What a difference three months makes #nickcleggsfault

Three months ago, Thursday, 15th April, witnessed the UK’s first televised debate between the main party leaders.

Here’s a reminder of the close of the first debate, which sparked ‘Cleggmania’ as well as the catchphrase “I agree with Nick”, and the subsequent Twitter hashtag craze #nickcleggsfault

(Available on YouTube here).

Up to that point, Nick Clegg – though popular among those members of the public who had seen him in action – had a lower public profile than his deputy, Vince Cable. All that changed in one night, and with it the dynamics of the entire election campaign.

In short, it was the night the Tories lost their chance to win an overall majority. And it was the night that assured Nick the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the first post-war Liberal-Conservative Coalition Government.

Today Nick Clegg will meet with MPs, peers and councillors to listen to their concerns about the direction of the coalition, and to share with them his plan to assure the party’s continuing popularity and identity.

But somehow I don’t think for one moment that he has any wish to turn back the clock three months.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Barry George 15th Jul '10 - 2:53pm

    Practice using the words “No David”, then have the moral and political courage to use them a lot more often when talking to Mr Cameron.

    Maybe then we wouldn’t look as weak as we do now in the eyes of the electorate.

  • Darren Reynolds 15th Jul '10 - 3:24pm

    Are you sure about this meeting taking place? When our council leader enquiried about attending yesterday, he was told it was only something that was ‘under consideration’.

  • @Barry George.

    Spot on. But sorry Barry. Too late. From 30% in the YouGov polls pre-GE to 15% today. I”ve got a spread on it being 12% by the turn of the year.

    Remember the pop classic – “The only way is down, Clegg-y, for you and Dave-y”. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist. I love Yazz).

  • brian wilkie 15th Jul '10 - 6:36pm

    The media are determined to let us know that all support for Nick CLegg is disappearing in the party,and that all support for the Lib Dem’s is disappearing in the country. One thing is for sure – any good news about the LibDem party will be either totally ignored or downplayed by the British Media, which finds it impossible to comprehend coalition and two seperate parties working together.
    We libdems must work mucfh harder on our PR and find ways around this media blockage

  • I agree with Brian.

    The fact is that the coalition is working well. Aside from the direct Lib Dem influence on policy, we are also allowing moderate Conservatives to be empowered in a range of policy areas, and bringing out the more moderate sides of various Tory politicians such as Hague and Theresa May. Now this may not be to the taste of Paul Dacre, but it is to the taste of the British public, who like moderation, and given the facts, would love coalition. It is our job to supply the facts, and steal the news-flag from The Bad Element.

  • Paul McKeown 16th Jul '10 - 12:36pm

    As Jonathan Calder says, “Keep calm and carry on!”

    A bit more support from the backbenches might help in putting out the message, too.

    As for the little troll, I’m expecting 8% at some point during this parliament, and very sanguine about it. Reckon there are good chances we will gain seats in the 2015 general election, as the red and blue conservative parties can’t come out with the tired old wasted vote malarkey. Can’t think of anything more wasted than a vote for the red tories or the blue tories: different cheeks, but the same a*se.

  • Paul McKeown 16th Jul '10 - 12:44pm

    One thing though, I heard the DPM saying yesterday that there will be no further electoral reform after AV, no “treadmill” as he called it. I’m sure the message wasn’t for Lib Dem consumption, but to reassure the Labservatives. The idea is bad, though, as AV is at but a small step in the right direction and “Fair Votes” must remain a Liberal. Democratic principle. Poor for the Lib Dems, worse yet for the minor parties, awful for Labour and the Conservatives, who have otherwise no incentive to decide what their Big Tents actually stand for, but worst of all it’s terrible for the British people, who are denied genuine representation. So, do you wanna bet, Nicky Boy?

  • @Paul MacKeown. It has been easy to characterise the Labservatives as two cheeks of the same arse for ages. Considering for some that is the LDs USP, the danger is that having coaligned with the Tories will make us look like the anus in the middle. And no-one wants to vote for an anus. Now I know, and you know, that coalition was the best option yada yada, and LDs have been committed to pluralism for decades yada yada, but the public and its newspapers are addicted to duopoly, and we have to show them that they can beat that addiction, and that their lives can be better as a result.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 16th Jul '10 - 1:24pm

    “And no-one wants to vote for an anus.”

    On the other hand, where would any of us be without one?

  • Paul McKeown 16th Jul '10 - 1:55pm

    No Jack, the brain making the cheeks twitch…

  • how about celebrating means testing of bus pass for pensioners. Should bring in a vote or two

  • David Allen 16th Jul '10 - 4:18pm

    So the choice will be between the a*sehole and the anus, and we’ll call it AV.

  • Paul McKeown 16th Jul '10 - 5:32pm

    Alimentary my dear Watson…

  • ” From 30% in the YouGov polls pre-GE to 15% today.”

    Yeah, and how very reliable those 30% polls have turned out to be…

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