Coffee House

Can Nick Clegg survive his party’s wrath?

27 May 2014

Will Nick Clegg survive his mauling in the European elections? The front pages this morning don’t do the Lib Dem leader any favours – although his main leadership rivals, Tim Farron and Vince Cable, did by pledging their loyalty to him.

There is considerable suspicion in the party that the polling on the Guardian front page was commissioned by one of Cable’s allies, with or without the Business Secretary’s knowledge or approval. It’s certainly had more impact than an open letter or pithy op-ed, and whoever the ‘Lib Dem supporter’ responsible for the leak is, they’re certainly not a Nick Clegg supporter.


Privately, Clegg has admitted that he wishes his ‘party of In’ campaign had more nuance on the question of reform so that he didn’t sound blindly pro-European. He certainly needs more examples than his beloved anecdote about the time it took eurocrats to define chocolate.

But what happens next? Clegg’s supporters do think he’s safe and few MPs are willing to move against him, so it is difficult to see how one of the mechanisms for disposing of a Lib Dem leader, a majority of the party’s MPs approved a no confidence motion, would succeed. The other is for 75 local parties to call for a leadership contest, which is more feasible and which the Independent reveals Clegg’s enemies are trying to do.

Clegg is defiant that he’s not moving. But the fighting has been more vicious than expected, and one thing he will need to do is to really show that he’s listening to his party, as it is not just the usual suspects who are out for him. This is more easily said than done: all politicians like to say they’re listening after a drubbing like this, but Clegg needs to do the political equivalent of walking around with an ear trumpet in order to win back those who have crossed over to the anti-Nick camp in recent days.

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  • Scott Murray

    him and cable are staying the distance(5 years) in order to get the maximum”redundancy and pension package”.head in the sand for one more year.transparency—his main word on the tv debates.please go away.

  • Rossspeak

    Let us hope that the Captain stays and goes down with his ship in May next year.

  • Peter Stroud

    It is clear that rampant Europhilia is not popular in the UK today. So Clegg, and his LibDem followers had to lose votes – big time. Changing leader will do nothing for the LibDems, so why are the rank and file proposing it? Perhaps, because they are still living in the era of being members of a protest party: not a party in. government. They need to wake up. Clegg needs to restate his ultra Europhilia, and Cameron needs to to express the Euroscepticism he displayed in opposition. We must go ahead with the IN/OUT referendum. Clegg can support the minority vote, and the remainder of us can vote: OUT!

  • Bill Sticker

    The most Eurofile party whose leader was the only one prepared to defend the EU in front of the people of the UK today utterly humiliated and almost left with no MEPs in the EU.

    If Nick Clegg cannot work out the full implications of the message which the British people have thereby delivered to his party then thety fully deserve the fate about to befall them come 2015


  • Mike

    I watched both debates of Farage vs Clegg and they were all about Nick trying to defend the indefensible, that’s why he lost then and was crucified last week.

    The real issues affecting most peoples lives and the country have become
    inextricably linked to the EU, they are one and the same as evidenced by
    the ground swell of objection to Brussels from all across Europe.

    People have woken up just in time to halt the EU from creating a superstate
    where we have no say in what we do. Even in the USA, states have more
    say at state level over their laws, taxation and social issues than the
    UK, France, Germany have over theirs.

    Grandiose ideas over the Euro failed and many countries had to be bailed out and similarly free movement of people across borders without regards to whose paying for it has back fired as people object to having parasites living off their backs and in some cases running criminal gangs. No EU country signed up for this as it was forced on all of us by unelected despots running the show.

    We had enough social engineering attempts by Gordon Brown that create enough of our own parasites without welcoming ten times more from across an enlarged Europe and people are sick of it.

    Virtually every distasteful, antisocial and criminal activity that we’ve come to despise has its roots from the EU and their edicts. When a corrupt organization like this refuses to even supply accounts for the past 8 years is it any wonder that the fringes of the EU attract unsavory elements into the Northern EU countries to pick pocket, rape, kill and be a burden on our systems without the ability to eject them.

