After the Lib Dems, being both the junior Coalition partner and no longer the repository of protest votes, lost all but one of their MEPs in the elections to the European Parliament (EP), some called for Corporal Clegg to be relieved of his command of that motley platoon. Others, meanwhile, decided that this was an opportunity for partisan sniping and personal abuse.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
And there was plenty of both on offer from the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate, but for the more slavish kind of Tory Party adherent, especially those whose experience of front-line politics has never included the length of public service that includes the inevitable setbacks, it was time to put the boot in. One former MP of limited commitment was all too keen to do just that.
The increasingly wayward Louise Mensch, now representing the distant constituency of Manhattan Upmarket, gleefully put the boot in on someone whose ankles will forever be out of her reach. “I’m a Cleggebrity get me out of here” she trilled, to the dismay of the better class of people who would rather she had not bothered. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.
But, as the man said, there’s more: “Clegg practically crying on TV. Embarrassing. Not leadership. Unmanly. No crying in baseball” she wibbled. And what, pray, does baseball, or perhaps I should say MLB, have to do with elections to the EP? But then, Clegg was not crying, practically or otherwise, although he looked drained – maybe through lack of sleep. Leadership, eh Louise?
Not that she’d know about that sort of thing. And on she ploughed: “What Clegg should be doing is talking about the GE and reviewing the LD’s Eurofanaticism. ‘Party of In’ = ‘Party of Bin’”. Oh dear, once again the right-wing says anyone not agreeing with them is a “Eurofanatic” or “Federalist”. And we won’t be hearing what Ms Mensch thinks about the UK’s EU membership.
Well, not anything that makes any sense, we won’t. But by now she was attracting criticism: “Lots of people saying it’s sexist to call Clegg crying on TV over election results unmanly. It is unmanly, and men and women are different” she asserted. Men and women are different? Nowt gets past Louise! Plus he still wasn’t crying on TV, but facts and Ms Mensch are once again destined not to meet.
“It is objectionable in both men and women to cry over a political defeat, but more so in men. Clegg is an embarrassment”. This from a Margaret Thatcher fan: her tears on leaving 10 Downing Street for the last time were public and genuine. Ms Mensch is unpleasantly cold when it comes to showing emotion. Everybody hurts, as the song goes. But then, her husband never did manage REM.
He did sign and manage Lostprophets, though. But we don’t talk about that.