Coffee House

Clegg lost against Farage, but that’s not the point

4 April 2014

11:37 AM

4 April 2014

11:37 AM

Why did Nick Clegg bother debating Nigel Farage? The Ukip leader bagged two decisive victories in the battles. But that doesn’t mean the Lib Dem leader has failed to set out what he wanted to do.

Clegg needed these debates to reach out to his base, to motivate them to go out campaigning and vote in May. He didn’t need to ‘win’ in order to do that: he just needed to put the case for EU membership loudly and proudly. He had to remind some of his party’s supporters why they joined the Liberal Democrats and he needs to motivate pro-Europeans from other parties to lend their vote to the Lib Dems too in order to prevent a wipeout.

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During the debate on Wednesday the Lib Dems sent a text message to all their members asking for £5 if Nigel Farage was making them angry. Yesterday, a special edition of the members’ magazine has dropped through letterboxes. The debates have become a huge hook for internal campaigning. The membership cares about Europe, and being able to talk about it turns members on and gets them out campaigning. And building up Farage as a right-wing bogeyman helps.

Externally, the entire ‘party of IN’ strategy has been based around setting out the Lib Dems as the only party sticking up for the UK’s place in the EU, and attracting a coalition of pro-EU voters. While 27 per cent of voters watching this week’s debate backing Clegg doesn’t sound like a nice return for a tough debate, the Lib Dems would sell various relatives and/or body parts to get that on 22 May, and that’s the real point.

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Show comments
  • Domlingus

    From all of us at UKIP Nick, our deepest appreciation and condolences.

  • SimonToo

    I thought that they were debating membership of the EU. I am pretty sure that they were not debating Nigel Farage. That would have been purely ad hominem on Clegg’s party and vanity on Farage’s.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Nick Clegg is on a career path that should eventually lead to a senior job in the EU – if he plays his cards right. He is not going to spoil things by admitting inconvenient facts about the burgeoning superstate.

  • Arden Forester

    “He just needed to put the case for EU membership loudly and proudly”. That’s why he failed in this contest. He failed to put up a case for being in the EU. People saw he was weak even many from his own party.

  • Conway

    Clegg needed these debates to reach out to his base, to motivate them to go out campaigning and vote in May.” Considering that a largish proportion of Lib Dem voters thought that Clegg had lost, it would seem that he signally failed in his intention.

  • Doggie Roussel

    Cameron now has Neville Chamberlain written all over him…

    The man is the most limp-wristed appeaser to appear upon the political scene since the aforementioned and tragic figure that was Chamberlain.

    For Cameron, who threw in his lot with that imbecilic buffoon, Clegg, who has entirely demolished his government and his judgement.

    Clegg made a mockery of not only himself, but the government in which he is meant to be an equal partner.

    To many, Farage has a whiff of Mosley and his Blackshirts… but my god, doesn’t this country now have the need for someone who can coherently identify all the anxieties of the electorate and then propose the cures that might return some pride to this much abused country.

    Farage may be a maverick, infuriatingly frivolous and at times arrogant…. but whatever his faults, he is, above all, and unlike any of his opponents, a patriot.

    Let’s support someone who believes in this country… and not an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels…

    Vote UKIP. !

  • Two Bob

    Dear oh dear, what can you do what can you do?!

  • London Calling

    Farge won……that is the point…………………:)

  • Fred Smith

    The point is that Clegg, one of the chief advocates for not only staying in the EU, but embracing it further, could find no convincing reasons for his position, having to rely on attempts to ridicule the opposition, debunked myths, and a vague appeal to the future.

    So are we to take it that he doesn’t know why he’s so committed to the EU, it’s just an article of faith, or that he’s so credulous as to accept debunked myths, or is it that he has reasons which he prefers not to share?

    He looked ridiculous because fundamentally, he didn’t know what he was talking about.

    As for Clegg having some overarching strategy, which includes fielding threadbare arguments and looking ridiculous before a mass audience, believe that if you wish.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Clegg is committed to the EU because he has no loyalty to his own country and wants it to cease to exist as an independent sovereign state. And the same is true for a raft of senior politicians across the old political parties, they long ago transferred their primary allegiance to the EU as their new preferred country in the making. That is why whenever any amendment to affirm and defend the sovereignty of our national Parliament goes to a division in the Commons very few MPs vote in favour of it, the rest either vote against it or just absent themselves.

      • Conway

        His EU pension also depends on his being staunchly pro-EU. Should he admit the EU has faults, the money will be lost.

  • WalterSEllis

    I agree that Clegg did a poor job defending the EU. He sounded like a
    fonctionnaire reciting a brief, not a politician with a mind of his own.
    Farage, on the other hand, spoke only of demolition. He never says what
    will happen if the UKIP point of view triumphs in the promised
    referendum in 2017. If we are to believe him, Paris, Berlin, Rome and
    the rest will fall over themselves to offer Britain the best possible
    exit. Never mind the fact that the Eurozone is (rightly) obsessed with
    rescue and recovery. Never mind the fact that Britain’s withdrawal will
    be the most disruptive act in EU history. According to Farage, Brussels
    and the remaining member states will be so greedy for access to the UK
    market that they will give London pretty well whatever it wants,
    including a City of London that will continue de facto to be the
    financial centre of Europe.

    One other point: Farage ever say what will
    happen to the three million or so non-British EU citizens who are already living and working in Britain.
    Will they be kicked out? If so, how does he expect the
    governments of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria – and France
    – to respond? Does he expect them to shrug their shoulders and beam kindly thoughts in the direction of Westminster? Or if not, what’s the point? And let’s not forget the two million Brits currently living in other EU countries, mainly France and Spain. What happens to them? Where are they supposed to go?

    Europe needs urgent reform. It needs to rediscover
    democracy. But these are real and pressing questions. Does Farage have
    an answer?

    • Andy

      Clegg did a rubbish job at defending the EU. Farage wants, like me, to recover our rights from the over mighty EU. If we vote to leave, as I hope we do, then Paris, Berlin and Rome et all will only have themselves to blame, and while I can fully expect them to be nasty and spiteful (particularly Paris) even they wont be too stupid. They sell us far more than we sell them and we can get just as awkward with them as they can be with us. It is in no ones interest to spark a trade war. But I think you also miss a point here. We will decide what goes in the UK and the City of London, not be dictated to by the EU. The UK is still a huge economy and I think free of the EU we will be able to prosper much more than within the dead-hand of the EU.

      As to your second point I would assume those EU citizens here now would get visas and work permits. But remember UK people lived in France, Italy etc long before the EU was invented and will do so long after it has bitten the dust.

    • Wessex Man

      oh dear, they are the result of a policy thought up by a club we never were asked to join, we joined a trading market. It’s not our fault that they may go home to any of the countries they emigrated from. I should imagine that those who came here after the Polish accession would probably now be citizens. I certaily know of Poles from Wiltshire who are now in the armed services.

      Are you also saying that those Brits that live in Spain, Portugel and the other med countries would be thrown out with all the money they put into those countries coffers?

    • Denis_Cooper

      “Never mind the fact that Britain’s withdrawal will be the most disruptive act in EU history.”

      The EU itself only has a short history of two decades, since Major agreed to the Maastricht Treaty and of course refused to put it to a referendum, and the sooner it is disrupted the better for all concerned apart from the thin layer at the top who’ve built their careers on subverting democracy.

    • Conway

      Europe needs urgent reform. It needs to rediscover democracy. But these are real and pressing questions,” Of course it does, but it won’t reform and it is anti-democratic for the simple reason that its founding fathers knew that the people would not acquiesce in the project.

  • Wessex Man

    It certainly takes some kind of Liberal Democrat to make such a statement, so step forward Charlotte Henry, Liberal Democrat blogger par mediocre, given prime space here to push her party’s propaganda, it’s certainly old style USSR transferred to the EUSSR to try to twist that debate into a triumph for Clegg!

    When can we look forward to a UKip member being given the chance to put an article forward in such a manner!

