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Nick vs Nigel debate: The room spun

26 March 2014

Nick Clegg had been given the night off babysitting; but, after the poll verdict on tonight’s EU debate with Nigel Farage, he may wish he’d stayed at home with the kids. As the dust settled, the Deputy Prime Minister was bundled into a car and fled the field of battle. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage headed for a victory lap at the Reform Club, where his party donors had been watching.

Backstage, Westminster’s hack-pack was necking cheap vino and Pret sandwiches after carrying out a spectacular volte face. Initially ‘the spin room’ had called the duel for Clegg, on both style and substance. But, as news of the Sun/YouGov poll filtered through to the scribblers, headlines were rewritten and awkward tweets deleted. Soon, only the BBC was left flying the Clegg flag, with the help of Danny Alexander and Tim Farron.

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The scrum was packed with Lib Dem Spads, Ukip spinners and seasoned Labour bruisers. But, bizarrely, there was not a Tory PR guru in sight. A few rogue backbench frothers turned up in the hope of some airtime; but it seemed that Dave and Co were determined to pretend that this debate was not happening.

And then in walked Andrew Mitchell, the former Chief Whip. Sources suggest that he wasn’t approved to spin. He said it was a no score draw and a very exciting conversation. One wonders, could this hurt his chances of his much-wanted EU commissioner job?

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Show comments
  • Mike Dixon

    Clegg used the Straw man technique throughout: if in trouble, answer a question that no one asked. I don’t think many are fooled by this technique.

    • Right-Minded

      I totally agree with you Mike, my levels of frustration with his non-committal debating technique were off the charts. But the sad thing is most voters are stupid people and are very easily fooled by this sort of thing.

  • Imustbjoking

    I watched via Sky and recorded via the BBC, one would think after reviewing both the BBC was reporting on a completely different event and yet they say they are impartial, I laughed.

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    Clegg, euuuggghhh! patronising POS. Does he really believe calling his respondents by their first names will make him charismatic or what he says popular. What an Idiot. But it’s worse than that. He’s a very dangerous zealot; a liberal fundamentalist who thinks “the people” are vulgar morons. Of course many of them are, but he shouldn’t make it so obvious

  • callingallcomets

    What most media hacks haven’t grasped is that they are as despised and mistrusted as the political class. For months, now, ever since the Eastleigh by election, there has been a concerted attempt from all quarters, especially from the Telegraph and Mail (and Speccie) to sneer at UKIP and mock it’s supporters. The impact on UKIP polling has been zilch – probably because a lot of people think that if the media pundits are so het up about it then UKIP must be doing something right.

  • Makroon

    Yes, it’s amazing – spinners spin !
    The myth is already forming that Farage “wiped the floor” with Clegg.
    No, as Mitchell said, it was mediocre stuff, with Farage shading it as the better popular performer, and because he doesn’t carry the pile of baggage that Clegg does.
    It was noticeable that as the show proceeded, Farage ramped-up the personal insults. Red meat for the “true believers” but it will turn off his target audience if he continues with it next week.

    • Wessex Man

      Can you list those insults or are you going to get hysterical as Hooky. Did you watch the debate?

    • Kitty MLB

      Admittedly Nigel Farage needs to go into more detail in regards to
      other issues such as education, the economy etc.. but this was about the EU.
      Yes his insults were personal, but look at the way his party are abused
      by the others, even Right Wing Tories here are called fruitcakes by Hooky
      and others. Farage also said his party wishes for old Labour voters..
      Oh dear Oh dear !

  • Nick Booth

    I was amazed how out of touch the political hacks were.

    They even had two dopeys teenagers commenting who said Clegg was the clear winner. (The caption said they were social media experts from The Independent and Buzzfeed).

    Social media gurus, eh? Is that what they’re calling them now? In my day they were called work experience kids.

  • Tony_E

    Although those of us who understand the EU and the mechanisms by which it exists and operates could call Clegg for every lie he uttered last night (and the sophistry as well), I felt he won on the night in a lot of ways.

    Farage was all bluster early on. Clearly he was uncomfortable in the setting and shot off like a rocket, appearing both nervous and unprepared. Clegg looked calmer and more statesmanlike.

    However, Clegg has dug himself a massive hole with one very large piece of sophistry (as it wasn’t an outright lie) – that only 7% of UK law is EU dictated. That is a measure of PRIMARY legislation only. When you take into account the STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS, the mechanism deliberately designed to pass EU legislative responsibilities, then the number is much more like 60-70%.

