While the campaign to top the GCSE results table with his much-vaunted West London Free School may have turned out not necessarily to his advantage, the loathsome Toby Young is not short of activities to which he can dedicate his less than stellar talents, and one of these is crudely slagging off anyone and everyone whose politics do not align with his own particular Weltanschauung. One such is Nick Clegg.
More less than totally grownup contributions from Tobes
The former Lib Dem leader may be a readily identifiable hate figure for those who were not keen about his leading his party into Coalition with the Tories back in 2010, but why Tobes should harbour such a visceral dislike of someone who is approachable, even - as the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone found out - in Olmedo, the small Spanish town north of Madrid that his wife hails from, is at first unclear. What is Tobes’ beef?
We have seen him take to Twitter to whinge loudly “2 days ago, Nick Clegg said story about Queen backing #Brexit was ‘nonsense’. Today, he’s blaming Gove for leaking it. Which is it?” It was, of course, both - it was a nonsense story that “Oiky” Gove leaked. Ten came the plainly abusive “Nick Clegg is like Michael Dukakis with a lobotomy”, as if Tobes has any room to lecture anyone else about idiocy.
Now he has brought forth “Nick Clegg has misnamed his memoirs. Should be called 'Settling Scores: Why I Am Right and Anyone Who Has Ever Disagreed With Me is Wrong’”. Why is he so teed off with the former Deputy PM? Ah well. One look at Hattenstone’s interview with Clegg tells you all you need to know.
Because Clegg, after his time in Government, has Tobes’ idols Michael “Oiky” Gove, and London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, sussed. This is what he had to say about their fitness for Government - or lack of it.
“The more I governed with Gove and his team, the more I realised he was just striking a series of superficial poses. You’ve got a generation of politicians very close to the media, people like Boris Johnson and Gove, and the problem is, the skill of tossing off 800 words on one subject and then on another a week later is completely different to governing. With Cameron and Osborne, there was a seriousness about what they were doing - a deadly seriousness I often didn’t like. But with Gove it was just a series of throwaway poses about our kids’ futures”. Dead right. And there was more.
“There’s this ersatz intellectual heft that Gove and his people have that I don’t think is merited … People such as Gove and Johnson have elevated striking poses into a political art form. Their apogee was the referendum. I wanted Gove to win the party leadership. He won the argument, and he should have been in a position of power to face the music”. “Ersatz intellectual heft”, indeed. Just about sums up Gove and Bozza.
That’s why Tobes hates Clegg - because he has looked at two journalists who pretend to be serious politicians, seen through them, and, as we say in God’s Own County, called a spade a bloody shovel. Nick Clegg may have taken some questionable decisions when in Government, but on this he is spot on. Well done him - and Up Yours, Tobes.
When in government Clegg did a bang up job holding the tories back, then, didn't he.
Or maybe he didn't.
To be honest, given how the wind was blowing in 2010 I don't think Clegg and co could have done other than what they did. Had they tried to form a coalition with Labour the resulting government would have been unstable and under constant attack from the papers. Refusing to form a coalition, or doing any kind of informal deal would have seen them lacking in any ability to fulfil any of their own promises and more than likely have forced another General Election that they could ill afford to fight. They needed power, to try and get the electoral reform they so badly needed and also to show that coalition politics (something which would be a very likely result of any shake-up of the current electoral system) was workable.
Unfortunately they over-played their hand, settling on the shitty compromise of a poorly worded vote on a binary choice between the status quo and a system that they didn't really want in return for utterly betraying one of the core principles of their manifesto.
Clegg might, just might, have had some credibility if he hadn't been caught on an open mic telling the Bullingdon Pig's Head Boy that they had better find some issues to disagree on.
That "shitty compromise" you refer to was a chimera. In the end it amounted to nothing, as the last election result showed. Like all of his type - which includes New Labour - Clegg sold out for a sniff of power. Which is also why New Labour was buried in two elections.
The lessons are obvious, but doubtless won't be learned.
Better brace yourself, because everything's going to get worse. The Vicar's Daughter is just another clone of the usual lying, thieving, hypocritical glove puppets in the House of Scoundrels. You can't say you haven't been warned.
We won't really know how much the Lib Dems "held back" the Tories for about another 5 years. But if you look at things like Boundary Changes, the Human Rights Act, or even the EU referendum itself, it looks like the Lib Dems might have done more than we give them credit for.
"...it looks like the Lib Dems might have done more than we give them credit for."
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