Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nick Clegg is calamitously confused

The new leader of the Liberal Democrats once played the prince in the Sleeping Beauty, and it would appear, from his pronouncements today in Liverpool, that he has drawn on some of the finest pantomime traditions for his speech to the party’s increasingly unfaithful.

But the content was not so much hiss and boo as meaningless and contradictory. Indeed, there would be more political edification, coherence and worthwhile entertainment in a production of the Sleeping Beauty or any other pantomime than there was in this speech, for it was utterly vacuous, patronising, and devoid of credibility.

Apparently, Mr Clegg wishes to push for a ‘new type of government’, but he never says what this will be. We are told that it will be ‘pluralist’, though he states unequivocally that he will ‘never join a Labour or Tory Cabinet’.

What kind of pluralism commits itself to never collaborating? It is a curiously dogmatic assertion considering proportional representation demands precisely such cooperation. Tellingly, Mr Clegg’s aides refused to be drawn on the precise details of this new ‘pluralistic’ government, since obviously there are none.

He also called for a ‘Constitutional Convention’ which would ‘redraw the rules by which Britain is governed’.

Curious that, given that it is axiomatic that Parliament is sovereign and may not bind its successors. And how ‘plural’ would such a convention be? And if it were convened by ‘a Labour or Tory Cabinet’, would Mr Clegg cooperate or abstain, refusing to be perceived as an ‘annexe’ to the party of government?

In spinning his ‘anti-establishment’ libertarianism he is talking absolute nonsense. To insist that he is in favour of ‘pluralism instead of one party rule’ is precisely the position of all parliamentarians in a representative democracy. Democracy is necessarily plural, and Parliament is concerned with democracy.

So what is he proposing? That the largest party cease to have the authority to pursue its agenda? That the party that wins an election should adopt portions of the manifestos of all the parties? How ‘plural’ does he wish to be? If he will ‘never’ sit with Labour or the Conservatives, will he embrace the DUP, Sinn Fein, UKIP or the BNP?

One detects more than a hint of monism in Liberal Democrat pluralism.

And if Mr Clegg is so keen to advocate a ‘new system’, which ‘empowers people not parties’ why did he not demonstrate this on the referendum amendment to the Lisbon Treaty? Why was he not the very incarnation of this principle if he holds to it so passionately? Why did he not vote to empower the people on the single most important constitutional issue of the age?

A political leader who renders his own colleagues impotent on such a crucial issue is hardly likely to endow the ignorant masses with greater empowerment, unless he is talking of the colour of street lights, or the frequency of refuse collection.

If Mr Clegg wishes to engage in ‘a wholesale review of the entire constitution’ in order to ‘redesign Britain's political system for the 21st Century’, he might just consider the merits of a system that has evolved over 800 years. It does not need to be ‘new’ in order to work, and it certainly does not need to be changed for change’s sake.

But a better system could never, in any case, emanate from the mind of a Liberal Democrat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All your why questions Cranmer in this piece have a simple answer. Nick Clegg is a twat.

Nuff said!

9 March 2008 at 14:45  
Anonymous clegg off said...

I posted elsewhere that the word "clegg" will probably enter the language as a pejorative.

It seems likely it will be a synonym for "twat".

So I second the above comment.

9 March 2008 at 15:41  
Anonymous auto da fe said...

I think the real Cranmer might have approved of much that Clegg said, but then he was a 'hot' reformer, not like this stooge 'ghost' that haunts the blogosphere in his name.

This is meant to be Cranmer?

Laud, at best.

9 March 2008 at 15:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real Cranmer still possessed critical faculties; reform for reform's sake is a mug's game.

9 March 2008 at 15:48  
Anonymous mitch said...

So who will be the next limp leader then? this Muppet wont last the year out.It wont make any difference though they could have a pound of lard in the job.

9 March 2008 at 16:06  
Anonymous stuart said...

If you insist on mocking the LibDem logo then please just use the old Natural History Museum logo:

9 March 2008 at 17:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some (most) politicians are mendacious self-serving parasites.

Get over it!

9 March 2008 at 17:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What kind of pluralism commits itself to never collaborating"? You said. Quite right too. If we get a hung parliament next time the country will expect the Lib dems to collaborate, after all they have been arguing for it long enough! But collaboration should certainly not be at the point of a gun over constitutional changes that the vast majority of voters will not have voted for. Sadly Clegg is not showing signs of having a great intellect. The Lib dems have once again picked wrong-un.

9 March 2008 at 17:24  
Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Your Grace, in my opinion your article applies to the Establishment Party generally, not only to the faction which Mr Clegg represents.