    If the media do not relentlessly pursue Clegg over this then we know already exactly what the shape of the proposed EU referendum will be – a snow job by the powers that be to keep us in with lies and sophistry.


    John Redwood is a former policy chief to Mrs T & stood v Major in 1996 – held various posts – I vote Ukip but he is right that with no MPs they can’t deliver referendum.
    DC was forced into pledge – ?2011 80 backbenchers voted for referendum v WHIP. It is increasingly likely that he can’t get a remotely acceptable deal. Thus 2017
    we will be coming OUT!

    • HookesLaw

      Cameron was not forced into any referendum pledge by backbench rebellions.

      To come out of the EU you would have to win a referendum. there is no evidence of that.
      The county will not I suggest vote to leave the EU in totality, because it is a fact that millions of jobs are at stake. People will be free to make theor arguments.

      If we leave to join the EEA which is plausible then there is no real difference to being IN the EU, we are in the single market we retain inward investment and we are part of the free movement of labour which the increasingly racist UK do not want.
      Frankly a significant amount of reform will be possible and indeed necesary as the Eurozone members grow closer together. his very fact gives ius a reform opportunity. But if racist, totalitarian Putin loving UKIP split the right wing vote there will be no negotiations no referendum from a europhile Labour party.

      • Tony_E

        There is a massive difference. We will no longer be bound by EU trade regulations in our dealings with the rest of the world. Nor will we be bound to the social chapter regulations and the working time directive (both of which set fairly sensible limits for many purposes, but the regulation of which is massively burdensome for small business).

        We can order our own affairs much more simply than the system set up by the civil service, gold plated for EU diktat.

      • Colonel Mustard

        How on earth can reservations about the free movement of labour (and what you really mean is the free movement of people) be branded as “increasingly racist”? To blindly ignore the negative impacts and future consequences is one thing but to smear those who do not is another. Do you really think it is possible to transcend successfully from nation states to a free for all by shouting down and intimidating anyone who demurs at that prospect?

        You should learn the difference between presenting an argument and just hurling abuse.

      • an ex-tory voter

        There are very few jobs at stake. In order to satisfy the needs of Germany in particular who would wish to continue exporting to us, we would remain members of the EEA. We would therefore able in turn to continue exporting to EU countries. The loss of jobs as a result of our exit from the EU would be negligible. The reduction in state spending would however be enormous.
        In any case the small loss of employment would be more than offset by our negotiating free trade agreements with other nations around the world. A task which would be much simpler and more readily accomplished once we are free of the EU’s bureaucratic shackles. The reduction in state spending enjoyed here would also free industry to be competitive on a global scale rather than merely on an EU scale.
        Exit is a win – win.

      • Alexandrovich

        With regard to the EU, you keep banging on about UKIP being racist so please explain which particular race(s) of Europeans you think are making us so.

      • Makroon

        Please try not to be so hysterical Hooky. The UK is not “increasingly racist”, quite the contrary. There is an important issue around immigration, as more-or-less all agree.

      • Wessex Man

        “Ibelieve in Angels
        ineverything thet say.”

      • Kitty MLB

        Hooky, he did not say he supported Putin, he just hates the EU
        more, and so should you deplore the socialist iron fist that is the EU
        as much as socialism itself and stop attacking the right of your party
        and UKIP- its pointless.

      • Fergus Pickering

        It is not a fact that there are millions of jobs at stake. Of course MEPs and various hangers-on will ,lose their jobs.

      • Little Black Censored

        “…it is a fact that millions of jobs are at stake.”
        This objection has been answered many times. You ought to pay more attention.

  • colliemum

    Why am I not surprised that the ‘hack pack’ prefers to rely on spin rather than on what they should’ve seen for themselves …

    • Conway

      There was such a consensus of opinion in the MSM that the impression gained was that they had written their pieces before the event and then hadn’t bothered to watch.

  • Andy

    Trouble is you lot in the ‘hack pack’ weren’t watching or listening properly. For a start Clegg came over as evasive and dishonest.

    Example: when Farage asked him if it was true that 480 million EU people had a technical right to come and live in the UK, which under EU is true, Clegg said something like ‘it is a myth that 480 million people will come and claim benefits etc’. As Farage quickly pointed out no one mentioned benefits – Clegg had twisted his answer. There were many other such examples and that made Clegg seem dishonest.