    The EU is the cause of our problems and the sooner some of its member states break away, the best of luck to them and just like Clegg, good riddance to those left in the EU.

  • Mike

    The only reform traitor Clegg wanted was complete integration and subservience of Britain to his EU masters. Luckily for us he performance against Farage identified that and the rest is history.

    Now we need to destroy Cameron as well for being a pathetic creature of inaction when he claims he can’t stop child benefit being sent outside the UK.

    Farage would have no problem, he’d just stop the payments and if the EU courts objected, he’d tell the to f*** off from UK business. While were at it, he’d reduce the 4 billion we pay each year to a quarter of that to match our population numbers vis a vis Europe and not GNP. If that didn’t work, we’d just leave.

  • 3x4_34

    If the man was a CEO of a company, which in a way Clegg is, he would have been sacked or he would have done what used to be the honourable British thing – resign. That he has not resigned for being an utter failure as the leader of the Libdems says a great deal about his megalomania. He truly is a really nasty example of today’s dishonourable politicians.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so is Dave, for that matter. He’s destroyed half his party’s membership, and run them into a humiliating 3rd place in Thursday’s count. He should be tarred and feathered, not just resign.

      • rtj1211

        I’m looking forward to how UKIP will miraculously clear the deficit in 5 years without savage cuts to social security.

        They can do it, but trust me, they will be so massively unpopular doing it that anyone capable of being an effective opponent will wipe the floor with them.

        Then you’ll say the same about UKIP if you have any principles.

        Which I doubt you do, based on what you say…….

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …you really need to stop whining, lad. Your heroes got rejected by the People. Stop whining and deal with it. They’re just not into you.

    • rtj1211

      Would you provide your resume summary to show that you have the experience, the skills, the insight and the judgement to know how to judge a man’s performance properly??

      The time for him to resign, if resign he is going to do, is after the 2015 General Election.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The People judged it, lad. They don’t like it. They despise it, in fact. That’s how this all works, much as you muppets despise that process.

        The time for him to resign is as soon as possible. He’s a worthless, logrolling muppet, and serves no purpose.

  • GUBU

    I genuinely fear from Mr Clegg’s mental wellbeing after his rather tired and emotional appearance on television.

    I think it may be time to clear the Deputy Prime Minister’s office of sharp or throwable objects, and to prepare staff for the possibility that they may find themselves in a hostage situation if things deteriorate further.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Oh god more knicker wetting hysteria from the MSM spurred on by some mischievious Libdem malcontents. The thing is what idiot would want to take on the Libdem Party when it is facing its greatest general election slaughter since at least 1931?

    Surely the plan must be to allow Clegg to reap the rewards for his ‘good work’ and then knife him in the aftermath when perhaps a new leader could sit down with Labour to negotiate the next Coalition government.

    • rtj1211

      Rather more recently, the Liberal Party was reduced to 6 MPs.

      I would be very surprised if the Libdems ended up with less than 15 – 20 MPs, simply because enough of them are very good MPs and will carry national unpopularity through people voting for them personally.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …you mean, like they did last Thursday?

  • black11hawk

    Probably, they’d be mad to get rid of him a year before a general election. If they put Vince Cable in charge then they can pretty much forget a coalition with the Conservatives next time round and if they put Danny Alexander in charge then Labour will not want to do a deal. My personal prediction for the next general election is another Tory-Lib Dem coalition. If Clegg loses his seat in the election, which according to Mr Payne is a distinct possibility, then Danny Alexander will take over as he’s already a member of the ‘quad’ and is more on the Liberal side of the party than the Social Democratic one.

  • dado_trunking

    He ought not survive.
    As much as we all like the chaps and what they stand for (?!?), we have to acknowledge now that not only are the LibDems toast, the government is no longer on anyone’s specials menu with regards to delivering anything either substantial or filling.

    One peekaboo from anywhere, by anyone, and that chap currently holding the title of Deputy Prime Minister of Britain will start weeping in public. When has this nation last such a pathetic display of self-pitying cry babies?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …are all your sockpuppets going to survive, lad?