  • jamesbarn

    This is the Cast Iron Man who ran a three line whip against his own party voting for a referendum, you cannot believe a word he says. Though I disagree compleatly with Clegg at least he had the balls to debate the issue with Farage unlike the gutless Cameron and Milliband
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcbOfIHM_D0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1JReyGsdOA

  • MikeF

    As you say Clegg’s objective was to shore up his base vote to try to avoid a massacre of LibDems at the forthcoming European elections – immediate self-interest to point of being little short of self-preservation dressed up as principle. Hopefully it will make no difference and the LibDems wil be wiped out.

    • Wessex Man

      He’s not going to shore up his base with MEPs like Sir Graham Watson acknowledging, in a Liberal Democrat Open Meeting i attended that I was correct the auditors would not sign of the EU Audit yet again be of £20 billion fraud laughed at me and said it was no worse than the £20 billion fraud in the UK Welfare budget. Even then before the Debates there more people opposed to the Lib/dems than for and it was their do!

      When I asked him if he was proud that £40 billion is an awlful lot to lose through fraud each year he just smircked at me!

      He is part of a political party no longer fit for purpose!

  • Polly Fabian

    Darlings! Don’t let that common little man lead you astray! We the socialist elite know what is best. Power to the people, as matron always said.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “Clegg needed these debates to reach out to his base, to motivate them to go out campaigning and vote in May … He had to remind some of his party’s supporters why they joined the Liberal Democrats … ”
    In May 2010 24% of the votes were cast for LibDem candidates.
    It would be absurd to believe that all of those voters agreed with the LibDem leaders that their country should be wound up as an independent sovereign state and we should be legally subordinated within a pan-European federation, given that opinion polls show that only 10% want any more EU integration at all and of that 10% only 3% want.

    • Patrick Gearon

      And would you say that in what Clegg failed to do i.e. ‘reach out to his base’ in the debate, the above article does indeed address? It should, in my opinion, never have been to do with personality politics but rather getting the message out – for BOTH sides of the argument. I’m for the out case but I do agree with the context of the above article which at least tries to settle the dust, get back on track after the main issue almost got sidelined.

      • Wessex Man

        The main issues weren’t sidelined at all minf Clegg with his normal arrogance tried to. Arn’t we all so lucky that the roaming charges over the EU are going to done away with, hang on a minute that what Will, son of Frank Straw said two years ago when applying to be made a Labour party candidate for the next elections!

        • Doggie Roussel

          Was that the same son of Jack Straw, Will, who was caught red-handed selling ganja in a London pub ?

          Straw (senior) was Home Secretary at the time and his privileged son received no more that a light tap on the wrist…

          C…s all of them !

          Now, we are told that the spawn of the loins of those Socialist scumbags are going to get a shoe-in into safe Labour seats in the next election.

          A plague on them all.

  • Colonel Mustard

    ” . . . he just needed to put the case for EU membership loudly and proudly.”

    I would not describe how he put the case as ‘proudly’, especially as part of his argument was to denigrate a country many of us remember actually living in and much preferred to his ‘Brave New Britain’. It is a measure of the man’s arrogance that he should marginalise and disregard that living memory. Why do “progressives” like him have the arrogant view that the change they advocate and engineer is always improvement and always welcome? Occupying forces might be the status quo but that doesn’t stop the resistance wanting to revert to the independence and freedom they once enjoyed. It’s called diversity Clegg. Suck it up.

  • Smithersjones2013

    I do agree Clegg has probably fulfilled his objectives. It will have no doubt solidified Libdem Europhile support but more than that it will have helped in undermining the Tory threat in constituencies where his MP’s are at risk of losing out to the Tories

    Every Eurosceptic right of centre Tory orientated voter Clegg can distance from the Tory party improves his people’s chances of surviving. By debating Farage and providing UKIP the same opportunities as his own party on an issue that is a festering open sore for the Tory party Clegg has just further agitated an already disastrous issue for the Tories. That he did so when Cameron had little choice but to bottle out of participating (because of Cameron’s lack of credibility on the issue) only further emphasises how much of a problem it is for the Tories.

    The reality is that the Tories position on the EU is a complete mess, is indefensible and is an issue on which they cannot be trusted. Clegg has realised that and used it against them

  • Surlautobus

    This “he reached out to his base” argument reminds me of the fatuous reasoning given for commercial use of social media. Instead of building sales it is for “brand Building” and “raising profile”. Cobblers.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, the argument isn’t being held for the benefit of Clegg’s political career, much as he and the clueless bubble media would like to believe. There is national policy to consider, much as the Londonistan bubble denizens would prefer the rest of the people not participate in that discussion, which they want restricted to their class only.

  • Nkaplan

    They won’t get 27% of the vote or anywhere close any more than Farage will get 68% or anything close. This was a binary poll a real election will not compare.

    • HookesLaw

      It was a beauty contest between 2 ugly twins.

      • Wessex Man

        oh really this is a so tired old joke for an old tired joke on a par with Cleggy’s about Putin, imagine a beauty contest between Camron and Miliband urgh!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and your hero Call Me Dave is married to one of the twins. The stupid one .

    • AnotherDave

      It was a poll of people who watched the debates. People who are presumably likely voters for the EU Parliament elections. In 2009 turnout was 34%.

      The pro-EU voters, and the anti-EU voters will be more likely to vote in the EU Parliament elections than the undecided voters. It was those people that Mr Clegg and Mr Farage wanted to champion.

  • Jez

    The oddballs have been exposed thrashing their dead horse for the first time.

    Live on TV. In front of millions.

    Milliband has been exposed as an irrelevance.

    Clegg has been exposed as an aloof opportunist in the way he attempted to engage and falsely empathize with questions he obviously found repugnant. These were about the white working class for instance. He basically told the remaining indigenous British audience watching that they were now redundant and out of date, to be replaced by new, vibrant foreign go-getters. His ideological direction wouldn’t be out of place in a far-Left rally somewhere. It was an affront to the fallen in Two World Wars, as out dated and despised that fact is by the Liberal Left and majority UK media.

    Cameron has been exposed as utterly devoid of strength or personal conviction, unbelievably slandering the participants as extremists.

    Everyone is an extremist that doesn’t want to board the HMS ‘Sell-Out’ PLC and sail down the corporate river to oblivion.

    It is a scandal that these career driven jokers have ever got as far as this.

    Roll on the elections.

    • kandanada

      We haven’t got the HMS Sell Out any more. She had to sold-off after the last round of naval cutbacks.

  • Jock

    Clegg and Farage were each kicking at an open door. The outcome of the debates split in Farage’s favour more or less in line with the Eurosceptic/Europhile split in the country. The downside for Clegg is that he further damaged his already serious credibility problem.

    By referring people to the small print of Lib Dem utterances, quoting highly selective and misleading “facts” on the EU impact on UK legislation and making a crass effort to compare Derbyshire Council and EU levels of employees on a blatantly unlike for like basis – he weakened not only his own reputation but the argument he was seeking to promote.

    And as with Nixon, the tapes are available to be replayed. Who needs Tricky Dickie when we have our own Tricky Nicky?

  • Mynydd

    Please stop the spin, Mr Clegg failed to articulate the ‘IN’ case as well as Mr Farage articulated the ‘OUT’ case. For the record I am in the ‘IN’ camp. When Mr Clegg challenged Mr Farage to the debate it seems to me to be on the basis, this man in a raincoat with a pint, holding up the bar in the Nags Head, easy meat I’ll put his cigarette out, no problem. How wrong how was. Mr Farage showed Mr Clegg for what he is, just full of piss and wind.

    • AnotherDave

      What do you think British people gain from being members of the EU?

      • HookesLaw

        And if out? We would still be in the single market and be obeying EU trade regulations and the free movement of labour. Norway is not in the EU but obeys all its rules including Free movement of labour. Farage tells a big lie about what the difference would be if out.

        Suppose we left the EU completely and found ourselves outside the EU tariff wall and suppose there was a movement to relocate all our car factories and suppose the EU said that as part of a trade deal we would have to join Schengen like all the other countries? Where would Saint Nigel be then? Why should anyone belive that something like this could not happen. why should certainties be swapped for massive uncertainties?

