Simon Jenkins, at the Guardian, has written an encomium for Nick Clegg that is so absurdly at odds with the reality of the self-serving oik that it beggars belief. Only a man isolated, by money and circumstance, from Cameron’s depredations, enabled by Clegg and the LimpDems, could have written such egregious tripe which, among much else that was detached from reality, included this garbage:-
“Tolstoy was right about Nick Clegg. After a moment of free will after the 2010 election, he was trapped in the vice of historical necessity. He is like Kutusov at the battle of Borodino, “a simple, modest and therefore truly great figure” who has given Britain two and a half years of political stability. He should be thanked, not vilified.”
Take the first sentence – how in hell could Tolstoy be right about Clegg, separated in time and by geography as they were? I know what Jenkins means by that, as will most people, but what he means is not what he’s written. At best it’s a desperately poor, and pretentious, piece of writing. As for being “trapped in a vice of historical necessity” that’s so at odds with the truth it makes my teeth hurt. He should not be thanked, but condemned utterly, not least for impersonating a Liberal Democrat.
The only thing Clegg was trapped in was the web of his own overweening ambition – a big fish from a tiny pool, swimming with sharks and praying not to get eaten. Which was achieved by promising support for Cameron in every eventuality up to and including a confidence vote, and if that’s not subverting the parliamentary process then it comes pretty bloody close, as it makes it impossible to get rid of a government which has become staggeringly corrupt – a look at the list of Tory MPs and peers who benefitted from selling off the NHS will demonstrate that perfectly.
Jenkins’ article appears in the Guardian’s Comment is free section, which takes his name from something former editor CP Scott said in 1921 “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.” Jenkins seems to have overlooked that bit about facts.
This is a slightly amended version of my response, which so far has been well received (if you’re reading the comment, I’m LePendu):-
Simon, if you ever join the ranks of the sick and disabled, or the unemployed – or simply the poor and vulnerable, scrabbling for access to justice – you might get some idea of the depth of hatred we bear for Clegg in his role as Cameron’s enabler.
Thanks to Clegg** the Welfare State is almost destroyed, and the chronically sick and disabled have become pariahs, the NHS is being sold off to Tory party supporters, and legal aid is all but history.
None of that would have been remotely possible without the support of the power-mad Clegg, who is too dumb to realise that all he has is the illusion of power.
And if, by “has performed as well as could be expected,” you mean he has maintained in power the most mendacious and corrupt government in modern times. then yes, he’s been a great success – just be thankful that you are insulated from their, and his, worst excesses – it must be nice, up there in your ivory tower. Didn’t know you could get such potent rose-coloured glasses, though.
**And the Queen who, apparently, is content to rubber-stamp anything Cameron puts in front of her. He is, after all, the old baggage’s fifth cousin, being descended from a bastard of William IV – she’s not going to embarrass family, now is she? Even though, in supporting him, she has advanced the cause of republicanism enormously, including at least one convert – me.
This painting of William IV is interesting too – clearly the Spam-faced arrogance of Cameron has its origins in his ancestor (well, the face, at least), though Cameron, however much he tries, will never be the man his ancestor was.