I don't know if you watched today's Politics Show, where LibDem leader Nick Clegg was grilled by an audience of voters in Stourbridge. I think even LibDem supporters will have winced at his shambolic performance. He truly was all over the place.
His first dilemma came when Jon Sopel asked him what the age of criminal responsibility should be. He appeared to be about to say that he thought it was Ok at the current age of 10, when Sopel rescued him by reminding that it was LibDem policy to increase it to twelve, meaning that the Bulger killers would have got off scot free. Clegg was left gulping like a goldfish.
The discussion then moved on to immigration. Sopel asked Clegg that under Chris Huhne's policy of only allowing imigration into areas outside London and the South East would it be possible for an immigrant who had lost his job to move out of the area he was initially allocated to in order to find work. Clegg looked very pleased with himself when he replied with a straight "no". Sopel then asked if the immigrant would then be elgible for unemployment benefit. "Ain't got a clue," said Nick. Well, actually he didn't, but he might just as well have done.
And so it went on.
No grasp of policy, no grasp of detail. If he's caught out like this in the leader debates, the LibDems are going to have a real problem. And that's not me speaking as a partisan Conservative, it's a statement of fact.
And if you don't believe me, watch it on the iPlayer HERE.
I thought he came over well.
The basic problem of being a Liberal Democrat is that you have a genuinely enlightened view of the world (prisons, immigration, education), and then you are faced with a bunch of low life raving scum Daily Mail and Sun readers with LESS THAN AVERAGE IQs (100 is average, by definition) and the people he was dealing with were one or two standard deviations below.
Clegg need to brush up on policy. I think the intereview was hard then he was on Brown but thats no excuse. Clegg appeared nervous I think this does not bold well.
There are some points us Lib Dems are not good at and they came up today. Clegg need to work out his answers after all some are not policy just what he thinks.
A nervous Lib Dem
I thought Sopel eased off at the end, it would have been like murdering puppy dogs
So that's two political leaders who haven't got a grip on their own policies and one political leader who hasn't got a grip on reality.
What a choice we face in this election!
I am looking forward to next weeks show when Dave will tell us why we should vote for him and not vote for UKIP. How he will repatriate powers from the EU and give us a cast iron guarantee that we will have a referendum on any further EU treaties after refusing us one on the one that counts.
There again he may not because he doesn't like to talk about Europe. After all it divides his party-between those who trust him and those who don't.
Todays programme also highlighted the number of voters who will not be voting for the three major parties (in the West Midlands at least). Could be a message here for Dave. Not too late to talk to Lord Pearson if he wants to win an election. I don't fancy his chances of surviving as leader if he doesn't.
I didn't think he did THAT bad but it wasn't great. Am I wrong in thinking he basically said,
If an immigrant moves to UK to work & loses their job they & their family is entitled to benefits until their original work permit runs out? Confused.com!
I liked what he said about cutting re-offending but worried that people forced to say sorry to their victims will end up targetting them & making their lives even worse as revenge.
Cleggs problem is his party and its duplicity on saying one thing to one voter and something else to the next.
The Lib Dems dont seem to realise that their pavement politics in this day and age will backfire big time on the TV screens under examination.
Clegg was truely Dire and I laughed that much it hurt! The Truth of the matter is the Lib Dems are a wasted vote and they are a marranding Pro-Labour party that cons anti-socialists into voting for them. The Lib Dems are derived from the Labour party anyway, the SDP part of it seems to account for many of the politicians and party members. The voters are a different bread through.
The logical implication of your post is that you are a Sun reader.
Clegg was that bad I laughed until I cried and my sides hurt!
Nick Clegg = lol
Lib Dems = lolx2!!!
Your right Paul Halsall the average IQ is 100 and I imagine the average IQ of a Sun reader is less than 100.
However, do you think these people should be denied the vote? Should it be only Philosopher Kings who make decisions Paul? People like you?
Very intereting. It seems to me that your attitude is one which is endemic to left wing politics. That is to say a sneering hatred of the very people they claim to champion.