        Why should anyone believe Farag’e bland assurances about how easy life would be out of the EU? I mean do you believe in Salmond’s balnd assurances abolut Scottish independence? I know I don’t.

        Farage is peddling isolationism, Xenophobia and racism all dressed up in a camel hair coat.

        • fubarroso

          Why do you keep on with this “government by fax” nonsense when it has been blown out of the water several times. Please sit down calmly and read Dr Richard North’s BrExit plan and learn the truth once and for all:

          http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/BrexitPamphlet001.pdf

          • Denis_Cooper

            Because he’s just as pro-EU as Clegg and no more honest than Clegg.

        • Full Name

          Norway has 80% as a member of EEA only of the legislation that the UK has as a full EU member and EEA. It also has lower membership costs, more powers over various policies fisheries, agriculture and trade and more influence over trade via WTO. See: Better off out of the EU — Norwegian Centre Party
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8GpzDDurR8

          On immigration the UK would simply have to negotiate opt-out bar Ireland to be politically permissable according to the public else opt for a more distant deal than EEA sooner.

          • Denis_Cooper

            It’s not 80%.

            According to Richard North the precise figure is 27.6%; when I asked him a couple of days ago he replied that “Currently, the EEA acquis stands at 5,758 legislative acts, from 20,868 EU acts currently in force (December 2013)”, which is 27.6%.

            According to others it is less than that: 19%, 9% and 13% from various sources which I could detail if you wished.

            As far as I’m concerned even 9% would be 9% too many, but of course there are some like HookesLaw who would have no problem if all of our laws came from Brussels and our own national Parliament was abolished.

        • john king

          Please answer the question. Don’t go all Clegg and evade it.

        • ButcombeMan

          What tariff wall is that Hookey?

          WTO rules prevail. Your last line is nonsense, Kippers are world free traders, not EU protectionists.

        • an ex-tory voter

          Outside means complying with EU regs only for those products and services sold to EU countries just as we already comply with regs for every country we export to.
          It means not complying with costly and anti-competitive EU regs for the majority of our exports. This means reducing the costs to business and the loss of competitiveness incurred through our membership of the Eu.
          Farage does not advocate isolationism, he advocates trade worldwide and UK negotiated trading relationships with almost every nation on earth.

        • Wessex Man

          NURSE! NURse! NUrse! Nurse! nur zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        • Fergus Pickering

          Scotland could exist outside the UK. They would be worse off financiall;y, but they might be happy to trade that for what they see as freedom/

        • Bill_der_Berg

          The Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese are suffering mightily at the hands of the EU. Are the EU supporting xenophiles protesting about this? No they are not.

    • dado_trunking

      . . . yet he is popular. Says it all with regards to what One Nation England has become. Centralise, then lose all the money in the centre, then blame Europe for your demise. Pathetic.

    • GUBU

      I agree, although I would have suggested that Mr Clegg is full of another substance…

    • Kitty MLB

      I wonder how much more humiliating it would have been for Milipede-
      Oh yes, Mr Zombie creature from the un dead has said this morning that
      he doesn’t want to debate with Nigel Farage next May.
      He said he will only debate with Mr Cameron- what a coward.

      • Shazza

        A Milliband/Farage debate would show Labour voters just who really is in touch with them – Farage would destroy him.

        I’m not so sure of a Cameron/Farage debate. Cameron’s smooth exterior hides I think, the soul of an assassin. His thrusts at times at PMQs at Milliband are deadly. I don’t think I would like to get on the wrong side of him.

        However, they are both **** scared of him.

        Farage has done a Putin and played a blinder.

        • ButcombeMan

          Cameron would lose his temper. He is sadly not as sharp mentally as Farage.

          • Kitty MLB

            Are we speaking of the EU debates still or the debates
            for the general election, to elect a government because it makes a difference. And yes Cameron does lose his temper,
            at P&Qs a lot, but to be fair he has Milipede, bonkers Balls,
            Harriet Hateman, and the rest of the deluded and lying Labour
            party opposite- Just tell Mr Farage to hurry up and defeat
            those socialists fools and place himself as Cameron’ s opposite
            number.

            • Shazza

              That would the result made in heaven!

              • Kitty MLB

                I second that. We have far too many parties of the Left in the
                HOC. And the UK is not fairly represented because of that reason. Even the Green Party have a seat in parliament, and
                who votes for them? besides Caroline Lucas is attending Court
                at the moment
                for that protesting against fracking last year.

                • Shazza

                  Agree. What also sticks in the craw is that both devolved Labour Wales and devolved Labour/SNP Scotland have their MPs in Westminster making decisions affecting England only.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I must admit, if Scotland votes Yes, I
                  will not miss all those Scottish Labour MP’s.
                  Scotland complains yet as you say they hve
                  a say on our issues, but I do not think
                  we have a say on theirs.i

          • Shazza

            Cameron’s no fool but he is ruthless. Farage has nothing to lose but Cameron has.
            I would love to see them debate. My money would be on Cameron. (I might cheat and have a fiver on the side on Farage to cover any losses).

            • ButcombeMan

              Confined to just the EU, foreign wars and adventurism and uncontrolled immigration, (and the social consequences) I think Farage would destroy either Cameron & Milliband. They must know that.

              On anything else, Cameron has the advantage, he has seen policy documents over several years. The incumbent always has that advantage

              His temper is a problem for him.

              • Kitty MLB

                Both Nigel Farage and David Cameron both have tempers-
                have you not seen Nigel Farage in Brussels – he’s magnificent !
                Miliband shouts but he doesn’t have a temper.
                And of course whoever was Prime Minister would have advantage. On everything else,as well as the debate
                we have before choosing a government. Nigel would be at a disadvantage, if it were not
                about just the EU. Which is why if he’s serious about challenging Labour , he needs to get his policies across,
                and speak of other issues such as education etc.
                It cannot be just about the loathsome EU and I am sure he’s
                aware of that. That is the time we scrutinise them very carefully.

                • Andy

                  Miliband is a silly schoolboy. Needs six of the best.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes I agree with that. Behaves like foolish
                  little boy.Actually they could all do with
                  With a whack around the knees.

                • Wessex Man

                  Kitty, the reason we are not putting our party’s plicy out there to the people of this country is that just like the other three parties we have to fight the Euro elections first. After that our policies will be coming out, I just the Call me Dave doesn’t pinch a load of them!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Sorry, I should have realised that.
                  And Cameron stealing policies, they might
                  not be Lib Dem enough for him 🙂

                • Wessex Man

                  If he thinks it will give him votes he will.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I really do not know what happened to Cameron. Although I
                  didn’t vote for him to be leader. I saw him as a man with principle, direction and passion. ( admittedly I did not know him very well) Some say because Cameron
                  thought he would be ‘ quite good’ at being PM that he sold
                  his soul to the highest bidder, which turned out to be The Lib Dems. He makes all the wrong choices and as Fergus points
                  out backs all the wrong people.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Being Prime Minister does that to people. Look at his performance over the odious, thieving Miller. It will do him a lot of harm His poll tax moment perhaps..

            • Kitty MLB

              ‘Being Prime Minister does that to people’. You mean power
              corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We
              only need to look at Tony Blair for an example of the latter.
              Who knows if this will be his poll tax moment. But
              the press are having a field day and are even agreeing
              with what Nigel Farage was saying about political elite and
              linking it with this as an example.

        • Kitty MLB

          ‘ soul of an assassin’ David Cameron ?
          Mr’ hug a huskie’ Cameron. Who I have always seen as
          just a naïve , easily manipulated , hand-wringing,
          charming ( most unfortunate) pig headed, arrogant toad.
          I always saw Blair as a black hearted, evil serpent and deadly.
          And Miliband, with power would be worse then anyone, a true
          Karl Marx worshipping soulless socialist.

          • Shazza

            Kitty – I think the ‘hug a hoodie/huskie’ Cameron was the face that he thought would win him votes. The times were very different then, pre 2008 and it was so trendy, so Cool Britannia and he thought he would re-brand the Tories after May’s disastrous description of them being seen as ‘the nasty party’.Remember at the time Labour’s spin machine and their grip on the BBC/MSM were at their most formidable.