    • rtj1211

      I’m sure you’ve never been given the sort of Press rottweiler treatment that the Libdems have had the past 4 years.

      I remain 100% confident that you would be in a mental home if you had it, because the levels of your comments do not display toughness, they display the small-minded prejudice of someone who has never done anything significant in his whole life.

      You’d last about 6 weeks before throwing in the towel.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …that sockpuppet is a lefty nutter just like you, lad.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Almost certainly the correct answer to the headline question is

    “Yes, Nick Clegg can survive his party’s wrath, and will do so”.

    Because even that private opinion poll leaked to the Guardian didn’t hold out much hope that replacing him with either of the most likely alternative leaders at this point would significantly improve the electoral prospects of his party.

    And it should be recalled that support for the LibDems started to drain away very soon after they got into government, and within eight months or so about 60% of those who had supported them at the May 2010 general election had deserted them; once again, look at the left hand side of the opinion poll charts here:

    Clegg decided to try a final roll of the dice by challenging Farage to a televised debate, and he lost; the failure of that attempt to restore the fortunes of his party made matters a bit worse, but only a bit – maybe another 1% or 2% loss of support on top of the 14% already lost.

    From my own point of view I would be very happy to see the eurofanatic LibDems utterly crushed and thrown into the dustbin of history, but Tories should not really be wishing for that and they would not if they could be bothered to look at the left hand side of the charts linked above rather than expending so much time and effort on slagging off UKIP.

  • Terence Hale

    “Can Nick Clegg survive his party’s wrath?” It’s economics ,he buys his way.

  • The Commentator

    The Lib’Dems’ set out very clearly for the electorate what their vision of Britain’s future in Europe was. The voters resoundingly rejected it, so it is difficult to see where the party can go now, other than into the history books.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Oh, they’ll rely on most people having short memories about political events – and it’s true that people may have very long memories about events in their own lives, but not necessarily about a bunch of politicians saying one thing and then doing the exact opposite – and hope that they can lead astray a new generation of idealistic youngsters. They are totally cynical.

    • Mike

      One can live in hope !

  • London Calling

    The incredible shrinking party, led by the incredible shrinking leader………..its biscuits all round….or maybe the crumbs?……………:O

    • London Calling

      What wrath? the parties deflated…………….

  • Tony_E

    The problem for Clegg with many swing voters is that what he says makes no sense in the world they inhabit.

    ‘You don’t get anywhere in a negotiation by threatening to leave’.

    That’s counter intuitive, and sounds wrong to most folks whatever their political persuasion. Unless you ultimately retain the option to withdraw from something, then you are destined to accept what the majority force on you, and the majority know it. This is not democracy but the dictatorship of the majority.

    It’s like saying to a military invader – don’t do that or there will be consequences but then ruling military action out as one of those consequences. You lose because you have nothing of equal proportion to back your argument.

  • AdH2011

    They were always on a hiding to nothing when they went into government with the Tories but he deserves credit for providing a stable government in 2010 when the EU was on the brink of collapse and the vultures were circling.

    Would have been far easier (and far better for the party) to sit on the sidelines and throw mud like they always have

    • Gary Wintle

      He is a total moron. Confidence & Supply would have been a far better option for the Lib Dems, but of course, they wanted those cabinet posts and fancy limos, and fat pensions.
      Any smart person would have opted for C&S, but Captain Stupid went into a full coalition when no one wanted one.

      “Vultures circling?” who were these mythical creatures? The truth is they did not exist and were made up by the elites and bankers. There’s no evidence of there being any real danger except in the minds of narcissistic clowns like Clegg and Gideon “Help to Buy Ponzi Scheme” Osborne.

      • rtj1211

        The markets would have sent the pound tumbling and there was a real risk that UK’s borrowing rate would have spiked beyond a tipping point without stable government.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …speaking of spiked, there’s a chance the Cleggster’s head will eventually wind up on a spike right next to Dave’s.