Anonymous 15:48 wrote ... reform for reform's sake is a mug's game. ... I disagree. One has to be seen to be doing something to earn one's money and justify one's position. Having empowered the Electorate by transferring our Sovereignty to Brussels, what else does our Prime Minister have to do?

Anonymous 17:06 wrote ... Some (most) politicians are mendacious self-serving parasites. ... During the debate, Kenneth Clark was honest in stating that the Treaty and Constitution are operationally the same. However I would hazard a guess that he regards his own election as a sufficient fig leaf to do as he chooses, regardless of the wishes of the Electorate.

In my opinion, those that stated that the Treaty and Constitution are operationally quite different are wilfully misleading the Electorate. They are unforgivable.

9 March 2008 at 18:04  
OpenID curly15 said...

Talking of mocking the logo......

9 March 2008 at 19:33  
Blogger Newmania said...

Hard to be coherent as a Liberal leader .The "party" is really a Franchise of numerous contradictory protest movements with their membership as concerned about animal rights as the EU.
Internationalism conflicts with local protest and communitarianism . Libertarianism conflicts with socialism and the claim to be "Better" is undermined by the necessity to be more cynical than either of the real Parties by virtue of being placed centrally.

I delight in their feebleness although the wish to accomodate contradictory and unresolved motivations is not of itself an evil . It is the combination of such a need with an adherence to simplistic rationalism that creates the poltical prat fall that is any central statement of what the Lib Dems are.

9 March 2008 at 19:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the EU is forcing a new constitution anyway, so what is Clegg on about? It would be funny if it wasn't sickening. Of course, Clegg and the like have already got EU pensions in the bank - that explains a lot.

9 March 2008 at 21:06  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
since one of mr cleggs first annoucements was that he didnt believe in god , he is entitled to lead a party of deviuosness and uncertain principaled stances.I expect the forces of darkness are already shovelling money in his direction for the purposes of convincing the british public that his beautiful oratory owes nothing to god and that we should follow him and abandon church authority and liberate ourselves into his new vessel .

our parliment and way of doing things has been carefully built over the years , it is only in recent history that our vote has been degraded into the will of a self proclaimed triumphal political class.

mr clegg wants proportional representation , yet does not want it when it is eurosceptic, he wants local politics and participation , but not when it opposes his edicts.

i will pay more attention to mr clegg , when he utters somthing that is of practical use and does not involve the proliferation of his type of hidden beurocracy , that increasingly is like a pyhton seeking its prey to constrict.

has mr clegg served in the forces ??, has he saved a life or ever made anything or lived like so many of the people whom he whishes to vote for him .

for be it from to accuse him of being yet another vaccuous , clever speech writer , lawyer hybrid who believes he knows what we all should do from his vast wealth of experience of life !!

9 March 2008 at 21:40  
Anonymous DocBud said...

I've never ever thought of the Liberal Democrats as being libertarian, but then I've never thought of them as being liberal (in the classic sense) or particularly democratic.

The possibility of me actually voting for them certainly has never arisen.

9 March 2008 at 23:50  
Anonymous last summer's whine said...

In firmly rejecting a post in either a Tory or a Labour cabinet, Mr Clegg is embracing neither pluralism nor monoism. He has chosen realism.
He ain't gonna be asked.

10 March 2008 at 00:44  
Anonymous M person of no fixed political abode said...

The word clegg is the name of a nasty, blood-sucking fly. A horsefly.

Fits him.

10 March 2008 at 03:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So yet again more evidence - Clegg is by far and away the worst Liberal leader ever - WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT THE IDIOTS WHO VOTED HIM IN?

10 March 2008 at 10:25  
Blogger John Boone said...

I am disheartened by those of you who feel it appropriate to label Nick Clegg as a 'twat'.

I can think of at least three uses for a twat. However, give me a day and I suppose I can cook up a use for Clegg.

Nest feathering, perhaps?

1 April 2008 at 18:51  
Anonymous TheTruthIs... said...

I've gone right off Clegg.

The last straw was his opposing half-arsed anti-nuclear power stance: what does he expect us to get power from, exactly - by rubbing sticks together - by burning the furniture for God's sake??

He needs to get real and stop being an effete and impractical prat!

Cut the crap Nick!

26 September 2008 at 15:53  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

@clegg off

I was always under the impression that 'clegg' was the name used for those bits of matter entwined in ones anal beard.

Clegg & Dangleberries.

I might however be wrong. I am happy to defer to his Grace on such matters.

9 May 2010 at 18:34  

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