            I watch Cameron at PMQs and I believe sometime you catch a glimpse of the real man. It’s a flash in the eye. He performs at his best when his back is against the wall. I also believe he is not so naive as he was in 2010 when he got into bed with that yellow coward Clegg who knifed him over the boundaries. Maybe he has grown up a bit more.

            I think he has a streak of utter ruthlessness and we have yet to see this openly – remember he is a PR man.

            My biggest fear is if he loses the next election so I hope I’m not seeing what I want to believe.

            If Red Ed and his coterie of hubristic hypocrites gets in, then it’s lights out for us.

            • Wessex Man

              I’ve given you an up tick there but don’t agree with you about ‘a yellow coward Clegg’ at least he was brave enough to get up and debate with Nigel Farage when Cameron wouldn’t.

              Mind he’s so arrogant, he probably thought it would be a walk over against someone he didn’t think was as clever as him!

              • Kitty MLB

                The thing about Cleggie is that he leads a backwards thinking
                leftie dinosaur of a party. That tuition fee promise they made
                to encourage students to vote Lib Dem, they knew they could not afford it, but thought it might just give them a few more seats. They never thought they’d be a part of government.
                Right from the beginning they were playing games.

                • Wessex Man

                  Yes they were but to anyone who has encountered them, in local debate, on the doorsteps at election counts knows that they they are good for nothing liars and always have been. Yet this is the party that Cameron, who has been in politics long enough to know just where they are coming supped from the same spoon.

              • Shazza

                Of course he is yellow. Look what he did to Cameron over the boundaries issues.

                Clegg lives in his Westminster bubble thinking that he knows what is best for hoi polloi – he being so suave and sophisticated that in his arrogance he thought he would show Farage up as a xenophobic, racist, backward looking little Englander.

                He thought that he would repeat his ‘I agree with Nick’ performances and it backfired spectacularly. I hope the LibDems lose every MEP in May and I would love to see them wiped out in 2015.

                I think Clegg fancies himself as the next EU President that position thankfully, has escaped the ambition of that snake Blair. That’s enough to keep me awake at night.

                • Andy

                  ‘Clegg lives in his Westminster bubble thinking that he knows what is best for hoi polloi – he being so suave and sophisticated that in his arrogance he thought he would show Farage up as a xenophobic, racist, backward looking little Englander.’

                  Indeed. The problem is it showed Clegg up as an arrogant, racist, backward looking EU Fascist. But that’s him.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and Dave, don’t forget.

                • Kitty MLB

                  It was a disgrace what Cleggie did over those boundaries.
                  All because we did not want to know his beloved AV.
                  So much for the Lib Dems wanting to make things more fair.
                  What’s fair about Labours in-built advantage.
                  Also this fixed term parliament, that was just to help the Lib Dems and to stop the Tories from breaking up the coalition early.
                  Cleggie, the Lib Dems and their beloved wind farms can disappear off to Brussels as soon as they like.

                • Shazza

                  Regarding the boundaries issue, I think that traitor Cleggie also worked out that if the boundaries were to be redrawn, the chances of an outright win for either Cameron or Milibrain would improve and he would lose his self imposed importance as a permanent kingmaker. Under the present circumstances, his chances of staying in coalition are pretty good. He would sell himself to the highest bidder – red or blue – he couldn’t care less.

                  His perfidy knows no bounds.

                • Kitty MLB

                  You are absolutely right. He wants to hold all the cards! to
                  hold the main parties and country to ransom. Permanent
                  coalitions and I don’t understand why Cameron let them have so much control and say, his was the largest party for Gods, sake . I always remember that weasel Blair saying,
                  that he would never trust the Lib Dems. He said this just
                  after the coalition was formed. And Douglas Alexander
                  said they were playing one party off against the other
                  during the negotiations and were not being honest.
                  Well, the country know of their despicable characters now,
                  and throw them into oblivion next year. I hope so.
                  Coalitions are not in the national interest, clearly.

                • Shazza

                  Cameron’s biggest mistake was going into coalition with Cleggie. At the time I thought he had done the right thing as he would have an ally when tackling the financial mess that Labour had left. I felt that would unite the country against Labour.

                  Good old hindsight has kicked in and it would have been better to rule as a minority government and when Labour’s mess had been exposed and the rage was at an all time high (as it was) Cameron could have then called for another election and he would have won that one with a majority. He then could have sorted out the boundaries and not gone with all the s*** that coalition has forced on him (and us).

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Call Me Dave loves this coalition. He’s a socialist, and he’s got cover for his socialism via this coalition. He can blame somebody else for his being a socialist, while blathering about being a “conservative”. That’s what’s created UKIP, this comprehensive lie.

                • Conway

                  Cameron’s shame is that he couldn’t win a majority against possibly the worst PM of the century, despite the country being desperate for a change.

                • Wessex Man

                  No no they are not, after his handling of the Sheffield Steel Masters, he’s toast.

                • Wessex Man

                  That’s not yellow, that’s getting one over one halfwitted Toryboy!

                  I can’t stand Clegg, he’s a connivining liar but on this occasion he’s shown himself to be a bigger braver man than Cameron and I am very grateful to him for agreeing to meet Nigel Farage in debate and make a complete idiot of himself!

                • Shazza

                  I concede the point. But I still feel that he thought it would give him an opportunity to raise his and the LibDems’ profile pre the EU elections. I believe he thought the debates would revive his ‘I agree with Nick’ moment and that he would demolish Nigel Farage.
                  My sincere hope is that his hubris will lead to the LibDems losing all their MEPs and Ukip becoming the official opposition in 2015.
                  Now that would be a worthy occasion to crack out the Bolly!

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Well, if you’re concerned that Lab gets in, I’d suggest you not split the UKIP vote, because the Camerluvvies haven’t a prayer of winning anything .

        • Raddiy

          Shazza,

          Cameron is all mouth and no trousers, in an open debate he would be no more effective than Clegg. Have a look at this interview he gave, when he was worse than useless.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBlDfp85gP8

    • Patrick Gearon

      Not so much ‘spin’ as it was a consolidation after a loss, so I feel you’ve been a little unkind here. And for the record I am in the ‘OUT’ camp. But I am not here to argue my case, only the article above, which, considering the circumstance, is reasonable, (even necessary) for the losing side.
      The truth is that it was all to do with the message, not who won it. As it stood, the whole event was hijacked by personality politics with each bearing a grudge towards one another. Let’s just be happy that the main issue i.e. the in or out, did get some airing but not enough for my money.
      The article is right because it is the argument that counts and even though I am for OUT I am almost sorry that Farage won it for me in such a way..
      This is not about who wins it, exactly as the article describes it.

  • MirthaTidville

    Clegg did the debates because he thought you can make a souffle rise twice. Last election he slithered through the middle having forced this sort of silly debate, and gained far more votes than his miserable lot were entitled to. Fast forward and they are on the point of Euro extinction, so `hey ho lets have go`…Well this time he found himself up against a far more formidable foe. Just a shame he didnt last time around…

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Clegg fatally wounded the entire pro-EU movement. He was given the opportunity to set out the benefits of EU membership and this he appeared completely unable to do. Apart from ever more risible claims about the number of jobs that would be lost if we pulled out, all based on no reliable data whatsoever, Clegg couldn’t describe a single benefit. Farage on the other hand was stacking up all the disadvantages of membership and setting out credible arguments accruing from exit, including increased trade. So it wasn’t just Clegg who was damaged by his lamentable performance but the whole Europhile establishment bandwagon.

    • HookesLaw

      I did not see the debates but as Cameron said it was between 2 extremists and I would not trust Clegg to argue for me.
      I do not see how you can argue Clegg had ‘no reliable data’ yet agree with a bland assumption by Farage. How does Farage know we will not lose jobs trade and inward investment? Is he trying to say Germany and its world exports are held back by the EU?
      The trouble is 12 months of Farage could ruin the UK for a genearation. And the reality of any dallying with Farage will gift the countery to a Europhile Miliband.

