not only has Clegg
ensured that every disaffected Labour voter will now either go back
to Labour or not vote at all, hes also made the left leaning
party activists feel sick by mixing with an enemy they have fought,
in some cases, their whole political lives.
I voted for the Liberal Democrats based on their manifesto. Clegg
told me there had been too many broken promises and they were there
to do things differently. Nick Clegg believes that promises should
be kept. I didnt vote for a Tory Government and I didnt
vote for the Lib Dems to immediately throw out 95% of the Manifesto
I wanted them elected on.
When Nick sang Im sorry, he wasnt just talking
about tuition fees. He was talking about the whole coalition.