Saturday, September 18, 2010

There's No Future For...Hang On a Minute...There Is #IAgreeWithNick #IndyFail

This is the front page of the Independent that caused a stooshie around about the time of the 10 o'clock news bulletins and Newsnight. Quite a little bit of mischief was being created from all sorts of quarters. But that isn't the full quote indeed it isn't a direct quote at all. It is a headline truncation of this from an interview Nick Clegg gave:

"There were some people, particularly around the height of the Iraq war, who gave up on the Labour Party and turned to the Liberal Democrats as a sort of left-wing conscience of the Labour Party.

"I totally understand that some of these people are not happy with what the Lib Dems are doing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Lib Dems never were and aren't a receptacle for left-wing dissatisfaction with Labour. There is no future for that; there never was."

Now that does not say no future as a party of the left merely not as a receptacle of dissatisfied members from a party of the left. Which is true. I've always seen myself as a left leaning member of a centrist party, but never as left leaning as the Labour party of my youth. (Younger readers may shocked to learn that once upon a time Labour were a party of the far left in this country, the years BT [before Tony]).

Now I've always described myself as socially liberal with economically liberal tendencies some of my Lib Dem colleagues describe themselves as the reverse. That is neither left nor right over all, but certainly aims to be progressive. Progressive both for business and for individuals. Not hindering one for the benefit of the other as both the Tory and Labour parties tend to do.

That is what being a liberal is all about, however it appears that the front page designed of today's Independent didn't understand that and took their own slant on the quote out of context and changed the meaning entirely.

The result. I still agree with Nick.


KelvinKid said...

OK Stephen, Clegg is doing what he does so well: actually saying nothing much. He writes in such a wild unfocused fashion that you can take out of his writing any number of meanings. Ultimately however they all end up the same. He asserts that L/liberal values will win the day but ties them to the Conservative manifesto.

I did not vote for the timing and severity of the coalition cuts and neither did you. Clegg's reasons for conversion to the Tory time-scale and depth of cuts have been shown to be entirely spurious. Neither did I vote for the entirely Tory NHS and welfare policies being foisted on us with much assertion but no proof.

I think you are being naive Stephen and I think Clegg is being disingenuous.

Munguin said...

It’s nice that Nick can always count on you Stephen.

Standing as an MSP next year for Linlithgow, on a shortlist somewhere, or are you on some regional list? Not that I am implying that is the reason for your unshakable support for Nick.

Such a shame that so few other voters appear to still agree with Nick. I see that in the last Yougov poll the Lib Dems had collapsed to 12% (that’s a long way from what it was when everyone agreed with Nick). While a leaderless Labour party, presumably still reeling from the, erherm election drubbing you and the Tories gave them, has managed to close the gap on the Tories to 1%. Doesn’t seem to be going well entering conference season does it?

Anonymous said...

@Munguin You rely on polls rather than real results?

Just last Thursday we did fine in the by elections.

More people agree with Nick than YouGov are saying ;-)

Gwenhwyfaer said...

In a party which remains more accountable to its members than either of the others, it seems to be that its future is whatever its membership wants it to be. Clegg appears to have told a vast swathe of its membership - including two or three of its past leaders - to GTFO, because it's his party now.

Fine. I didn't need telling twice.

Oh, and Labour was never a party of the "far left", any more than the Tories were a party of the "far right". That's a despicable thing to say.

Munguin said...

Yes Chris that is the clarion call of everybody who does badly in an opinion poll, I was wondering who would trot that old Chestnut out.

I’m wondering if you were so sceptical about opinion polls when Nick and the Lib Dems were second rather than third, at the height of the “I agree with Nick” furore. Don’t bother to say that you were that would just be another expected reaction.

As you so rightly say the proof of the pudding will be in the eating and everyone apparently agreeing with Nick did not transmit into actual votes and you came a dismal third. So clearly at that juncture a lot less people were agreeing with Nick than yougov were saying!

Great news on the by-election result for you, sorry though I don’t know what by-election you are talking about. That’s because by-elections are often purely of local interest, fought by local people on local issues and usually don’t transmit into the wider picture. The SNP know that because we lost our by-election gain of Glasgow East, I would have thought that the Lib Dems would also more than know that as they also lost their Scottish by-election gain of Dunfermline and West Fife.

Munguin said...

My understanding of the recent eight by-elections gives the Lib Dems taking seats from the Tories but not from Labour. Overall it puts you on 22% considerably better than yougovs 12%. But then that is based on council wards not national voting intentions and these results can be considerably skewed by local factors as I say. Taking seats from your coalition partners is not doing well in my book, you know you are part of the Government with the Tories now you need to make headway against Labour and you’re not. Neither are the Tories the eight results mentioned give Labour a 4.6% lead over the Tories rather than the 1% behind indicated by yougov. So however, you look at it the only people agreeing with Nick are erstwhile Tories while considerably more are agreeing with a leaderless Labour party. If that is the best the coalition can do then your five years does not look all that hopeful to me.


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