      • Nkaplan

        Of course we are held back by the EU. The EU is a customs union (meaning a set of countries with common external tariffs and barriers to trade), and worse yet one whose members mostly think in protectionist ways. Being a member of the EU means not being able to negotiate independent trade deals with the rest of the world, but accepting those negotiated by Eureaucrats who believe in restricting not promoting trade. Were we members of EFTA and not the EU we could have the best of both worlds – access to the common market plus the ability to independently negotiate suitable trade deals with the rest of the globe – Iceland is an excellent example.

      • Full Name

        https://fullfact.org/economy/jobs_dependent_linked_membership_trade_eu-30790

        Study from circa 2004 (ie 10 years ago) is past it’s sell by date; it dictates that jobs could be at risk, not will be lost on Brexit as it depends on exports not on EU political union.
        On Germany they have a strong economic and political pressure to provide the UK with favorable trading terms due to their export surplus to the UK of cars. You’ve got it twisted: Germany is simply run a lot better than the dunderheads in government in the UK.

      • Smithersjones2013

        How can Farage ‘ruin’ what has already been wrecked by Cameron, Clegg, Brown, Blair and Major and their pals in Brussels?

        All Farage can do is remove the wreckage of our society and rebuild it free of external interference. Its time to rid of ourselves of the old outdated political settlement and its establishment parties and start afresh.

        • Kitty MLB

          Indeed, ‘ The Peoples Army’ These will be the betrayed voters, who until now didn’t have a party-
          UKIP- The New Party for Old Labour ( it will catch on ! )
          These are the ones who will be pulled from the wreckage
          of our society and given a party that will represent them.

      • Magnolia

        I think our leader(?) was very silly to use the word extremist in that context and he may yet rue the day that he did.
        No doubt it was a minion soundbite suggestion but probably also reflects his own view.
        Reflect on the fact that it itself will sound ‘extreme’ to many, many voters.
        They might not like that.
        They might be put off from voting for that view.

        • AnotherDave

          That is a very good point. Mr Cameron told the decided voters in the pro/anti EU camps that he doesn’t like them.

          • Kitty MLB

            I hate it when I am forced to defend someone I do not see as
            my leader. But I shall always be honest. What absolute balderdash, he never said no such thing.
            He clearly does not like Farage or Clegg or their unmovable
            views. Cameron is a middle ground chap.
            That place where Thatcher said you would be run over by the traffic coming in both directions- and she was Right-
            the loathsome, undecided middle-ground- neither here or there.

            • AnotherDave

              “The problem with this debate is both of the people taking part actually have quite extreme views.”

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10741326/David-Cameron-Clegg-and-Farage-are-both-extremists-on-Europe.html

              Those are also the positions of the decided pro-EU voters, and the decided anti-EU voters.

              • Kitty MLB

                And lovely Nigel was on the winning side as most want to
                leave the EU. Clegg is anti- English, he would happily leave the country tomorrow with his delightful Spanish wife, if he could. Clegg is the most unpopular leader in the UK and
                the Lib Dems are the most unpopular party. And was never
                going to convince anyone.

                • Wessex Man

                  I see nothing wrong in Nigel Farage’s view that this Nation should make it’s own laws be answerable to it’s own people, strike Trade Deals on it’s own, refuse to be drawn into Barroso’s dream of an Euroean Empire (his words not mine), make war on others who do not share the European dream and want close our borders to mass immgration into what is now the most densely populated Western Nation.

                • Shazza

                  Barroso is on record as saying that his hero is Chairman Mao.
                  Says it all really.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I already have been. I detest Cameron almost as much as I detest Miliband. He divides where he ought to unite and meddles where he ought to stay clear. He seems to think saying something is as good as doing it.

          • Magnolia

            He’s going for that fantasy middle ground again while tearing up dear Lord T’s common ground.

          • telemachus

            Colonel Mustard
            I am disgusted by your action
            What are you frightened of?

            • Colonel Mustard

              What am I frightened of? Nothing much at my age although government by Son of Communist and a sojourn in one of Burnham’s killing camps looms on bleak days.

              • telemachus

                Why private
                Frit?

        • Kitty MLB

          No you must not twist, a leftie trick that and very un conservative. That wretched man said extreme views,
          unmovable views set in stone. So therefore not being able to listen to the other side or take on board their opinions.
          Farage wants to leave without question and Clegg wants to stay without question. And so therefore there was no debate.
          That was all Cameron was saying, making more of it is ridiculous. I am no supporter of Cameron, but even so,
          what a remark.

          • Wessex Man

            Kitty, you know I like you, you are one of the most reasonable posters on here but you are completely wrong about Cameron, there’s no way he is ever going to get ex-tories to flock back to his standard after calling them Nutjobs and fruitcakes for merely wanting a referendum about the EU.

            He seems to be in complete denial of reality, just yesterday he stated that “£11 billion Foreign Aid is my proudest act.”

            What he’s proud that this country continues to give foreign aid to China, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Indian? Two of which are amongst the Richest countries in the World and have their own space programmes and two of the other three are amongst the biggest trading countries in the world and the one left, Argentina wants war with us.

            • Colonel Mustard

              “He seems to be in complete denial of reality, just yesterday he stated that “£11 billion Foreign Aid is my proudest act.””

              All of which money comes from taxpayers, is not his to give away and his largesse is in the context of a monumental debt that he tells his own people that they must bear by austerity. The man is a silly nincompoop, a juvenile gesture politician who confuses emotive sentimentalism with ‘doing the right thing’, ironically one of his favourite phrases.

              If he had any courage he would stand up and say “Sorry World, would love to help out but I owe my first loyalty to the people who elected my government and we are in a bad way ourselves.”

              The fact that he is proud of his silliness makes me detest him even more.

              • Andy

                Indeed. Cut Foreign Aid and you cut the deficit by 10%.

            • Kitty MLB

              I Like you too. You are also very reasonable ( Even Towards
              Right- Wing Stubborn Tories) I am aware that my supposed leader is utterly unbelievable and you always wonder what he will come our with next, to make you cringe. He is totally clueless
              and had a little book of his ideals to tick off until he wanders off to another job. Which will be soon by the way, regardless
              of the election result, even if he wins, he intends to go off with his family within a few years.
              Also the way he makes personal insults is a disgrace, I don’t
              know why politics has become so personal instead of disagreeing about policies like politicians did when they had
              gravitas and integrity.
              Yet regardless of what he thinks, he’s not bigger then my party a lot of people have left. My Kipper friends at Con Home say they thing I want to be the very last person in
              The Conservative party and remain a thorn in Cameron’s
              side maybe that is it.

          • Raddiy

            Kitty, you are being far to generous to him in your defence of his use of the word extremist. If he didn’t have history for this type of subliminal insult then perhaps we could give him the benefit of the doubt, but he does have history, and we would be fools to defend him.

            As a kipper from the beginning I have seen this type of covert subliminal insult used not just by Cameron, but nearly all the MSM year after year. It is a deliberate policy to create a perception in the mind of the public that tars everybody in UKIP with the same brush. The use of ‘closet racist’ was intended to create the perception that all kippers were racist, and which was used for years by all and sundry to tar every one of us, and to a degree it worked when children were removed from foster parents because they were UKIP supporters.

            Extremist is a word in the world of today that has strong visual imagery to the public to the war against terrorism. Cameron I have no doubt was trying to create a link between that type of extremism and UKIP, I just cannot accept your analysis.

            I acknowledge your defence of a Conservative party that no longer exists, but you do yourself no favours by defending this duplicitious shyster

            • Kitty MLB

              Hello lovely Raddy.
              I was not actually defending him, I still think him a miscreant.
              It was just a difference of opinion in regards to a word or two,
              I guess I was wrong. And by the way I thought Nigel did
              splendidly – ‘The Peoples Army’- as we all said yesterday,
              that will appeal to the abandoned Old-Labour voters
              who have no party. And some Lefties here are very concerned about that. I believe and others here do,
              that UKIP will replace Labour as the Conservatives official
              opposition in the HOC.
              And you know me, a thorn in Cameron’s side and the last
              person standing in the Conservative party.