          And won’t that be festive?!?

  • Jambo25

    The problem with the Lib Dems isn’t Clegg but the bulk of the Lib Dem activists and representatives. They, essentially, are a political party with no political sense. Pulling much of their support from vaguely left of centre voters they go into coalitions with a right wing Tory party. In Scotland the Lib Dems, who are a traditionally pro-Europe and pro Home Rule party spend the vast bulk of their time attacking the pro-Europe and Nationalist SNP which is by far the closest party to them, traditionally, in policy terms; simply because Willie Rennie and Tavish Scott don’t like Alec Salmond.
    Basically, the Lib Dems have such little sense that they shouldn’t be allowed out on their own.

    • rtj1211

      Actually, when deciding on a Coalition partner they had the Devil’s Alternative:

      i. Join with a right-wing Tory Party as you describe it and be lampooned for that.
      ii. Ignore the election result which said: ‘**** off Gordon Brown!’ and get into bed with him.

      Whichever choice they made, you bloggers and journalists would have skewered them.

      The other choice was letting Britain be ripped up by the markets by refusing to form a coalition with anyone, which would have been the trigger for the national Press to denounce the Liberal Democrats as irresponsible, call a new election and instruct everyone to destroy the Liberal Democrats in the ballot box.

      Given those three choices, which would you have taken??

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …yes, the LibDumbs are martyrs, and all should sing their alms.

        On the other hand, maybe the People should cast these clueless lefty muppets into the ditch and be done with it, like they did last Thursday.

      • Jambo25

        1) They could have allowed the Tories to go into office as a minority government without formally joining a coalition. ‘Confidence and Supply’.
        2) They could have sat on their hands and forced a second election in 2010.
        In either of these 2 cases Clegg would have acted as a party leader and saved his party from what appears to be a forthcoming electoral holocaust.
        In Scotland, where the Lib Dems have a fair number of MPs, Clegg, Alexander and the Scottish MPs could have hauled people like Scott and Rennie into line and reminded them of their traditional long term policies and got them to overcome their tribal hatred of Salmond and the SNP. Instead they have gone in for pure oppositionism which will probably hasten their longer term electoral collapse in Scotland.

  • Colin56

    Shall we all just recall that Clegg was the man who, in the heady few days after the 2010 election, readily tore up his manifesto in favour of the so-called ‘Coalition Agreement’, cobbled together in a few days in the depths of the Cabinet Office, which effectively betrayed everyone who’d had the courage of their convictions and voted LD, only now to find that their beloved Leader now valued Ministerial office more than a single LD manifesto pledge. This is the man who went back on tuition fees, who lost the proportional representation issue, who has gone back on more or less everything he ever stood for, just to sit in the back seat of a Ministerial limo. He is the embodiment of a modern politician, for whom being in office is more important than what they stand for. The phrase ‘mess of pottage’ comes to mind, does it not? I think the people of Sheffield Hallam (and elsewhere) may have longer memories than Clegg will find comfortable come next May and he may have more time than he might wish to do the school run. A morality tale for our times.

    • Bert3000

      so-called ‘Coalition Agreement’,

      Is that not its real name then? Or do you think that putting ‘so-called’ gives you an air of sarcastic wit?

      • Colin56

        Not at all, it’s just that it’s not much of an agreement really – not tested with the voters (so completely undemocratic – would we have voted for it if we had known its terms in advance?) and has regularly come apart at the seams. My main point was to highlight that the CA embodied the abdication of principle which all three party leaders suffered in the days (or should that be daze?) after the last election. Apologies if the use of quotes offended you this fine Tuesday morning!

        • rtj1211

          In the adult world you have to sacrifice principle for expediency if you don’t have a mandate for purity of principle.

          In your principled world, what would you do?? Keep on having elections and wasting taxpayers’ money because you abhor coalitions??

          I don’t believe in one party with minority support ruling. There’s no principle to that whatever. It guarantees that the majority are short-changed. Guarantees it.

