Thursday, 24 February 2011

How safe is Nick Clegg's job?

There must be something about the position of deputy prime minister that brings out the buffoon in politicians. John Prescott – Labour’s man of the people now in the House of Lords and currently shamelessly advertising car insurance – could be relied on to foul up. Now the same expectation has passed to the Coalition’s No. 2, Nick Clegg.
The LibDem leader – who will be linked forever with the U-turn on university fees in the same way Tony Blair’s albatross is the invasion of Iraq – is living up to the image of the political lightweight painted by his detractors.
He compounded the error of taking his family this week on a half-term Swiss skiing trip with the Middle East in turmoil - and Cameron out of the country - by joking he had forgotten he was supposed to be in charge.
The prime minister must be already spitting blood having to apologise for the UK’s poor performance rescuing ex-pats from Libya so soon after the forest privatisation U-turn without exposing the weak links in his cabinet. Foreign secretary William Hague and defence secretary Liam Fox are also having a bad 'war'.
David Cameron, fresh from a tour of the Middle East promoting peace and British arms sales, is going to have to make up his mind whether he is genuinely opposed to the introduction of the Alternative Voting system in the May 5th referendum.
The Daily Telegraph’s Ben Brogan reports that there are some Tories who believe the PM’s heart isn’t in the fight to secure a rejection of the voting reform.
Conspiracy theorists have it that Cameron sees the adoption of AV as the price for keeping the LibDems on board beyond the next General Election.
What ever Cameron’s private thoughts on the matter, a No vote would further weaken Clegg’s standing among disaffected members of his own party. If the prime minister cannot depend on his deputy to whip LibDems into line, he might better be shot of accident-prone Clegg sooner rather than later.

4 comments:

  1. It is important for our political system to keep evolving, otherwise I predict our democracy will suffer. No PR, not even AV, then in that case, Clegg has to leave the coalition and force an early election if he does not get AV through. He may just be lucky enough that the voting numbers fall to his advantage. If so the price he should demand to join a new coalition of whatever hue should be full PR and not a jot less. Myself, I expect a government of national unity to be the result of the next election. [JAFFA].

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  2. If there is to be a 'next time' for Clegg, then that 'next time' he will have to bring those 'betrayed' Lib/Dem voters with him. No dichotomy next time between the Lib/Dem voters and those Lib/Dems who joined a Tory cabinet. Unless Clegg does dharma/real concentration and reflection on reassessing his role and political being then as you suggest, and in his own words, he will be 'toast' !

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  3. When Clegg joins the next Labour coalition he will probably redeem himself over tuition fees by voting with Ed Balls for a 50 per cent tax on incomes over £ 100,000.

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  4. You hit the wrong target GC. PM and Foreign Sec and our ex pats were the agenda.

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What do you think? GC