              • Raddiy

                Kitty, My apologies if I misunderstood your intent. Coming late to the debate sometimes makes it difficult to follow the comment thread.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Actually you always understand my muddled
                  posts very well. Its nice that you are here anyway. Maybe you have been wandering
                  those bleak Yorkshire moors again,
                  Finding lost treasures 🙂

          • Magnolia

            To be fair the DT reported that DC had said that they both held extreme views. It was the DT that described the PM’s words as meaning that they were both extremists.
            An extremist is someone who holds extreme political or fanatical views.
            Am I really wrong in saying that Mr Cameron should not have said that for fear of alienating a large number of potential voters who would either agree with NF or NC but who would also not see themselves as holding extreme views?

            • Wessex Man

              answer me this then Magnolia, why if he thinks Clegg is an extremist did he enter Government with him as a junior partner

              who now has him by his coatails. Maybe David Cameron is nothing more than an opportunist!

              • Magnolia

                That’s sort of the point that I’m trying to make.
                By describing a perfectly legitimate view as extreme, he is in fact being stupid because he is alienating a lot of people who follow those views and as we can see he is in fact indulging in labelling or ‘smearing’ his political opponents for his own ends.
                The PM has in fact told us that only EU ‘undecided’ or EU ‘reformists’ ( ha ha) like him are not extreme with its implication that he is ‘reasonable’.
                We know that he is far from undecided but then that’s also part of the game.
                The common ground would be to say that his view is X, Mr Clegg and Mr Farage are entitled to their views which are polar opposites and that the correct view will be formed by the overall view as expressed in a fair referendum which will be the express wishes of the British people.
                Even then there will have to be some sort of provision for a say, 51% majority vote which would be too divisive to work for ever.

              • Fergus Pickering

                All politicians are opportunists. That’s what it’s all about. The lord save us from politicians with unbending principles. Oliver Cromwell said, ‘Bethink ye, in the bowels of Christ, that you may be mistaken.’ Or words to that effect. And don’t trot Maggie out. She was capable of changing her mind and seeing she had been mistaken. She was, initially, a supporter of the Common Market..

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The problem is, you Camerluvvies are unbending in your zeal for socialism, like all of your LibLabCon clones.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Do try to keep up. My vote belongs to the wonderful Nigel Farage, and has for… oh a good week.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …well, it’s hard to keep up with you Camerluvvies. You’re light as a feather and blow hither and yon.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Moving from the conservatives to UKIP is not exactly hither, thither and yon. I changed my mind, that’s all. That happens to people who have minds to change..So do take note.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  It’s beyond the beyond for you Camerluvvies, lad. But as I say, we’ll see what sticks with you, and it’s generally not anything principled.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Yes, and that’s it in a nutshell. Dave is too stupid to understand that his words there, words handed to him by his highly paid marketing politickers, condemn him. He condemns himself, and he’s too stupid to understand this.

                It’s hard to believe anyone could be this stupid and rise this high in government, but we’re seeing it with our very own eyes. Only the supreme incompetence and treachery of Lab could have possibly permitted such a muppet to arrive there. This guy has no political nous whatsoever. Only his fellow wets could possibly think otherwise. This guy continues to demonstrate a cavernous void of political understanding. He’s shot himself in the foot so often, I can’t see as how there any target left there. And now, the electorate is set to do exactly what they did in 2010… vote down the incompetent idiots in government. Same as it ever was .

      • Wessex Man

        You really are a tired old record, add to that you didn’t watch the debates means you can’t possibly contribute to the discussion as you have nothing to useful to add to the debate, ah hang on you never have!

      • Andy

        Why don’t you actually go and watch the debates ? Even you, EU-fascist that you are, would be dismayed at Cleggs dreadful performance. As someone said above he has done the pro-EU side huge damage.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Yes. Lovely, isn’t it?

      • telemachus

        Why lovely?

        Those of us who believe passionately in our great nation were profoundly depressed about the demagoguery reminiscent of some of the most dangerous practitioners of the last century

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxrU7gcOQnI

        • Fergus Pickering

          I must say Nigel Farage is not very reminiscent of Adolf Hitler. Clegg perhaps. You tell barefaced lies often enough and people will believe you. Except that they don’t.

          • Wessex Man

            not anymore with all our different access to details that were denied for years.

            • telemachus

              Opaque son

              • Wessex Man

                Am I your son are you that old? Your’re not Dennis Skinner in disguise areyou?

                • telemachus

                  Sadly not
                  I would be honoured to sit in his shoes

                • Harold Angryperson

                  The rest of us would just be honoured to s hit in them.

                • gerontius

                  “I would be honoured to sit in his shoes”
                  I doubt if he would feel honoured Telemachus:For all his faults Skinner never betrayed those who elected him

                • Wessex Man

                  oh dear, dear tele, you don’t know much about dear Dennis do you.

                • Kitty MLB

                  No he really doesn’t . What did Mr Skinner do during the 13 years of New Labour I wondered. And did he spout at Blair
                  in the same way. I assume he must recognise that the party
                  he is a member of now is totally different from the party
                  of Foot. And that Miliband doesn’t represent traditional
                  Labour voters. And that someone else will.

                • telemachus

                  There is no leftist straightjacket
                  We are a broad church
                  We rely on Bolsover and the rest of the disadvantaged communities

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “There is no leftist straightjacket”

                  Yeah, they dance happily on the streets of North Korea too.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSd7GS5OoMU

                • Kitty MLB

                  Telemachus says Labour is a broad church.
                  More like a narrow echo chamber. With UKIP pushing
                  the walls in very fast squeezing them out..Ouch!
                  Come over to the right side Telemachus, abandon Labour.

          • telemachus

            The big lies in relation to Europe were peddled on Wednesday by Farage

            • Kitty MLB

              Well clearly we need another debate on Europe
              with all party leaders present. As said many
              times Clegg is the most unpopular leader and
              the Lib Dems the most unpopular party.
              No one listens to Clegg or trusts him, so
              was he the best person to have at this debate.

              • telemachus

                I agree it was stupid to have Clegg allow Farage to appear sane

                • Kitty MLB

                  I Want us to leave the EU but will listen
                  to the other side. The issue was the weak
                  and unconvincing Clegg. If I wanted to stay,
                  I would not have chosen him to convince others. Some one who still holds a smidgeon
                  of respect is far more worthwhile and
                  someone who likes the UK.
                  You know as well as me that he will shoot
                  off to a job in then EU as soon as he can.

                • Wessex Man

                  You are sadly wasting your time reasoning with him.

                • Kitty MLB

                  He sometimes answers questions. He’s clearly
                  Still troubled by the debate and staying
                  somewhat strangely silent.Labour are
                  very rattled by that Debate, especially
                  Miliband by his response.

                • telemachus

                  Tosh Kitty
                  It was pure comical theatre

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Comical theatre which has got you so rattled that you have to post desperate denials as hilarious as Comical Ali. You are almost as much a Faragophobe as you are a Goveophobe, a UKIP-denier.

                  Quite enjoyable to see you racing up and down the thread huffing and puffing about the great man who is stealing your party’s voters. Lots of comments around the net from former Labour voters expressing the intent to vote UKIP, one even stating today that he joined the party after watching the debate.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Do you suppose Labours voters feel the same? Farage
                  has drawn a line in the sand and is clearly going after Labour
                  voters, and he had to make a choice as Labour voters and
                  Conservative voters are so very different ( regardless of what
                  others say about leadership). Is Milipede strong enough
                  to defeat him I wonder?

                • telemachus

                  Farage with his oiled jacket and country pubs is the epitomy of privilege
                  He has no chance

                • Wessex Man

                  not rund here where most of the wax jackets stink of cowsh** and the Farmers have worked 12 hour days, you should get out more.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Don’t conflate privilege with rural England which you urban communists hate. You feel you don’t belong and it fills you with spite and envy.

                • telemachus

                  Yes indeed
                  I detest the armchair home counties smug set

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I wrote ‘rural England’. You wrote ‘the armchair home counties smug set’.