          What is so unacceptable about compromise in your land of la-di-dah??

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …what is unacceptable about a mob of clueless lefty LibDumbs being cast into the gutter where they belong?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Nobody in the real world cares about manifestoes. They are jotted down on the back of an envelope, 90% drivel, and ditched as soon as the party is in power. That has always been so. Only the wonks read the things.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        They read the important stuff, the stuff they actually care about, and that the election is being fought over.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Yes. But they won’t find that in manifestoes.Or I suppose they might. I’ve never read one. Have you?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I read the important stuff, as mentioned.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Then you can tell it to us so we won’ have to bother.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …you’re slipping back into your socialist ways, lad, sticking your hand out and begging.

                • rtj1211

                  So easy to make out you are wise when you never answer questions.

                  Could of course be that you’re an ignorant bullshitter who uses belligerent aggression to try and cover that up when challenged.

                  I’ve met a lot of faux leaders in life who behave like that you know…….

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you do like to whine, don’t you, lad?

      • rtj1211

        I read all three at the last election. The slickest by far was that of the Liberal Democrats, in terms of being comprehensible to Joe Pubic, focussed on each issue and presented in a readable form of bite-sized chunks.

        The Tory one got a B- and I suggested to HQ that they might show their modernity by putting out an online version comparable to the LD one.

        Gordon Brown wrote a PhD thesis which became indigestible long before the end. It was quite the worst selling document I have ever read in my life, although much fine content for Labour ears could have been found in it. Quite why they didn’t have one team writing the long-hand draft and a second one packaging it for public consumption is beyond me.

        You are right, however that usually one or two issues dominate any particular election.

        2010 was fiscal prudence, 2005 was the Iraq legacy, 2001 was the Tories’ ‘Michael Foot’ election of being unelectable, 1997 was ‘the Tories are a bunch of bastards!’ 1992 was ‘Is Kinnock fit to be Prime Minister’, 1997 was ‘Tory folks are feeling rich’, 1983 was ‘Maggie’s the Falklands heroine’ allied to Hard Left Labour lunacy, 1979 was about the Winter of Discontent, 1974 was all about Heath being on the wrong side of public opinion in the face of the miners creating havoc.

        That’s really because most don’t consider it important enough to take their electoral responsibilities seriously.

        It’s why I have little sympathy for people complaining, if they never find out who would actually be best for them to vote for.

        Expecting the media to tell you the truth is a joke, after all.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …so sorta like the LibDumbs, then?

    • Mynydd

      Where were these ‘heady few days’ Mr Clegg’s Lib Dem party lost seats in the 2010 general election.

      • rtj1211

        They increased their absolute number of votes cast but the distribution across the country meant they ended up with slightly fewer seats.

        Inconvenient fact for you, perhaps, but historically accurate……

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …well, hopefully the poor LibDumbs weren’t too inconvenienced last Thursday. We were all worried, you know.

    • rtj1211

      And I will regale to all and sundry that you are so mentally subnormal that you expect to implement, in full, your manifesto with 23% of the popular vote and coming a good 3rd amongst the parties??

      I will also regale to all and sundry that you would have thrown Britain to the wolves by refusing to provided stable UK government and how you would have let the markets rip Britain to pieces due to your pie-eyed principles and dogma about manifestos.

      A fine public servant you would make, with your childish irresponsibility masked as principles.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …yes, those stupid and ungrateful People just don’t deserve such “principle” as the LibDumbs serve up, as we know.

  • WatTylersGhost
    • the viceroy’s gin

      Thanks for that.

  • RavenRandom

    To be ardently pro-European at the time of the rise of UKIP was an invite to give a kicking to Lib Dem MEPs. That it is not a shock. They had a policy out of step with the public, which even where it wants to stay in the EU is very conscious of wanting to limit the EU’s power.
    The second new element to them is being part of the incumbent government, local elections and especially the EU elections are traditionally a way of protesting or voting tactically.
    Final and unique to the Lib Dems is the protest nature of their party, “free unicorns for all” the reality of power does not allow for that. Hence the disillusion of the deluded.
    Has Clegg actually done anything wrong? Probably debating Farage and not allowing boundary changes. Beyond that it’s hard to see what could have been done to avoid this outcome.