    Also Cleggs body language was revealing. He would not look Farage in the eye and when he was speaking found his papers more interesting than anything Farage had to say. When Farage was speaking he turned his body away from him. That shows utter contempt for Farage but to us it came over as just being bloody rude.

    The trick of remembering questioners names and using their Christian names doesn’t work with many of us. Supposed to be matey, but is actually bloody impertinent. Farage used ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ which is correct form.

    I’m not surprised Farage won the debate hands down. As another poster said Clegg showed himself to be cynical and dishonest merely a machine politician who cares nothing for what the people actually think. Our views don’t matter to him. Got news for him: they do and I hope after May 2015 Clegg will be signing on.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I detest that modern habit of using first names, especially referring to someone the speaker doesn’t actually know. It is a horrible leftist trick, the benign equivalent of their trolls addressing commentators with the patronising put down of a diminutive or the suffix “boy”. They also do it to simulate and exaggerate intimacy amongst their wretched tribe, as when telemachus refers to Burnham as ‘Andy’. Pass the sick bag.

      • Nick Booth

        Colonel, I accept what you say and you have made a very good point. I’m like you. I don’t want to pull up the drawbridge and leave innocent plane spotters in prison in Greece and put three million people out of work. But that’s what UKIP want. I”m sure you will agree, because you’re a reasonable man, Colonel, that the sort of scaremongering that UKIP is doing is terrible. And three million people will be victims of it. The others will rot in a prison in Greece.

        • Wessex Man

          oh dear I could go into the fact that 6.6 million European jobs depend on exports to the UK according to the Economist but you’d probably accuse them terrible scare mongering. so I won’t.

        • James Strong

          This ‘3 million out of work’ figure is nonsense.
          We don’t trade with the EU. We trade with businesses that are in EU countries.
          If you think that BMW, or any other influential business in an EU country, is going to allow its government to allow the EU to damage its access to the UK market then your analysis is very different to mine.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The last thing I want to do is pull up the drawbridge. I want Britain to venture forth as an independent maritime nation with a powerful high seas fleet. Britons were being imprisoned abroad long before the EU existed. We don’t need to be part of a federal super state governed by whey-faced foreign socialist dweebs in Brussels in order to flourish as a nation. The choice is not between isolation or subjugation.

          How has Britain become so craven to European non-entities?

          • Nick Booth

            Colonel, I was joking.

            Did you hear the number of times Clegg likened pulling out of Brussels to ‘pulling up the drawbridge’.

            Are we actually leaving Europe anyway? I thought we were just moving offices. We’re leaving Brussels and running our business from home.

        • Ben

          Were the EU to ‘pull up the draw bridge’ and cease trading with the UK then Continental Europe would be ruined within a year. That is not an exaggeration it is a fact. The UK is the largest export market in the ENTIRE world for the EU. (which rather says something about their ability to trade outside of their own customs union….Nest pas?)

          They simply cannot exist without our custom.

        • Cornelius Bonkers

          Why would UKIP want to do that? And anyway, UKIP’s key point is of course a cultural rather than an economic one. Immigration is the big issue of the times because it’s a threat to a discrete historical way of life. The population of the UK is predominantly a single indigenous “people”. UKIP’s appeal is to those who see themselves as part of that one indigenous “people”. The rest? Just strangers I’m afraid who are here temporarily, under sufferance and/or because they constitute a quantifiable benefit to US. Regrettably, this reality ought to have been recognised in the early 1950’s… Too late now? Yes, probably – if a peaceful solution is to be envisaged. If UKIP succeed I feel the future can only be a violent one…ethnic cleansing of London? A possibility and not that far fetched…

          • Nick Booth

            So it’s only those 4000 page directives on banana sizes and river dredging that are keeping us savages from ethnic cleansing?

            Do you think the constant references to Hitler and Genocide have lost their shock value now? Those big guns are brought out for every debate now. You must be running low on ammunition.

