Wednesday 26 March 2014

I'm backing Nick

Nick Clegg goes head to head this evening in a debate on the European Union with Nigel Farage. Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm not particularly enamoured by Liberal Demcorats' performance in government.  However I do not hold Nick particularly culpable for our inadequacies.  Rather I think he has and is being badly advised.

 I suppose that's a convenient excuse for the poor performance of any organisation when one wants to remain loyal to the leader, but it has some credence.  Even Ming Campbell, an experienced and sage former leader not prone to scaremongering, has revealed that he felt Clegg surrounds himself with  too many youngsters  without real experience.

Regarding tonight's debate I cannot think of anyone better qualified than Nick to take on Farage and his xenophobic nonsense.  It should be an interesting debate. Both,in their different ways are engaging personalities able to establish rapport with an audience. Both are well informed, Clegg, in my view, with the truth, and Farage with material to support his prejudices.  I anticipate Clegg will "win" hands down.

I do not expect this debate to have much effect on the results of the European election: most people won't be listening. For that matter neither shall I, as this debate is  broadcast only in London, but I'm hoping to be able to catch it on You-tube or some other miracle of modern communications.

The stunning victory I anticipate will probably  not do much to improve the Liberal Democrats' standing in the polls. But I hope it will provide a boost to Nick Clegg's self confidence. He has received far more than his fair share of opprobrium.  It's no excuse, I know, but we are not the first political party to break an election  promise and sadly we probably won't be the last.

But on this wicket he's batting for a policies and principles on which Liberal/Liberal Democrats alone in British politics have an unblemished record. So go to it, Nick: I look forward to paeans of praise tomorrow morning.


  1. Oh dear: more misplaced Liberal Democrat optimism. It was Farage 57%: Clegg 36%, though no paeans of praise on either side. What the debate did achieve was the first 24 minutes of "Radio 4's "News at 10" last night, and the first 20 minutes of "Newsnight", quite a lot of each programme devoted to content rather than just style. That's good for democracy.

    Here's hoping for a better result for Nick next week.

  2. I have not yet heard the Farage-Clegg debate, but I did hear Obama's Brussels speech yesterday which included a magnificent defence of European integration based on high liberal principles (not because it will X or Y extra jobs or add a smidgen to GDP...)

  3. Agreed. I think Nick's problem is lack of vision, and that goes for what I've seen of the planned Liberal Democrat campaign. More details on my post 30/03/14