Nick Clegg needs cutting down to size – Tebbit

It is always good fun when right-wing Tories get all het up about Nick Clegg, fulminating that David Cameron should jolly well do something about it.

Norman Tebbit provides today’s entertainment along these lines under the headline: Nick Clegg needs cutting down to size. If only the Prime Minister was brave enough to do the job.

He is specifically exercised about immigration and the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. Employing all his skills as “the Chingford Skinhead” he culminates with this:

It seems that Mr Cameron is prevented from doing anything to bring the nonsense to an end – and the repeal of Labour’s Human Rights Act would be a good start – by threats from his Deputy Mr Clegg. That puffed-up fellow would be easily cut down to size if the Prime Minister simply said: “That is tough my friend. You can support me or precipitate an election on the issue and see your party wiped off the map.”

Given that last sentence, one wonders whether the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 have entirely sunk in Chez Tebbit…

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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17 Comments

  • The noble lord is right. Cameron can tell Clegg to agree to his terms or get stuffed. The act allows for a vote of no-confidence to trigger a general election. As the government is a coalition Conservative MPs can happily say they don’t have confidence in the government despite the Prime Minister being a Conservative, and I highly doubt Labour MPs are going to want to vote that they have confidence in the Government.

  • Tony Dawson 23rd Jan '12 - 9:52pm

    David Cameron has about as much chance of listening to Norman Tebbit as Newt Gingrich is to stand on a fidelity and abstinence ticket. He needs Nick Clegg to keep the Liberal Democrats at bay and provide an excuse for ignoring George Osborne.

  • @Charles if Mililband and the Lib Dems + Nats form a government, and give it a confidence vote within 14 days of the original no confidence vote for Cameron, then there wouldn’t be a general election.

  • Spirit of 56 24th Jan '12 - 9:24am

    I left the Lib Dems as a result of the U turn in economic strategy called the Coalition agreement and will never rejoin. However, this type of comment is exactly what the Lib Dems need. If they want to save as many seats as possible in the next election the more Thatcherite Tories who come out of the woodwork and condemn the Libs for moderating the Tories policies the better. Remember how many Labour supporters vote LIb Dem in the South to stop the Tories getting in, I know I used to canvass.

    Peter Bone on the Today programme and Parliament criticising Vince Cable for going too far on the rather feeble measures he has suggested for controlling Executive pay is a good thing. People need to see the Tories for what they really are. So for once I can say to Nick Clegg if you are annoying Tebbit you are doing something right!

    I still think the weakness of the Lib Dem position in the coalition is that they are making the Tories seem reasonable which will increase their vote at the next election and allow them to enact their rabid right wing agenda in 2015-2020

  • @ Paul Walter

    @ Paul Walter
    “Charles if Mililband and the Lib Dems + Nats form a government, and give it a confidence vote within 14 days of the original no confidence vote for Cameron, then there wouldn’t be a general election.”

    That is highly unlikely for two reasons. One, it is inconceivable that Ed Miliband would form a coalition with the Lib Dems without demanding the removal of Clegg as leader. (Clegg demanded the removal of Brown before he would consider a Coalition with Labour, I believe.) Two, Cameron is all spin and wind and the last thing he wants is to be forced into a position whereby the electorate can send him a message that he is cutting too far and too fast, particularly before the gerrymandered seats have been established. For the moment, I believe that the Strasburg Court is therefore safe.

  • Spirit of 56 24th Jan '12 - 11:02am

    @MacK
    Agree with all your points here and would add that the Labour Party still needs to do a lot of thinking/policy development before it is fit for Government. They have apologised for not regulating the banks but they have not yet apologised for letting the economy become over dependent on financial services and for not controlling Government specing during a boom ( and that ignores PFI!)

    Just look at the position they find themselves in this benefits debate, they allowed a system to develop that meant that large amounts of Government money was put in the hands of private landlords, which helped drive the buy to let farce ans didn’t build enough social housing especially in London and the South East. We are all still suffering from the Tory popular but wrong sell off of Council housing, a full economic analysis of this would be interesting.

    As I said before I think you are wrong about Cameron being worried about getting a mandate for the Tories, thanks to the Lib dems the eledtorate don’t know what the Tories will really do when they are in power alone after the next election. Its the Lib Dems who need to play it long and a lot harder than they are doing at the moment.

  • If there were an election a) Cameron would win an overall majority b) LibDems would be ‘wiped off the map’ c) a weak opposition by Ed. Mil would ensure a trouble free ride for more welfare cuts and NHS privatisation.
    But why should Cameron bother? He takes the credit for popular/populist policies and lets the libDems get blame from both left and right…..
    L

  • Simon Banks.. I have made assumptions but, considering that we are almost 2 years into an administration which has made enormous cuts in the public sector, the highest unemployment in 20 years, seen executive pay soar whilst the majority see minimal (if any) increase, etc. and is ahead in the polls……

    Clegg’s one stand was on Europe where the vast majority of the population supported Cameron, Ed. Mil’s Labour has little or no credibility, the LibDems last election promises on Tuition fees, the economy, etc. will be ‘wheeled out’ by both Labour and Tories and will cost votes from both left and right….

    “look at Nick Clegg in 2010” …there was clear blue water between the parties; now the water is far , far muddier. I voted for policies which were not those implemented by this coalition but Danny Alexander has committed LibDems to Tory policies until after 2015 and Ed Balls has accepted, albeit reluctantly, that Labour won’t make drastic changes….. .

    My bet (and I’d put money on it) would be for a very hefty Tory majority. Where would your money (hypothetically ) go?

  • @Jason

    “My bet (and I’d put money on it) would be for a very hefty Tory majority. Where would your money (hypothetically ) go?”

    You are forgetting that Labour since the General Election Labour have won every by-election they have contested on the UK Mainland. Some of them handsomely. You are also forgetting that for the past year Labour have consistently been neck and neck with the Tories in the polls. The latest You Gov on UK Polling Report puts Labour at 40%, the Tories at 39% and Lib DEms at 8% I wouldn’t put too much money on a hefty Tory majority if I were you.

  • ………………You are forgetting that Labour since the General Election Labour have won every by-election they have contested on the UK Mainland. Some of them handsomely……………

    Only to be expected as they were all very, VERY safe Labour seats (although in Scotland, there was a significant swing to SNP)……
    Labour need to win, and hold, marginal seats and I don’t see that happening….

  • Paul Walter Paul Walter 24th Jan '12 - 4:23pm

    @Gareth Indeed!

  • @ MacK

    ICM has us on 16 pc and at least one other on 13 pc. These figures are not far off where the LDs were at the same stage in the last parliament.

  • Don Lawrence 25th Jan '12 - 2:27pm

    @Jason

    “If there were an election a) Cameron would win an overall majority b) LibDems would be ‘wiped off the map’ c) a weak opposition by Ed. Mil would ensure a trouble free ride for more welfare cuts and NHS privatisation.
    But why should Cameron bother? He takes the credit for popular/populist policies and lets the libDems get blame from both left and right…..”

    Sad but true, and so many people (in the party) still believe we are doing a great job! “75% of our manifesto …”

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