            • Cornelius Bonkers

              Nick, greetings. What’s Hitler got to do with this? Sorry, I don’t follow

        • Fergus Pickering

          Sorry. I missed your irony. It’s partly because what you said is excatly what Clegg said…

        • Mike Dixon

          The scaremongering comes, in fact, from Clegg. His whole approach – he was a one trick pony- was to bang on about lost jobs and wrecked economy should we leave the UK.Leaving aside that area of the argument- for no one knows for sure how the future economy will pan out- let’s look at the monstrous waste within the EU: accounts not signed off for 20 years and massive fraud perpetrated.Then we have the democracy argument: can anyone seriously suggest that it is democratic to have so many unelected EU officials dictating policy and laws?And if indeed you do believe in democracy then surely the people should have the right to decide on the future of their country.

    • La Fold

      Its never really bothered me if someone called me my sir or my christian name but then again im quite an easy going chap, but it is from the MBA school of management school of polished corporate BS. The thing I always found irritating, and i know its a weird thing to get wound up about, is punctuating points with the thumb pressed against the index finger.

    • Epimenides

      Agreed, Andy. Clegg was patronising.

    • HookesLaw

      If Farage is relying on the notion that 480 million people can come to Britain then it shows how desperate he is. People in the EU have the right tio move for work. Work.
      Are there 480 million jobs in the UK?

      So the comment about benefits is in fact quite appropriate. In peddling that line Farage is showing he is just another lying dublicitous polititian – in this case one who wants to make racism, acceptable.
      I do not expect you kipper cultists to take any notion.
      Only people who listened to the debate could comment on the result and so the poll is self selecting.

      • Tony_E

        Just because something is unlikely, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Clegg (and Cameron for that matter), never actually state the obvious truth that although it is unlikely the right is enshrined in EU law.

        This means that in the event of further upheaval in the eastern or southern nations, a wave of mass immigration is certainly more than just legally possible.

        It’s not a scare tactic either – it simply highlights the level of sovereignty that we are giving away to a supranational authority in which we only have a very minor influence.

        • Makroon

          Of course it’s a scare-tactic (and nothing wrong with that in a political argument). Why are you people so precious ?
          Clegg could have said “64M Brits have the absolute right to move to the Costa del Sol”, equally daft and irrelevant.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            It is something that needs to be mentioned when government ministers talk of plans to control immigration.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …a better question, why are you socialist Camerluvvies so insistent that only your LibLabCon buddies should be allowed to take the field?

      • David

        The point is that they can come – in law. And thus the law is not tailored for the needs of this country, and we don’t have the ability to change it. That holds across everything to do with the EU – it’s not tailored for our needs, and we can’t change it.

      • crosscop

        What it actually means is that anybody who lives in the EU can come here if they want to. That could be a burglar from Bucharest, a paedophile from Potsdam, a rapist from Rotterdam, a mugger from Malmo, a fraudster from Frankfurt, a prostitute from Padua, a heroin addict from Helsinki, an arsonist from Athens or a maniac from Malta. They can all come here and live amongst us – without a single check being made – and we cannot tell them to go home.

        • Makroon

          If you are really a “cop”, I am worried about the constabulary.

          • Wessex Man

            if you were a criminal I would be worried about the Criminals.

          • Baron

            Baron knows nothing about paedophiles, prostitutes or whatever, but few years back he was on a coach heading here from an EU country, a 20something young female on board, a knee defect, coming to have it fixed on the NHS, she said. Her boyfriend has arranged it, she did show Baron a letter of appointment, couldn’t read it, spoke little English.

          • ButcombeMan

            You should be if you watched Mr Hogan Howe recently, , but there is a serious point for plod. Dealing with foreign born criminals is costing them and the Court system a fortune in translation & investigation costs

      • SocratestheGooner

        “I do not expect you kipper cultists to take any notion.”
        This should be “notice”.

        I spotted the EU commission troll and I claim my £5.

      • Fergus Pickering

        It is not a notion. It is a fact. They CAN come. That of course doesn’t mean that they WILL. But you know that.

    • Makroon

      Ha-ha, that comment is about as one-eyed and chippy as Telemachus’ little essays.

      • Penny

        I admit to not fully comprehending what you mean by “one-eyed and chippy”, but I take it as a negative!

        I’m genuinely undecided re: EU. I don’t want to base my eventual vote on personality but on considered facts. For that reason I honestly do not think Clegg is the right person to be wheeled out to speak in favour of continued EU membership. Bearing in mind that I am not partisan, Andy is, in my view, correct in his observations because these (and more) were mine.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Yet these facts remain:

      No one will vote for Clegg, yet he will win seats.
      Everyone will vote for Farage, yet he will win no seats.