    • Gary Wintle

      “Free Unicorns for all”…you mean like Gideon’s wastefu, recklessl “Help to Buy” nonsense?
      Handing out taxpayer’s money like candy to people climbing the Ponzi scheme that is housing in the UK.

      • RavenRandom

        No I didn’t mean that. If I’d meant that completely different thing I would have said it.

    • rtj1211

      Have you actually ever read their manifestos, their policy documents etc etc??

      If not, you are a liar of the worst order who deserves to be made bankrupt through libel.

      I read several of their documents after 2005 and, whether you agree with them or not, they were detailed, comprehensive policy statements involving no small amount of research.

      I am sure as a deeply honorable right winger you will commit suicide from shame when the truth comes out about what you do in your blogging.

      That is, of course, assuming that you are honorable, which given your sort of lying trolling is something which is of course open to significant doubt…….

      • the viceroy’s gin

        It’s amusing watching your meltdown here today, lad. All the whining over a gaggle of clueless lefty muppets.

        It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of socialist nutters.

      • RavenRandom

        Hysteria looks good on nobody.

    • monsieur_charlie

      “Has Clegg actually done anything wrong”? Well yes, as a traitorous lying scumbag he actually went into politics, a field already full of the same sort of people, although far better at it than him (if he can’t beat Nige in a face to face, what has he got going for him). Consequently he lost the EU elections in the most awfull way and has probably destroyed his party as well (we can only hope).

  • Shorne

    I know it’s a year away but I have read that it’s possible that Clegg will lose his seat next year. I remember when I was doing ‘modern’ history at school a teacher saying about a particular low point for the Liberals ‘By now you could get all their MPs in a taxi’ but somehow they survive.

    • Alexsandr

      I wont be happy till they can get all their MP’s in a Sinclair C5

      • rtj1211

        You in a coffin is all it would take to make me crack open some champagne, sonny jim.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …now you’re getting into the spirit of it, lad.

          Problem for you is, it’s the LibDumbs who are headed for that coffin now.

        • Alexsandr

          why do lefties have to be so horribly offensive. I will remember your comment at a funeral i am attending next Tuesday. Now f*ck off.

  • Andy

    Who cares. He is a liar and a dishonorable scum ball. The sooner he leaves public life the better.

    • Gary Wintle

      But they are all liars and scumballs, every last one of them.

      • Andy

        But even by the standard of the class he is a particularly repulsive example.

        • telemachus

          On the contrary he is a very affable fellow
          And a smoker
          And he likes a glass of beer
          And he has had 30

          • Andy

            Where you been all day you Fascist Idiot ? Where ever it was bog off back there.

            • telemachus

              Some of us have to work to pay your benefits

          • Fergus Pickering

            Had 30 what?

  • Greenslime

    A deluded man leading a deluded party. Why would he want to stay and why would they want him to anyway. The fact that Windbag Pantsdown, the man who holds himself in tremendously high regard, is his strongest supporter tells us that he should be ejected at the earliest opportunity.

    This is a minority party which thought it had spied a great way to introduce into the mainstream some of its cuckoo policies by stealth. It didn’t quite realise that, along with the good bits which come with power, amongst its responsibilities would be to agree to unpopular changes in order to bring the nation’s finances back into kilter after almost 13 years of take and give away (and give even more away which they hadn’t taken) government under Bliar and McDoom.

    The Libdem parliamentary party has shown itself to be just as dishonest and politically venal as it complains the others are. Even now many of its members are trying to work out how to collapse a coalition which it promised (obviously with its fingers crossed behind its back) to maintain for the full five years of the parliament. A bunch of political shysters the lot of them and the sooner we see the back of them, the better.

    • James Lovelace

      The LibDems are going to rue the day they decided that, actually PR is not so important now that we’ve actually got a stab at government.

