Monday, February 26, 2007

Clegg: Ming's the Best Leader We've Got

Remember when RAB Butler answered a question from a journalist on whether Anthony Eden was "the best prime minister we've got" by answering "yes"? Well today we have a 2007 version. This is what Nick Clegg said in an extensive INTERVIEW in today's Times...
"People Shouldn't write Ming off."

No indeed, Nick, but carelss talk costs political lives... The Times interview is a classic case of positioning. No politician does an interview with someone like Giles Hattersley without knowing exactly what his game is. Clegg knew full well that it would be largely about his own ambitions, with a bit of Home Affairs stuff for appearances sake. And it comes at a time when a LibDem whispering campaign against Sir Ming is already in full swing - well, in partial swing. Here's a bit more from the interview...
But never mind all that, is a leadership race on the cards? Clegg says not. “People shouldn’t write Ming off,” he says carefully. “I think the contrast between Cameron and him will work.” Is Clegg at least sensing the buzz about him? “It is both flattering and problematic.” But you’ll run when Campbell steps down after the general election? “Look, if and when I think I have a serious contribution to make then I’d be daft not to give it serious consideration.” Increasingly with Clegg it seems much less “if” than “when”. As the compassionate Conservatives, with their touchy-feely work/ life balance agenda, encroach further on Liberal ground Clegg is seen as one of the few who can play them at their own game. There is talk that his leanings are so blue, in fact, that the Cons once tried to poach him for their own shadow cabinet.
Now, when I see a similar interview with Chris Huhne in another newspaper I'll know that the whispering campaign really is in 'full swing'. I'm sure I won't have long to wait.

35 comments:

simon said...

Bless Dear old Clegg! Is it just me or are the LDems going through the cast of 'last of the summer wine' for 'leaders'? As with all LDem leadership candidates, i wonder what skeletons he has in his closet! I await with bated breath! PS: he's not a bad bit of totty either. Guess he'll have Oaten's vote then!

Cicero said...

Well, if Ed Vaizey thinks that he and Nick Clegg should be in the same party, perhaps the member for Wantage should cross the floor. What is it with the Tories right now? David Laws being courted last week, Nick Clegg this week (oh and lest we forget Mark Oaten 18 months ago...).

Praguetory said...

Can't see what excites you about Clegg. He bores me to tears and appears very confused on most matters.

PJ said...

It might be interesting to return to your 'Cost of the Olympics' post Iain. Have you seen the balance of opinion in the comments? If there's one area that has been misrepresented by the MSM it's the popularity of the games and the willingness of people to pay for them. How about a Doughty Street Ad?

james higham said...

The boredom factor, Praguetory, is precisely what may be needed here.

Newmania said...

He bores me to tears and appears very confused on most matters.


I find this is true of all Liberals really and the first bit stems from the second . The part of their brain others keep for political principle is stocked with additional bitchyness .

No suprises then

Og said...

Simon 12.57 is right.

Charlie Kennedy was Compo in a suit, Ming is the spit of the oh-so-superior Foggy, and Clegg demands to be next.

allan said...

Newmania, many of us feel the same way about you...

David Lindsay said...

I carry no candle for the Eurofanatical, anti-family, pro-crime, pro-drugs Liberal Democrats, although they are at least honest enough to admit to holding such views, unlike the people who run both of the other parties, who pretend to believe in national sovereignty, family values, law and order, and the "war against drugs".

But I feel that I must stick up for Sir Menzies Campbell, by some distance the most dignified and the most effective Party Leader at present; it is most unfortunate that that is not saying very much at all.

He is routinely mocked as a decrepit and senile figure, but in fact he is only 66. And he was recently derided for suggesting exactly the sort of troop withdrawal from Iraq that is now to come to pass. He might not be a neocon with an Oxford degree, but so much the better when one looks at the people, including in his own party, who are.

mutleythedog said...

He is routinely mocked as a decrepit and senile figure, but in fact he is only 66.