                  That tells us everything we already knew about you.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and vice versa.

                • telemachus

                  You know as well as I do that this was an opportunist grab by a clown and a fool

                • Kitty MLB

                  He is not a fool Telemacus, he is very clever
                  and has a way with words. You know that.

                • telemachus

                  Which one?

                • Kitty MLB

                  The one that it would be foolish to underestimate.

                • gerontius

                  Your panicking because he is making a plausible play for the working class voters who used to support the Labour Party.
                  It’s your own fault Telemachus, you shouldn’t have screwed them.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Labour have been panicking ever since they elected Ed Milibum as leader. When the Tories made a similar mistake they got rid of him. But you lot are not going to do that, I am happy to say.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and you Camerluvvies aren’t going to get rid of your boat anchor, either.

                • gerontius

                  What’s with the “you lot” Fergus?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  lefties.

                • gerontius

                  Funny old world, other people call me “rightie”.
                  I guess deep down I have a sort of tribalism thing – you don’t do down your own.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Indeed the party of this current bunch are as far removed
                  from the traditional English working class voter as they could possibly be. I can imagine when Ed Miliband visits Doncaster
                  that he holds his nose- he doesn’t represent them- far happier
                  in Oxford. No. Old -Labour will vote for UKIP I am quite sure.

                • Wessex Man

                  now come Tele, if you like admire and respect Nigel Farage you would know there’s none so silly as those that won’t see.

                • telemachus

                  I see
                  I marvel
                  But a also see vapidity

                • Wessex Man

                  I know, I know that Clegg tried to claim the show but was just too insipid. Never mind we get a better debate when Cameron stops being moody and Miliband get’s a spine.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Oh. And what were they? What is the leftie line on this?

              • telemachus

                As you well know there is not a lefty line on anything but we ‘aspire to share ideas and concerns among men and women everywhere, especially where such ideas and their expression are less than prominent in today’s media and political arenas’.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  And who told you, my old mouthpiece, to say that?

                • telemachus

                  Reasonableness becomes ingrained in the soul

                • Kitty MLB

                  But unfortunately not in a dark void of a Labour soul.
                  Reasonableness is removed with every other positive
                  attribute during the brainwashing process.

                • Wessex Man

                  As does physiocopathic sociailism my dear friend.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You are far from reasonable. Boasting, hubris and telling lies are the characteristics that come to mind when your name is spotted.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “Reasonableness becomes ingrained in the soul”

                  How would you know? You have neither.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Which is code for “we aspire to control what men and women everywhere think, say and do”.

            • Colonel Mustard

              The big lies are peddled by Labour and by their Little Miss Echo Chamber here.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Which lies were those, o wise one?

              • telemachus

                A lie also refers to bending of the truth
                ie most of his remarks

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You should know. Your bending of the truth resembles a bent corkscrew.

          • Patrick Gearon

            That was just an argument for its own sake Fergus. Clegg is certainly no Hitler but he has helped to create the circumstances by which the country would need a Hitler ,i.e. a Farage in our case to sort things out. So a little bit of Farage right now is a good thing but we must be prepared to vote him out. Power corrupts all heads of state eventually so it must remain dispersed in the hands of the people, never consolidated.
            I will vote Farage but I do hope he keeps to his word i.e. in being a turkey that votes for Xmas. That of course is for the future to see isn’t it?

            • Fergus Pickering

              Where did Farge say h would abandon elections? I must have missed it. It is the left that wants to abandon elections.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Well, it’s certainly worked for your buddy Dave.

        • Kitty MLB

          Telemachus. Who was Oswald Mosley.
          Someone at Con Home ( a leftie, like you) mentioned him.
          Also, have you noticed our great nation recently. And
          why doesn’t Ed Miliband want to debate with Nigel Farage
          next May he has said he only wants to debate with Cameron.
          We need to know everyone’s opinion in regards to running
          a country policies etc.. That’s not up to miliband alone to decide.

          • telemachus

            Why give a demagogue legitimacy?

            • Kitty MLB

              Who was he, I honestly do not know.

              • telemachus

                A minor aristocrat who created a seat for racist Peter Griffiths in Birmingham( the slogan is familiar to Farage) and had a minor central european leader who later committed suicide as his best man

            • Colonel Mustard

              I don’t think you know what ‘demagogue’ means, except in the Alice and Humpty Dumpty sense.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Read the great P G Wdehouse where Moseley appears as Spode, the leader of the blackshorts. He also designs ladies’ underwear as a sideline..

            • Kitty MLB

              I shall do that. It sounds hilarious and I haven’t read Wodehouse for a while. I have a German friend who just
              doesn’t understand English people’s humour. Maybe
              I shall get her to read a few Wodehouse books- he can
              explain better then I.
              Anyway, I shall find the one you mention and will enjoy
              reading it.

              • telemachus

                Better read “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Nah. It’s very dull.

                • Kitty MLB

                  What else do you read
                  Telemachus. The books a person reads tells rather a lot
                  about the reader. I am intrigued.

                • telemachus

                  You know already

                  Utopia, Road to Wigan Pier, The Jungle, The Iron Heel-or for lighter reading Beyond the Crash and Letters to My Grandchildren: Lessons for the Future

                  .

                  *

                  How about you

                  Henry Williamson’s chronicle of ancient sunlight series?

              • Fergus Pickering

                The egregious Spode appears in many books, in later ones raised to the peerage but ‘The Code f the Woosters’ is the one where he is introduced.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I shall read that one first then.
                  I am wondering if anyone here ( that includes you Telemachus) reads Evelyn Waugh. Sometimes instead
                  of saying a characters name, he will describe them as
                  someone who will ‘whift in like a scented breeze ‘.
                  Although, I have recently been informed that he was a Leftie.
                  That will appeal to Telemachus.

                • telemachus

                  “Oxford, in those days, was still a city of aquatint. In her spacious and quiet streets men walked and spoke as they had done in Newman’s day; her autumnal mists, her grey springtime, and the rare glory of her summer days – such as that day – when the chestnut was in flower and the bells rang out high and clear over her gables and cupolas, exhaled the soft airs of centuries of youth. It was this cloistral hush which gave our laughter its resonance, and carried it still, joyously, over the intervening clamour.”
                  *
                  As a nauseating epitaph on privilege Brideshead cannot be bested

                • Kitty MLB

                  Those words are quite enchanting, not a nauseating epitaph
                  in regards to privilege. By the way, these little digs at Oxford.
                  I believe you attended that fine university as did most of the
                  Labour front bench. So you appreciate Waugh do you.
                  What about Aldous Huxley’ s Brave New World-
                  and reconditioning centres for Lefties as described in his books.

                • Wessex Man

                  Go for it girl!

                • telemachus

                  Indeed my visceral political views were honed in the JCR listening to thevnauseatin loud priveleged public school types that insisted on shouting down those they regarded as grammar school oiks

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Your party destroyed the grammar school and thereby arrested social mobility.

                  That chip on your shoulder reveals its cause. The protuberance of every lefty grievance monkey I have ever known, the envy and spite thinly camouflaged by expressions of bogus concern for the poor and aspirations of equality (which means pulling down and destroying everything of worth).

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You don’t mean ‘privilege’ you mean Englishness. You hate it and wish it destroyed.

                • glurk

                  The poor lamb doesnt really know what privilege is. I bet he didnt put any hard earned readies to go to Oxford. Not that it matters. Im just amazed they let in someone with a black pudd’n for a brain like his.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  There is something very bourgeois about autumnal mists. And as for those grey springtimes…….

                • Fergus Pickering

                  As it happens I last wek reread ‘Put Out More Flags’ which is the best thing about the ‘phoney war’ in 1939-1940 I have ever read.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Excellent. A very fitting closure to ‘ Bright Young Things’
                  Superb characters, vibrant & eccentric with scathing wit,
                  Some say Basil Seal & Bertie Wooster are two versions
                  of the same people- I shall leave that judgement to others.
                  I have been reading detective stories most recently.
                  Such as Dorothy L Sayers and PD James. But I must
                  read Chesterton’s Father Brown at some point.
                  As well as the books you have recommended-
                  should keep me out of mischief for a while.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Chesteron is a must. Since you have an ear for style, you will appreciate him. A Colected Father Brown is dirt cheap on Amazon. It was PLAYING Father Brown in a film that turned Alec Guinness into a Catholic..