      Here’s hoping that within 6 years UKIP are the government, and the previous 30 years of LibLabCon progressive-corporatist fascism can be unwound.

    • rtj1211

      I think you will find that this journal, your kind of blogger and most of the Right Wing Press were trying to break the Coalition and have a new election for two years up to 2012 because, as anti-democratic scumbags, you could not conceive of not having the divine right to rule despite only attracting 36% of the vote.

      Perhaps you should put something tangible in your life up as collateral against disputing this through lying??

      You are a typical right wing troll living in a fact free zone, behaving in just the way that the KKK behaved in the early parts of the 20th century. You rant and rave, gee each other along to spill even more vitriolic invective.

      The biggest attempts to break the coalition came from journalists like Simon Heffer, Toby Young and the like at the DT, no doubt being briefed from the Conservative Party’s less principled quarters.

      Deal with that head on or be branded a lying hypocrite of the highest order.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The biggest attempts to break the coalition came last Thursday, when the LibDumbs and Camerloons were both rejected by the People, lad.

      • Greenslime

        That’s another rib gone :-)

      • Ridcully

        According to Guido Fawkes “The Clegg fans over LibDemVoice have launched a delayed rebuttal operation…”
        Your frantic febrile posting on this thread is presumably a part of that operation.

  • Kitty MLB

    Some in Nick Clegg’s party have never liked him and yet without him they would
    never have had their taste of power. The golden chalice with the promise of honey
    turned into poison.
    Maybe Clegg stared off with good intensions, his party constantly trying to drag him l
    Left and he’s not of the Left and Loathes the labour party.
    As far as the Lib Dums are concerned you really cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs sow. Especially the ghastly Tim Farron and his crawling around Ed Miliband.
    I am sure even Milipede has better taste.

    • Hello

      They don’t want to be in government. They want to be on the opposition benches again, proposing nice things and pretending that they’re feasible. They want to feel morally superior again — government makes them feel dirty.

      • Kitty MLB

        Well as the third party they were the official protest party before going into
        government. As you say promising nice things, being popular, the new type of politics,
        throwing stones at the other parties and being on the moral higher ground. Government also brings responsibility and they were also not up to that.
        A Conservative MP found a Lib Dem MP crying at Westminster at the early part of government. When the Conservative chap asked what was wrong the response was, we don’t do these type of things, its
        all far too difficult and not popular.

      • rtj1211

        You’ve been told this by Libdem Ministers, have you??

        if not, just say: ‘I made this crap up because I’m a troll whose role is to spout anti-LIbdem invective’.

        At least you’d tell the truth for once in your life.

    • Shazza

      I think that if the Lib Dems toss Cleggie to the wolves and put ‘the ghastly Tim Farron’ in his place, this would help the Conservatives as Timmy is quite Lefty and hopefully would siphon off all the dissatisfied LibDem voters who turned to Labour back to the fold.

      Cameron could then appoint a Tory Deputy PM, break the coalition and rule as a minority government. This would free him to hopefully start acting like a real Tory.

      Any suggestions as to whom that would be? Preferably a Eurosceptic to counteract UKIP.
      Theresa May could possibly tempt more women to vote Tory and even the Left respect her for taking on plod.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        That’s about as fantastical a scenario as could be imagined. The LD’s will never break that coalition, as they don’t want to give up power, same as the Camerloons. The 2 illegitimacies will walk the plank together, ultimately.

        • Shazza

          Cameron will not walk the plank next year, Clegg will.

          My scenario is wishful thinking – I was just wondering how it would impact the Conservatives’ chances of victory next year.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            You’re right, Dave won’t walk the plank, his head will be mounted on a spike.

            • rtj1211

              I do wonder why you think that mounting your head on a spike would not be an act worthy of being remembered with a new National Holiday?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …now what are you whining about now, lad?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …and the Camerloons have no chance at victory next year. If they had any, the Thursday elections disappeared it.

