Euro Clegg lives up to “Calamity” jibe

A couple of days into the new Lib Dem leadership, and the press who once thought him media savvy are nostalgic for the golden age of Vince Cable as acting Leader.

It is not surpising. The only thing he seems to believe in apart from the power of spin is the move towards a centralised EU with big government in Brussels. He will discover the hard way this is a very unpopular position with most British voters.

It is symptomatic that one of the first deeds of the Lib Dems as his leadership began was to vote against a referendum on the Constitutional treaty in the Edinburgh Parliament, at a time when the Conservatives and SNP were united in their wish for one and even Labour had the decency to abstain. That shows real determination to break promises and take the unpopular line.

It is difficult to see how Mr Clegg thinks he can break with present politics, as he says he wants to do, by beginning his leadership pledged to deny the referendum they promsied in the General Election, on the specious grounds that the Treaty is not the old Constitution rehashed.

It was also indicative of how he is not serious that his first appointment was of Mr Brian Eno as a senior adviser, before he even got round to finding a job for Mr Huhne or Mr Cable. I recommend websites and press articles about Mr Eno to anyone with curiosity about the kind of advice the new Leader may be getting from this man. Indeed, it would be a good pre Christmas game for surfers to come up with the best quotes and highlights from Mr Eno’s life that could help Mr Clegg in his current quandary.

His casual mistakes about his taste in music, and his clumsy announcement of his atheism pale into insiginificance compared to the Lib Dems flip flop over a vote on the Constitutional treaty. I could forgive them a lot if they join us in the lobbies to vote for a referendum on the Treaty, but it looks as if Clegg has no wish to do the decent and honest thing. That would mean jeopardising an important part of his credo. He is truly Euro Clegg.

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  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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