Coffee House The View from 22

The View from 22 — Nick Clegg’s martyrdom, the personal statement scam and being sacked by David Cameron

20 September 2012

Will Nick Clegg’s political career come to a crashing end in tandem with the end of the coalition? In this week’s magazine, James Forsyth examines how the Lib Dem leader has put the coalition cause ahead of both his party and own political career. On the latest View from 22 podcast, James examines the Lib Dem’s strategy shift back to making the coalition work:

‘I think this will be the last Lib Dem conference in which Nick Clegg receives a relatively warm reception. I think even the critics in his party know it’s far too early to change leader. Nick Clegg has decided to double down on coalition. Just this Monday, he was at Chequers with Danny Alexander and David Laws, hammering out what is essentially a second coalition agreement with David Cameron and George Osborne.

‘Clegg has decided the best strategy for the Lib Dems is to actually deliver in government, not to do this differentiation strategy they’ve been attempting for the last year or so — constantly boasting what they’ve stopped the Tories from doing. Instead they’ve decided to come together with the government to create maximalist solutions to solve their problems.’

Isabel Hardman also discusses our anonymous report from a recently sacked minister of what it is liked to be given the boot by the Prime Minister. In particular, James discusses how some of the appointments have widened divides within the Tory party, highlighted by the promotion of Hugo Swire:

‘His promotion [Swire] has really rankled some people in Tory circles because he was number two at the Northern Ireland Office and largely given that job because he backed Cameron for the leadership in 2005. He’s another old Etonian. The Swire family and Cameron family go on holiday together and he’s now been made a Minister of State at the Foreign Office.

‘This has accelerated class war inside the Tory party – the idea that there is a circle of friends of Dave, who are always all right in the end. I think this Minister is writing from the perspective of someone who’s never been a friend of Dave or George. He feels he’s been cast out in the cold for it and it’s very telling at the end, when he says the one benefit of being sacked is that it might save his own marriage and family. But he realises he’s never been part of Dave’s family, which shows the bitterness and upset caused by this.’

David Blackburn also joins to discuss our revelations on th university personal statements and the release of Salman Rushdie’s memoirs of his years in hiding — Joseph Anton. And who is the one to watch at the Lib Dem conference? Listen with the embedded player below to hear what to look out for this weekend. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 – 20 September 2012. Length 25:51
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Show comments
  • Anthony Makara

    If anyone deserves to suffer poltical extinction it is Nick Clegg. A man who has put a pretense of power ahead of core principles and has tarnished the reputation of his party. Clegg’s fickle, and let’s be honest with the wording, Political Prostitution, has made a mockery of the political process and made LibDem voters feel that casting a vote has been worthless. The youth vote that Clegg picked up on his Tuttion Fees pledge may well have left many of those young voters apolitical for the rest of their lives, for it is not only the reputation of the LibDems that has been soiled but trust in politicians in general. Clegg was arrogant enough to believe that a mere apology would make voters forget his broken promise. Nick Clegg represents the very worst of Party Political opportunism and careerism, he deserves to fall, and hard, if the reputation of politicians is to be upheld.

  • coldpen

    Whatever odds the bookies are giving that Nick’s next free loading job will be at the EU I’ll take them, it’s an odds on certainty!

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    Clegg’s political career will be over in 2014. That’s when he’ll claim his reward for betraying the British people – another taxpayer-funded ride on the EU gravy train as a replacement for the useless Baroness Ashton.
    He has all the qualification. He is a rabid EUphile. He dislikes the British and he can lie in 6 different languages.

  • M. Wenzl

    Actions speak louder than words. Differentiation won’t save the Lib Dems, so they’re best off trying to deliver what they can in government. Better than nothing.

  • RobEgerton

    Swire was a Minister of State at NIO and now Minister of State at FO. How is that a promotion?
    And by all accounts he did a good job at NIO.

    • Steerage

      Minister of State at the NIO is a non-job in an empty Department. I hope the FO is a bit busier. It certainly is more prestigious.
      The power of a little patronage has to continue to be a perk of politics.
      Without it we become like New Labour where transparency ruled and their chums still got the jobs.

  • Chris lancashire

    In the circumstances of the aftermath of the last election Clegg has done a reasonable and responsible job overall. That said, there can be no doubt that Mr Clegg will join the EU gravy train after the next election. I doubt, however, that he can aspire to quite the earnings levels of the Kinnocks but I’m sure he’ll do OK.

  • james102

    You mean Clegg’s future in BRITISH politics.
    Does anyone think he was ever interested in a long term future in Britain or involvement with its domestic politics?
    He will move to Spain with his family and be given a senior job with the EU.

  • Ostrich (occasionally)

    “Will Nick Clegg’s political career come to a crashing end in tandem with the end of the coalition?”

    Well, he’ll no longer be an MP, so he already has no relevance to any policies going forward from May 2015.

    • Andy

      I agree. I cannot see him holding his Sheffield seat. And good riddence to bad rubbish.

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