      That’s British democracy for you, in a nutshell.

      • Rallan

        Hopefully UKIP will win a few seats, in spite of the system, but it’ll be tough. However, I don’t think the likely gulf between UKIP votes and UKIP seats in 2015 will be a victory for the establishment. It will be a glaring demonstration of how little our “democracy” represents the people. Such a blatant demonstration of a closed ranks anti-democratic political establishment will give more fuel to UKIP than almost anything else.

    • Ben

      Agree. I also thought Clegg calling the audience by their Christian names to be rude and presumptuous Rather like a slimy salesman. Which of course he is.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Made mim ‘seem’ dishonest. He IS dishonest.

      • Andy

        I was being charitable, which is a waste of time with regard to Clegg.

        • Fergus Pickering

          You are right. It is a waste of time.

  • Swiss Bob

    What was most remarkable was the sycophantic media declaring it a draw when it was plain for all to see that Clegg dissembled, lied and created straw men while Farage generally answered the question.

    Well done Steerpike for at least having some self recognition, all you other journos pushing the Clegg narrative should find other jobs, you’re clearly not journalists.

    • HookesLaw

      The media are sycophantic when they give their opinion that does dot suit. An unrpresentative self selecting poll is 100% truthful when it agrees with your prejudice.
      YouGov say …. ‘First up, remember that the vast majority of people didn’t watch it – to
      get 1000 people for our poll of people who were watching it we had to
      ask tens of thousands of people. Of course, that will be multiplied by
      people who didn’t watch the debate seeing the subsequent media
      reporting… but remember, most people didn’t see it.’
      The poll also said I believe that most people wanted to stay in the EU. I would not pin your hopes on it too much – the history of these dabates in the USA is that they do not change opinions.

      When will Farage have his love in summit with Putin?

      • Swiss Bob

        Judging by your illiterate screed I guess you’re having a bad day.

        Suck it up.

      • Wessex Man

        Hooky, there’s no hope for you really, you’ve run out of ideals and are sadly left only with insults, they diminish your lofty position here. Who best to discuss the future of the world, Putin with all the oil and gas, who is a proud patriot or Barroso, ex communist failed Potugese politician now leader of the EU.

        By the way did your hand get sticky after you patted Call me Dave on the back and get yellow all over it?

    • an ex-tory voter

      No doubt they would have continued to peddle the myth of a draw had it not been for the overwhelming poll in favour of Nigel Farage. Meanwhile the Beeb will continue to peddle the myth anyway.
      I look forward to Farage taking on both Clegg and the Beeb simultaneously, it could be extremely entertaining. If a combined attack by the supposedly neutral and impartial Beeb aligned with Nick Clegg do manage to shout Nigel Farage down, it will have been no mean feat and will only have been achieved at a huge cost to both the Beeb and Mr Clegg.

      • ButcombeMan

        Nick Ferrari did a great job.

        My great fear is that a Dimblebum will do the next one and make it all about him and how clever he is, with his agenda showing. I despise both of them now. So differrent to their father.

    • WuffoTheWonderDog

      They are precisely what journalists are these days.

    • ButcombeMan

      One of the best and truest remarks made on here SB. Have a gold star.

      The Westminster Village is not just the politicians and both sets of folk absolutely out of touch with feeling in the country.

  • beenzrgud

    Someone should have asked how reform of the EU could be achieved in light of the fact that people like Barroso keep telling us reform will be “difficult’. Even Clegg says the EU needs reforming, but never mentions which bits need to change, or even how likely we are to actually see anything change at all.

  • Liz

    “Nick Clegg had been given the night off babysitting”

    Because he’s a failure doing women’s work, geddit?

  • Anthony

    Most voters will have decided in advance which side of the debate they are on, so the real question is whether either side has gained voter share due to the debate. It’s possible that both, or neither of them won.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I disagree. The debate is too often pre-judged in emotive, moral terms seeking to demonise UKIP. Farage has been vilified as ‘racist’, ‘bigot’, golf-club bore, etc. Plenty of people detest the Lib Dems and Clegg in particular but there has never been any traction for the sort of public opprobrium Farage has attracted. Despite his duplicity and treasonous remarks about Britain Clegg has never been shouted down and hounded by a UAF mob. His party has never been openly condemned by other political figures as illiberal and undemocratic. The Westminster Chums club closed ranks against Farage.