"If Socialism can only be realised when the intellectual development of all the people permits it then we shall not see Socialism for five hundred years." - Lenin
The basic problem , Iain , is that you are incapable of watching any program such as this or PMQ with any subjectivity at all . So , of course , am I but at least I can recognise that fact whereas you blithely write such a complete load of biased tripe and are not able to realise how patisan you are . Still at least you have 100% agreement from Adolf aka Martin ( not real name ) Day who with his bitter and twisted impartiality has created dozens of libellous anti Libdem websites .
Next week it is Cameron's turn and of course you will be gushing in praise and I will be saying that his performance is rubbish .
The views that matter are those of the panel in the studio , perhaps at the end of the 3 programs we may get to hear what their verdict is .
As for the general public - not being political nerds like you and me they will have been down the pub for a pre Sunday dinner pint or G and T .
No Mark, you are wrong. I have ofen praised Clegg in the past, and I have often criticised Cameron when he has put in a weak performance.
Clegg was floundering in this programme and I take it you agree, having not defended him. You just try to deflect by attacking me for delivering a message you don't like, but if you saw the programme you know is true.
I think you question is basic to a lot of politics.
My basic answer is, no - I do not think there should be any educational tests for voting. Even though things may not always turn out how I like, I still prefer democracy to any other system.
I identify as a "Democratic Socialist". Both sides of that phrase are equally important to me.
@Mark Senior: Care to comment on Iain's most recent post? Then reflect on how impartial Iain is being?
What evidence do you have for the IQs of the readers of the Mail and the Sun?
And you think Lib Dems are 'geniunely enlightened'? In what way?
@ Mark Senior
The word you were groping towards is 'objectivity'.
Or perhaps you do mean 'subjectivity'.
The one thing I really don't like about many of these interviews, whether it be Nick Clegg, David Cameron or even Gordon Brown is that the interviewer never allows them to answer the questions fully, they interupt at every opportunity trying to throw them off their stride.
The interviewers need to remember they are just that, an interviewer they are not bigger than their guest which is what many have started to think.....
Watching clegover was like watching the great helmsman - did he deliberately misunderstand the question which went along the lines of "if you were presenting the Budget this week, would you put up the cost of fuel". I rather think that his non answer is the prob with the LibDims that they don't know on which side of the fence they are sitting which is obvious from their differing policies depending on whether they are targeting Tory or Liebour seats. A car crash of an interview
Iain , FWIW , I thoght Cleggs performance was a sound and comfortable one ( as I have already posted on pb.com ) but I freely admit that I watch these things through yellow tinted glasses just as you view them through blue tinted ones .
I cannot recall you ever criticising Cameron for giving a poor performance but may be incorrect , I can however recall many occassions when he has given a below par performance and you have not done so .
If Lib Dem policy positions are so "enlightened", Paul, then why is the Lib Dem leader so unenlightened on the subject of them?
Robert - "How he will repatriate powers from the EU" --- sheer bloody hard work.
Mr Halsall - 'you have a genuinely enlightened view of the world ' --- what drivel. What pompous drivel.
Its enlightened is it to raise the age of responsibility to 12 - when we can see for a fact that two 10 year olds have committed premeditated cold blooded murder.
This is typical of the LibDems whose enlightened prisons policy is to stop putting criminals in there. Their enlightened immigration policy seems intent in encouraging more economic migrants by offering citizenship.
Their enlightened policy on education seems to be 'more money' - where from we must ask.
'Paul Halsall the champion of eugenics' - he is so thick he does not realise how he condemns himself with his own words.
Unsworth. It's just a guess.
Do you demur?
I'd say the same for Mirror and Daily Record Readers
My estimate of the IQs of Newspaper readers:
Guardian, Times, Independent, Herald = more or less equal
Telegraph, Scotsman = some high score, but lots of trads.
Evening Standard = 110
Mail, MEN = 100
Mirror, Sun = 90-95
Express = -20
he always seems terrible to me.
Thank god 'vince the cable' is not leader.
BTW, I am not a Lib Dem.
I support Labour...