But he does look and act like he is about 106...

Anonymous said...

Praguetory - Well said!

Everyone bangs on about him. I'm not particulary impressed. The lib dems have really got themselves in a fix Ming.

I'd give it 12-18mths before "health problems" mean Ming stands down.

dynamite said...

Mutley, you try having chemotherapy - it takes it out of you somewhat.

Anonymous said...

... No matter who they choose their 'successes' will always be based on the standing of thetwo real parties!

no longer anonymous said...

Ming is a decent chap who ought to have more sense than to reside within a party based on woolly-minded idealism and pale pink socialism

anon and on and on said...

As Alan B'Stard remarked over the weekend in the Telegraph,

"Granted, Ming Campbell will be 107 at the next general election, but we would be foolish to underestimate a politician who served alongside William Gladstone."

alien said...

Take me to your leader...

garypowell said...

Only 66?
If that is what being a sportsman when you are young does to you. Then being a couch potato has some very real benifits. Thank your god for that.

I did not know that being an athlete caused senile dementure AND wrinkles as well.

Come on you silly people vote Tory and take some responsibility for your own actions for a change.

Your children really nead you to This time. Make your bloody minds up whether you are sane or a socialist.

If you really do think that taxing and spending till the pips squeak and constantly telling people how to live their own lives is good for anyone, even the poorest people. Then be honest and vote New Labour.

If you really are a liberal and you want to finally GROW UP vote Conservative, and help save our LIBERAL democracy. Please.

kingbongo said...

Both Clegg and Huhne would struggle to get past junior minister level in one of the proper political parties. Clegg is soooooo boring but not as boring as Huhne who voice can instil narcolepsy in the most diehard poltics junkie.

I cannot beleive Mingthuselah is only 66 - that's got to be a mistake

dynamite said...

Gary, you are a complete tosser, in addition to consistently proving yourself to be an idiot. Ming Campbell has survived extremely painful treatment for cancer, which doubtless aged him somewhat. Why don't you shut up and listen to what he has to say insted of gawping at him, you nasty NuLab slug?

Anonymous said...

Bastard..

He might as well have stuck the knife in. If Ming doesn't fire him tomorrow he will only have himself to blame if there is a coup against. It is just this sort of weak leadership that did for Charles Kennedy.

Ming should explain to him in words of one syllable, possibly of four letters or less, to put up, shut up or fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Disloyalty killed the Tory party under Major, and it will do the same for Lib Dems under Ming.

He should give Clegg his P45 first and ask questions about why he gave this interview later.

Anonymous said...

I know Clegg from a long time ago, and unless he has completely changed his spots, he is by a long way the most unpleasant person I have ever met. Clearly someone who took "The Prince" to heart. He prospers by a policy of "divide and conquer", looking for a personal weakness in any potential rival and then exploiting it mercilessly, one at a time, so that all those who have not yet been attacked suck up to him for fear that they will be next, which they will be if they appear to offer any threat. What a surprise that the LibDems have been wrought by infighting and personal revelations since he joined parliament.

It is not surprising that he appears to be boring and unprincipled, because being interesting and principled would risk exposing a vulnerability. Character and principle are unnecessary baggage when your only interest is climbing the ladder. Pity for him that the only mainstream party in which his lack of principles was unlikely to be exposed is the party with little prospect of gaining power. But better a big fish in a small pond, I suppose was his thinking....

Anonymous said...

I suppose since Ming shafted Chuckie then what goes around...

Perhaps in view of the post by the person knows him, his thinking was big goldfish, small bowl, switch to Dave's big bowl later on, when he has a crack at being in the Cabinet.

Have these people learned nothing from Paddy Pantsdown being royally shafted by Tony Blair for his efforts ? Or of David Owen keeping Steel in his top pocket..

Stop him today - it will be too bloody late tomorrow.

And if bringing back Spitting Image is what it will take, so be it..

scroblene said...

PJ – 1.38

You’re not wrong there!

