Monday, November 23, 2009

Translating Liberal Democrat-speak: No 94

What Stephen Tall said...

"Now it has been known, just occasionally, for Nick to speak a little faster than he thinks."

What Stephen Tall meant...

"Nick Clegg engages mouth before brain."

It was only a matter of time before the LibDems split apart on the issue of a coalition. I know what Clegg meant on Andrew Marr. You know what he meant. And so did his members. And therein lies the problem for the LibDems.


Unknown said...

Yeah, I remember when he came out with "too many twits might make a twat".

Oh wait, that wasn't Nick Clegg was it......?

Paul Walter said...

"Nick Clegg engages mouth before brain."

I think that's the last thing you can accuse him of.

Anonymous said...

Clegg said they would back whomever had a "mandate."

A rather variable concept, which he would use to suit himself.

Paul Walter said...

“I think it is an inevitable fact, it is just stating the obvious, the party which has got the strongest mandate from the British people will have the first right to seek to govern.

“I start from a very simple first principle – it is not Gordon Brown or David Cameron or Nick Clegg who are kingmakers in British politics – it’s the British people.

“So the votes of the British people are what should determine what happens afterwards.

“Whichever party have the strongest mandate from the British people, it seems to me obvious in a democracy they have the first right to seek to try and govern, either on their own or with others.”

So what exactly are you saying Clegg meant, other than what the words say above, when he said this?

Mikey said...

In the last Welsh Assembly elections, it was widely put about that there would be a 'Rainbow coalition' between all the parties against Labour. Many a Conservative voter kept on tactically voting Lib Dem believing the Lib dems anti Labour hype.

When at the last moment they sided with Labour because an internal vote of assembly members couldn't stomach standing with the Tories many of us realised they can never be trusted.

no longer anonymous said...

Why do the Lib Dem grass roots (as opposed to voters) hate the Tories so much?

Simon Gardner said...

Umm. To split apart on the issue of coalition, there has to be a coalition. I don’t think that’s likely, do you?

wild said...

"Why do the Lib Dem grassroots...hate the Tories so much?"

Because they are middle class leftists whose craving for political power is overridden by their snobbery about supporting the Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

i've been watching Gleen Beck show on FNC for awhile and i am beginning to agree with him. I firmly believe we have a very nasty bunch of politicians in Washington DC. Yes, a bunch of liars, and crooks. I for one am tired of the whole bunch. Mabey we do need a third party to fix our nations mess. Barack Hussein Obama has done NOTHING since he took the throne. Our troops need help and he refuses to send back up. Something is WRONG. I am supose to have a vote that counts, dead people killed my vote. No wonder so meany GOOD HONEST people quit going to the polls to vote.
Dr Doc dlcs

Unknown said...


"Because they are middle class leftists"

Strange. Liberalism is a right wing ideology.

Osama the Nazarene said...

I was prompted by your post to pay my first ever visit to Lib Dem Voice to check out this split you seem to have discovered between Stephen Tall and Nick Clegg. I thought it might be because it was late when you made your post that you had misread Tall's post, but no it was only 19:48. I've read, and re-read, Tall's post and nowhere in it can I find the LibDems split you mention. Tall wholeheartedly endorses Nick Clegg's statement made on the Andrew Marr show. The throwaway phrase you mention is literaly that, a throwaway phrase with no relevance to the substance of the post (or am I missing something really deep?). Maybe you were very tired @19:48 or your views are simply blinkered.

Of more interest though is Nick Clegg's actual statement. As Tall mentions in a previous post on LibDem Voice,

It has long baffled me that the party has declined to adopt what seems to me the simplest approach for dealing with the interminable ‘hung Parliament’ question – to say we’ll respect the decision of the electorate and talk to whichever party wins the most votes.

In this day and age of transparency, voters fed up with the mess this latest incarnation of the Labour Party has brought upon our country, would not be too happy if their vote for a LibDem candidate might actually bring back a Brown government through some back room deal after the election; where their voice would then count for nothing. From the LibDems point of view it is a way of indiicating to voters that a LibDem vote is for a LibDem "government" and if Labour happen to have the largest number of MPs after the election they would work with a Labour government or even for a Lib Lab coalition.

If the Tories end up with the largest number of seats then surely it would not be in Nick Clegg's gift to join with an even smaller minority Labour party to form a Lib-Lab coalition. The Queen would be obliged to call on Dave to form a government. Dave and Clegg would have to seek an accommodation but there would be no need for coalitions. Of course the Tories would have to limit their program but that would be the will of the electorate. Repairing all aspects of "broken Britain" would be the priority.

Naturally a majority Tory government would make life easier and be preferable but then that is a statement of the obvious!

@quietzapple your musings on the different interpretations of the word "mandate" is just a modern day version of "angels on the head of a pin".

wonkotsane said...

Many a Conservative voter kept on tactically voting Lib Dem believing the Lib dems anti Labour hype.

This is the problem with Conservative voters - tactical voting. If only they actually voted according to their conscience, you wouldn't have them "tactically" voting for the Lib Dims in Wales and Scotland, "tactically" voting for the Conservatives instead of UKIP.

Just imagine how different politics would be in this country if people actually voted for who they believed in rather than voting for someone they don't want who they thought was best placed to keep out someone else they don't want.

Simon Gardner said...

@ Osama the Nazarene

There has not been a single occasion AFAIK in my lifetime when a British Government has had a democratic mandate. The bogus nature of our constitution and in particular our electoral system ensures it doesn’t happen.

Mark Senior said...

Translating Iain Dale-speak No 763
Cannot find an anti LibDem story to comment on so let me take the words a LibDem has said and manufacture an imaginary translation into something he didn't say and then proclaim a LibDem split .