[What I have a problem is with Labour's heavy handed Immigration and Prison policies. Even though they know popular opinion on these issues is worth shit, Labour politicians massage voters on these topics. Clegg at least tried to resist the onslaught of the neanderthals.]
lol Senior says -
"The basic problem , Iain , is that you are incapable of watching any program such as this or PMQ with any subjectivity at all"
I think the word you're looking for is objectivity. There's no such thing as an "objective" opinion - especially regarding politics. Grow up a little, Mr Senior.
I viewed that interview with an open mind, and I thought Clegg was terrible - and so did my girlfriend, who has no political affiliation whatsoever. Clegg's problem is his natural pomposity - and his lack of "touch". His other problem is that he's a socialist - although he tried to deny it.
Clegg has been massively over hyped by the media as the only "winner" in the leaders' debates - before they have even taken place. On the evidence of this effort, I would say he has a heck of a lot to lose - like half the Lib Dem seats. You can hype things up all you like - but talent is real, not hype.
By the way, anyone who thinks Clegg, Cable, Laws or Huhne will be part of the next government are not living in the real world. Huhne won't even be an MP.
The impression I got from that interview was that the Lib Dems would be soft on criminals. Nick Clegg obviously doesn't like any talk of punishing people. He seemed more interested in the welfare of criminals than the welfare of their victims and law-abiding people.
As for forcibly moving people around the country, isn't that something Stalin did in the USSR?
Nick Clegg came across as being out of touch with the people he was speaking to.
"low life raving scum Daily Mail and Sun readers"
That is a bit harsh given that they are the ones paying for the benefit you receive each week.
Go and look up democracy in a dictionary you over inflated silly little man
Iain, come off it I expected better from you. The Bulger killers would "have got off scot free" is a headline straight from the Daily Mail. You know full well that if Thomson and Venables had only been 9 years old when they killed James Bulger then they would not have got away with anything. Instead, they would have been dealt with in a more appropriate manner than they actually were.
Or perhaps you would prefer it that they had been let lose outside the court house and torn limb from limb by the crowd. Sounds to me pretty much like it.
Well, after watching Brown last week, and Calamity this week, Cameron has a wide open goal in front of him at the leaders' debates.
If he can't beat these two - an unbalanced automaton and a pious oaf - Cameron will not deserve to be PM.
To be honest, I think Cameron could wipe the floor with these two idiots.
Don't talk to me about being "silly" while you post under a pseudonym.
@ Paul Halsall
Your denigrations are frankly, superficial, unmerited and unsupportable. You presume, on the strength of a guess, that you are right. You really ought to do better than that.
All sorts of people read the newspapers you mention - and for a variety of reasons. You might also consider what you regard as a 'reader', and what you might regard as a purchaser, and so on.
Ian, i'm sorry, but this blogpost is as disingenuous as you can get.
Clegg was attacked at every stage there. It was billied as a program where he got to be questioned by "undecided voters", yet he was constantly attacked by Sopel, who also clearly organised the questions themselves to be an attack on Lib Dem policy - "oh yes, you there, you're a copper, Clegg's talking crap there about CCTV isn't he?"
It's a push question, and asked to someone so that the criticism would get more authority.
If Cameron was subjected to this your toys would be far from the pram, yet here you're happy to go on the offensive.
Hell, even the intro video was a criticism of Lib Dem policy.
This was a pathetic program and yet again clear evidence of a BBC bias.
I'm seething. Official complaint time methinks.
One thing i've noticed though, is that you and all the other Labour and Tory bloggers are taking aim at the Lib Dems with ever increasing frequency of late.
Must mean that you see them as a threat rather than an irrelevance all of a sudden :)
Watching the car crash interview now on another browser.
Clegg seems to have been locked up in a room for 2 decades and then put in to this interview - he has no idea about reality - generalisations pour from his mouth and he just does not seem to be answering any of the people's questions.
Very lightweight and it's obvious he has not done the basics of practicing his answers to the obvious questions that he will be asked.
Don't call me a twunt ( which isn't even a word) whilst posting the most sanctimonious, odious drivel.
Yes, Sopel is deeply disgustingly biased - but Clegg might have known that and highlighted it to the cameras.
It's time, I think, for the bias of 'presenters' to be openly questioned by their interviewees. For far too long people have been intimidated or simply reluctant to point these things out. Enough is enough.
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