      Contrast Farage’s treatment with that of Salmond, another maverick, who is able to demand terms from Westminster, receive diplomatic courtesies and win government on a national socialist ticket. If Farage’s party was for English Independence and operating in the context of an established English parliament I have no doubt he would have as many MEPs (Members of the English Parliament) as Salmond has MSPs.

      Farage won a small step towards his party being treated civilly and as a legitimate contender, facilitated both by Clegg’s attitude and his defeat.

      • Makroon

        Most English people find Salmond hard work, but you can’t deny that he is disciplined, intelligent, focussed and a decent organiser, with a back-up team.
        Farage is none of that – he has charm, approachability, and is good at popular invective, that’s about it really.

        • Wessex Man

          “I believe in Angels
          inevery thing they say”

        • Colonel Mustard

          You have completely missed the point. It is about how they are treated not their compared qualities. And that has more to do with the existence of a Westminster parliament in which there are Scottish, Welsh and Irish representatives colluding to give those three countries devolved government whilst denying it to England.

          I am suspicious of the sort of nationalism Salmond is peddling but you can’t pander to it and expect the English to sit quietly.

        • Kitty MLB

          Actually both chaps are very similar..
          You will not be happy with a Salmond ruling Scotland
          and A Kipper ruling England then..not into fish platters.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Sounds enough to me. What do you want? A liar like Salmond or Clegg as long as he is an organised liar? Salmond will get his come-uppance this year. Next year it will be Clegg.

  • wrinkledweasel

    The winners were the audience, who for once weren’t stacked by a BBC researcher.

    • LarrySc

      The BBC is a lot like our feckless, stacked American media, but at least the BBC has to admit that THEY are state-controlled.

      • Andy

        If only it was ‘state-controlled’. It is run by a bunch of Fascist Guardian readers who constantly shove an evil Socialist agenda at every verse end. Just watch next weeks debate which is run by the BBC and note the difference in audience.

  • kle4

    A curious analysis. Clegg knows the public is broadly eurosceptic, so his odds of convincing a majority he won a debate on the subject is pretty low (would we expect people to judge an unpopular politician with unpopular opinions on whether they did a good job, regardless of their being unpopular with unpopular opinions? No).

    He was speaking to a minority to bolster that minority, so I doubt he will mind having ‘lost’ the debate, even if he would prefer to have ‘won’ – both got what they wanted just by having the debate, anything else positive is a bonus.

    • Makroon

      Hmmm, maybe.
      But the Speccie notion that ‘everyone’s a winner’, is probably not true.
      It could well be that both are losers – Clegg because he has reinforced the public perception that he is ‘unreliable’ and patronising, and Farage because he’s good knock-about, but many won’t have seen him ‘uncut’ just the pithy one-liners on the news. He is actually not very impressive over an extended showing – like George Galloway and Robert Kilroy-Silk.

      • Wessex Man


      • the viceroy’s gin

        No, it’s zero sum, lad. Your mate the Cleggster lost, meaning your mate Dave lost, meaning brother Nige won.

        Voters won’t be moving from the Cleggster to Dave, fyi. They may very well move to UKIP, some of them, with the rest going over to the Millipedes.

  • Two Bob

    Clegg exposed himself for what he is: a cynical, dishonest machine
    politician who cares nothing for the views of the electorate. Farage on
    the other hand was simmering with passion and emotion 100% genuine,
    that’s why he tops the polls.

    Clegg oozes establishment politics and simply defending his EU Pension.

    What came across the most was Clegg avoided answering nearly all the
    questions directly, instead he seemed to be reading from a pre arranged

    He waffled on and on seemingly going around in circles and he was full of cliches.

    • John Lea

      Well said, completely agree. He’s just another PR man with one eye on the American/European lecture circuit. Another thing: that trick of calling questioners by their first name in a misjudged attempt to appear matey, has lost its charm – I for one find it very annoying, insincere and patronising. Just get on with it and answer the question, you plonker, and stop sucking up to people.

      • WuffoTheWonderDog

        Who would wish to be matey with Clegg – Huhne, Hughes, Williams, cyril Smith? Not the sort I’d like around my dinner table, especially with my children in the house.

  • jatrius

    Remarkable groupthink or were they just under orders to call it for the Deputy PM?

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