Just take a peek at the ODA website, and find the perfect job as an Outreach Ethnic Sustainable Traffic Environmental Counsellor, at around 90k, and you’ll weep with frustration.

All these non-jobs will be paid for as ‘consultant’ to achieve another Dome fiasco. At least, Greenwich was a poisonous tip, which was endangering everyone trying to get down the Blackwall Tunnel, but the Olympics will be continuously swollen with jobs for people to make sure that nobody wins the races, as the losers will feel abused!

Off topic, I met John Armitt, now of Network Rail, several years ago in his previous job, and found him a down to earth, positive construction man through and through. Isn’t it gratifying to hear a real builder put his hand up and admit the problem today, rather than piss around like the political tossers and tosserettes in this pathetic administration, who scramble to run away at the first sign of a problem.

Of course, there will be the usual compensation shrieks coming from all directions, but I bet he will be dealing with these a zillion times better that the spineless cretins we have running the country today.

Anonymous said...

Dangerous to judge by appearances, but not only would I not buy a used car from this guy, I wouldn't trust from one side of the room to the other.

Terminate with extreme prejudice..

Before he infects the entire party..

Remember what happened in Alien..

allan said...

Pre-emptive Tory "astro turf" smearing of Clegg then? Not especially subtle, but I spose if you've nothing better to do with your time...

bebopper said...

Clegg looks the part and has a nice haircut, but I went off him when I heard him on Any Questions a few months back. he had a rather shrill self-righteous manner and accused a fellow panelist of not thinking correctly.

Anonymous said...

For us Lib Dems, this interview has been a blessing in disguise, as the wider party can now see what he is like. Having someone as self-serving, mendacious, vindictive, untrustworthy and disloyal leading the party is a recipe for losing seats at the next GE and heading for the political wilderness.

If he gets to be leader, he will be plotting for the 'hung parliament' deal with Cameron which if Gordon has passed his sell-by date by then, and Dave has got his act together, will never be required as the Tories will have a majority.

And what will happen to us as a party then ? As Bob Dylan might put it, the answer is blowin' in the wind..

mutleythedog said...

dynamite said...

Mutley, you try having chemotherapy - it takes it out of you somewhat.

5:00 PM


Well Im up for it! It could be new craze or a extreme sport or something - or we could do bets on how much each player could take!! Its a good fun idea for the summer!

bebopper said...

mutleythedog

Sick. But funny.

Anonymous said...

Vaizey is a cino from a cino family who followed a cino into Wantage.
Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

allan said...

I can't see it being an "astro turf" smearing of Mr Clegg when it is on Iain's blog ,you could call it discussing the opposition using different thinking persons.

Anonymous said...

Millie of Labour and Clegg of LD's would both make Dave look experienced.
Parties should stick with Leaders of proven judgement and maturity.
More boy scounts won't do Britain any good at all.

garypowell said...

dynamite
You and Ming should get a sense of humour. You may both live longer.

I dont know when Ming got cancer. However he looked very old for his age 40 years ago.

Also: I have been called many things but never a Labour anything.

Maybe confused people that cant even understand what you read like you should carry on voting for the liberal party it is obviously your natural home.

It has always interested me how Tories are betrayed in the media as the "nasty party." When anyone involved in Local politics always find the Liberals the most dodgy unpricipled and dishonest of them all. At least Labour candidates know the difference between a capitalist and a socialist when they "see" one.

Neil Craig said...

What a cloying interview. The factual bits seem to be that he is doing the rubber chicken circuit, has a "teenager's rucksack", rather than briefcase & even sometimes smokes. It appears leadership now consists of image & spin with an almost total lack of content.

Ming's problem is not age, Gladstone was much older in an era when lives were shorter, but the total lack of vision or indeed anything. He does looking praetorian well but is quite obviously an example of being promoted one step beyond your ability. Opposition to the war, the LDs big foreign policy card, was clearly Charlie's to which Ming was unenthusiastic.