      • rtj1211

        There’s the slightly wacky concept that a Conservative Party lacking a majority could get ‘true Tory policies’ through the House of Commons.

        I suggest you go back to dope smoking, a past-time you are clearly more suited to than politics.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …the LibDumbs know a lot about dope smoking, I understand.

          And they do seem to act like it, too.

        • Shazza

          When I said ‘acting like a real Tory’ I meant that he could be more outspoken about his intentions and how he had been previously shackled by his coalition partners. Obviously with a minority government he would be unable to achieve anything and anyway, in the run up to the election, this is a pretty lame duck government now – merely guiding hand on tiller. Cameron should get rid of this albatross now – pointless maintaining this coalition.

          Your vitriol and hubris are reflected in your ad hominem attack and obviously befits someone who finds his own attempt at scathing comment impressive.

          I don’t and I would imagine that for most of the people who debate on these threads, who might not always be in accord with me, would in this instance heartily endorse my opinion of you..

  • Hello

    “There is considerable suspicion in the party that the polling on the Guardian front page was commissioned by one of Cable’s allies”

    Sorry, Isabel, I just want to correct you there: it’s “ally”, in the singular. As far as I know, “Oakeshott” is not a plural yet.

    • glassfet

      Apparently the details will be released this morning

  • ButcombeMan

    It is simple. What is needed is a change of policies, not a change of Leader.

    Of course to change the policies, Clegg may well have to go.

    Without policies more in tune with the public mood, the LibDems are finished.

    Libdem policy needs some reality seepage

    • rtj1211

      And in 1997, the ‘Tories were finished’ because their ‘EU skepticism’ marked them down as ‘out of sync with public opinion’.

      These things go in cycles – you either become an unprincipled sleazebag or you stick to your principles through victory and defeat.

      To each their own…….

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and the Cleggsters best go cycle down into the leftist gutter, lad.

      • ButcombeMan

        Cycles? Only a fool would believe the UK will not remain sceptical about the political union.
        The tide is against the political union concept. Those who are wise learn by obvious mistakes.
        The LibDems are not learning. The electorate have.
        Electoral oblivion is coming for the LibDems.

  • swatnan

    I feel sorry for Clegg; he’s given the Lib Dems so much. Hope he stays.
    Clegg is the only one with the guts to take Farage on, and time will prove him right.

    • Bert3000

      It’s not his party’s wrath. It’s a small group who’ve never liked him (because he’s too electable and not left wing enough), who think they’ve seen their chance. Time will prove him right about Farage. And the LibDems will thank him for being the man who got them into government.

    • ChuckieStane

      Maybe you right to say he had the guts to take Farage on, but in doing so he made the election all about UKIP and put them at the top of every news bulletin.
      It was about the most spectacular own goal it is possible to imagine.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The Cleggsters were already set to get annihilated in that election. It wasn’t really an own goal. It was a desperate attempt to break the direction of the election. It failed as predicted, and it didn’t change much of what was going to happen anyway.

      • James Lovelace

        No. The racist media and the LibLabCon cartel put UKIP at the centre. Day after day, there would be no headlines in the media about any of the parties except UKIP. The oligarchs thought they could simply give UKIP blanket smearage as “racist” and win that way. They showed utter contempt for democracy, the truth and genuine racism.

        If it wasn’t for the fact that there’s a rump of idiots in this country who will vote Tory or Labour no matter what, UKIP would be the government next year.

    • Mike Barnes

      Nigel Farage and UKIP will be eternally grateful to Nick Clegg for offering those debates and really launching the campaign.

      Turns out that not even snake oil Nick can defend the indefensible on television and tell us Europe is a good thing!

      • Kitty MLB

        Well indeed. Because the debates on the EU became about Nick v Nigel. The EU elections became about voting against Nick. Nothing
        again to do with the real political issues of this country, will ever be that easy for Nigel. So let him enjoy the sunshine before
        the rain arrives. And it will. He’s a nice fellow, but the rain proves a
        persons worth.

    • Fergus Pickering

      How exactly will time do any such thing?

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