                • Kitty MLB

                  Sounds intriguing, especially if converted a miserable atheist ( but fine actor) like Guinness. Chesterton was friends with
                  H G Wells who created utterly hilarious and quite thought
                  provoking,’ The History of Mr Polly’ John Mills played Mr
                  Polly is a screen adaption.
                  I have found the collection of Father Brown on Amazon, Fergus. And most certainly will order them..

                • Fergus Pickering

                  The film is not much good though it does contain Peter Finch. Guinness admits he was an uneducated man (and consequently vaguely atheistic).

                • Kitty MLB

                  I think there is a link between a lack of education & atheism.
                  Always prefer the written word, so will buy the books. I also
                  probably should not admit to this ( husband thinks I am a fruitcake and so will you) I will read some random classic
                  and the same book on kindle at the very same time.
                  Just to prove how inferior the kindle version is and they also
                  leave out words. Its fine when traveling or short stories etc
                  but not the classics in my very humble opinion
                  I am surprised Alec Guinness was an uneducated chap,
                  but there you go….

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I think it is also true that any fool can gain a Science degree, which is mainly a matter of memorising stuff. These fools then decide that Science proves there is no God when of course it does no such thing. And, like fools everywhere, they club together to denigrate the intelliegent – that’s you and me.

                • Kitty MLB

                  So very true. Science is trial and error and making stuff up.
                  Dismissing all they cannot explain. Ask Scientists what happened before the ‘ Big Bang’ and they will say Nothing existed, Rubbish, you cannot create Matter from nothing.
                  Scientists are a bunch of crackpots if you ask me.
                  And as you say club together to denigrate those who disagree with their mighty opinions…such as life !

        • Wessex Man

          Your right, I’ve always said that Miliband, Clegg and Cameron are very reminiscent of Hitler and Stalin, especially in the way they are now seeking to gag the British Press, it’s so good to agree with you for once.

          • telemachus

            Not sure I can agree with bracketing those historical figures
            One a Fragian demagogue and the other who delivered freedom from the yoke of tyranny to Europe

            • Wessex Man

              One, a National Socialist who butchered millions of innocent people and the other a raving communist who butchered even more, I think your brain has gone out wack there again tele.

              • telemachus

                You forget the deliverance of his people after Barbarossa

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …yes, those people in Ukraine are so grateful for that today, why they’re just welcoming in Stalin’s successor Putin and… ….er…. wait a minute here …

                • telemachus

                  Yes the good folk of Crimea and East Ukraine are

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, those Ukrainians are welcoming Stalin’s successors with open arms, which is why they’re digging trenches and mobilizing to fire on them, I guess.

                • telemachus

                  You speak of the West Ukrainians
                  The descendants of the camp guards

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, I speak of the descendants of the millions and millions and millions of Ukrainians that Stalin murdered.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Your half-witted hagiography of Stalin is undoubtedly one of the most repulsive aspects of your trolling. You really do not have a clue about either Stalin or the history of Eastern Europe before or after Barbarossa.

                • telemachus

                  There are great men in the history of any country whose totality of actions do not bear scrutiny
                  When I was in Yekateringburg in February I was struck again how the average Russian revered Stalin, mainly for his deliverance of his people from doom in the Great patriotic war but also in giving them ascendancy in military matters and space over the Great Satan Uncle Sam
                  Russians like strong men
                  They made it quite clear they have progressively lost respect for Britain since Thatcher
                  God knows what they think of Obama since Ukraine

                • Wessex Man

                  When we were in Moscow last we were struck by how the Russians can seem to party for 24 hours and drink us under the table. There wasn’t anyone revering Stalin at all!

                • telemachus

                  In Moscow too
                  As they slide under they curse Gorby and Yeltsin and laud Stalin and Putin

                • Wessex Man

                  For you to say that my friend proves to me you’ve never been there.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Still scrambling about desperately here? Farage really got to you, really rattled your cage. Let’s hope he cooks your goose too.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yes I expect the communist party old comrades and dinosaurs you dally with from the days when your party subverted Britain and was funded with Moscow’s gold do pine for the days when their dogma could be enforced by state sponsored murder on an epic scale.

                  In 1969 I was much disappointed that Excelsior never came off and that we were confined to barracks for 72 hours instead.

  • AnotherDave

    Yesterday’s YouGov (Westminster) poll put the LDs on 10%.

    Is there any sign of the LDs gaining from Mr Clegg’s participation in the debates?

  • Hello

    “And building up Farage as a right-wing bogeyman helps”

    But that’s exactly what he’s always been — a narrow minded right-wing, racist, xenophobic little Englander advocating a policy of isolation: a large portion of people that said Clegg won probably did so purely on the principle that they could not stand even the idea of a Farage victory.

    There were enormous amounts of people that moved from exit being bad for Britain to it making no difference. The debate has made people more apathetic, and they’ll prove more difficult to reengage — long-term he has made it more difficult for himself.

    Clegg may have secured a very temporary gain for himself and his needy band of activists, but it was a c*ck-up by every other measure.

    • Pootles

      ‘Little Englander’ – translates as not thinking it is a good idea smashing up other people in other people’s countries. Translates as not being part of the perpetual war party. In recent times we have had the ‘success’ stories of Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Killing, maiming and destroying, as part of a US led gang. And, wasting UK taxpayers’ money, not to mention the lives of British (and Fijian and Nepalese) young people – doubt if Nicky’s boys will be down the recruting office when they are 17!

      • Hello

        Ja ja ja, I really don’t care.

        • Pootles

          Really? Then why bother posting in the first place?

          • Hello

            I really don’t care to ranted at.

            • Pootles

              What ‘rant’ ? I was just questioning the negative use of the term ‘little Englander’.

              • Wessex Man

                This Hello is so typical of the EUSSRs suppoters, it’s fine to slag off anyone who doesn’t share you views but then when challenged accuses reasonable people of ranting- pathetic.

            • Michele Keighley

              Then you are certainly in the wrong place

    • Hexhamgeezer

      ‘But that’s exactly what he’s always been — a narrow minded right-wing, racist, xenophobic little Englander advocating a policy of isolation’

      Any evidence for that?

      • Hello

        I meant that is how he has always been portrayed.

        • MirthaTidville

          But thats not what you said above, is it?

          • Hello

            I was trying to convey a different perspective. I think that because of the quote I chose to begin with, which implied “portrayal” (“building him up as”), that was sufficiently clear.

            • Andy

              And Clegg is an anti British (English) racist and bigot. That came over quite clearly on Wednesday.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Farage himself might be a “little englander” (a horridly pejorative term that if used to describe any other ethnicity would no doubt attract the attention of the armed wing of the social services) but his party campaigns on a United Kingdom identity.

    • ButcombeMan

      Sigh.
      UKIP is not advocating a policy of isolation.
      UKIP is a world free trade party, the free traders the Tories used to be.

  • Pootles

    What ‘coalition of pro-EU voters’? Pro-EU types in the Labour and Conservative parties do not define themselves by their stance on the EU above all else (uber alles, I suppose), so that leaves pro-EU voters in the Lib Dems and nowhere else. Also, the entire membership of the Lib Dems (probably less than 40,000) aren’t all hugely pro-EU either. So, Nicholas was appealing to a very small group of people – hardly worth the public drubbing he got at Farage’s hands. Further, if half the Lib Dems donated a fiver, that might just have covered the costs of their special party newsletter – top strategies, eh?!

    • Conway

      I saw Clegg’s willingness to put the pro-EU case (although, frankly, he was abysmal) as an advertising job for his credentials for a nice, lucrative EU post when he lost his seat at Westminster.

      • Pootles

        Yes, you are probably right there. Though, of course, for someone of Clegg’s standing such an EU ‘retirement’ present will merely be part of a portfolio of pleasant ‘jobs’ once he is out of the Commons.

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