Sunday 30 March 2014

Euorpe - the "vision thing" is lacking, Nick.

In an earlier post I predicted an overwhelming victory for Nick Clegg in his debate on Europe with Nigel Farage, and then had to record my disappointment that, at least according to the earliest poll, he had "lost" by a lowly  36% to Farage's 57%.

Most commentators concede that Nick had the edge on logic, facts, figures and style.  Why then did Farage "win" such overwhelming support in spite of his distortions, misrepresentations and bombastic bluster?

I think it is because although Nick had all the technicalities at his fingertips he projected  no vision.  By contrast, Farage has a vision.  It is a distorted, impractical and unrealisable vision, looking back to a "better yesterday."  As one Guardian columnist put it:  "He's younger than I but has the political perspective of my grandfather."

Impractical or not, this vision has appeal to the many who feel "left out" of the current political process, ignored by the "chattering classes" and lured by the delusion  of a monocultural, monolingual, (white?) Britain in which we "do as we damn well like" and "to hell with the rest of the world."

In the next debate Nick needs to "lift his eyes unto the hill."  Yes, jobs, exports, the economy are all important, but he needs to enthuse us with the glorious achievement of a voluntary association of  28 formerly warring and sometimes despotic  nations now all democracies, all respecting the rule of law and human rights, and pooling their sovereignty to work together for a fairer, more sustainable  future in which these rights, liberties and aspirations are both respected within the community and offered as an example  to the rest of the world..

Some task, I know, but he's a personable lad and could give it a go.

From time to time this blog is "noticed" by the Liberal Democrat powers that be and recommended.  When that happens the readership doubles.  Let's hope this happens to this post, and someone tells Nick.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, trounced again, and even more decisively - by 69% to 31%, or 68% to 27%, depending on which poll you choose. Nick is putting a brave face on it, claiming that he doesn't feel "bruised" at all, and that he did not expect to overturn years of intensive misreporting about the EU in two one-hour debates.

    Nevertheless I feel an opportunity to restore some of the party's credibility has been missed. Instead the prize, for the time being, goes to Ukip.

    However, not all may be lost, as this letter in today's Guardian indicates:

    Nigel Farage's task was relatively easy (Clegg tactics fail as Farage romps home in EU debate, 3 April). Brusque, good-humoured bigotry supported by bluster will always seem to beat thoughtful well-informed analysis. And Nick Clegg did not seem able to think on his feet. There is a difference in kind between "law" and "regulation". The EU has contributed to 7% of our laws but to over 50% of our regulations. These regulations, worked on by the small committees which Ukip MEPs spurn, have resulted in, for example: cleaner air, cleaner beaches and rivers, the banning of harmful food additives, smoke-free workplaces, improved child and animal welfare, cross border policing, some control over human trafficking, support for democracy and human rights – and much more. And most strikingly we have had peace in what for centuries had been a war-torn Europe. In spite of the "knock out" which Ukip supporters have claimed for Clegg, I shall be changing my allegiance from Labour to the Lib Dems.
    John Saunders