a report on conference with the price of Miriam Clegg's dress, followed by "Come back Lembit, the party needs you What the conference has missed is Lembit Opik, the ex-MP". No, no,no - or as King Lear Lear put it: "Never, never, never, never, never".
The piece continues with " Ian Wrigglesworth... held the stage immediately before Clegg". Well, he was on the stage and he did better than Sarah Teather, but "held" it ? I don't think so.
The writer finishes by praising Charles Kennedy. He was right about one thing - Charlie wasn't there. Years ago when Kennedy was a new MP, I met a man on the Isle of Skye who praised their previous MP, Russell Johnston, for ten minutes without stopping. Finally I said, "And now you have a new MP" and he thought for a moment before replying gently, "Aye, Mr Kennedy has his good points as well." So they tell me.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Cameron on Letterman. This is the moment when he responded to the question, "How are you doing ?" Many people have commented on his failure to translate the words Magna Carta, which is bizarre given his Eton education and, anyway, why couldn't he guess ? Boris, of course, would have known. Cameron did, however, work in one of my favourite historical facts, that the British sailed up the Potomac in 1814 and burnt down the White House. I also noticed his mistake about the royal family. He said that the Queen's visit to Ireland this year was the first by a member of her family since Irish independence. Has he forgotten Lord Moutbatten ?
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I think it was 1979 when Michael White wrote in the Guardian that Margate pier was the ideal image for the Liberal Party. Our conference in Margate had been interrupted by occasional explosions as the demolition experts tried to destroy the pier. It was, said Michael, "a Victorian structure that refused to go away". I wondered if any journalists this year would be tempted to compare the party to Brighton's West Pier, cut off in the middle of a hostile storm, but none of them did, although Allegra Stratton's Newsnight piece extended the weather metaphor and included a shot of the pier.
Journalists searched Brighton in vain for despair and rebellion. Instead they found what you will always find at a Liberal Democrat Conference - debate and decision (not to mention drinks and dinner). Today Andrew Sparrow told us in the Guardian that the Lib Dem Conference had taught us 10 things.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I rarely shout at the television (unlike the Today Programme on Radio 4) but I could not believe my ears tonight when I heard Charles Clarke, commenting on Nick Clegg's apology, say "The essential thing about politics is that you've got to tell people the truth". Charles Clarke ! He's having a laugh !
If the young Charles Clarke, who I knew as a student leader, had come face to face with his later self as Education Minister blows would have been exchanged. Nobody in the Labour Party who presided over or voted for the introduction of tuition fees or their subsequent increase in breach of their own manifesto has any right to criticise Nick Clegg. What is the Labour Party's policy on tuition fees now ? Is it the same as last year or the year before or whenever ? What do these lying, hypocritical opportunists actually stand for ?
I was bitterly disappointed by the desperately bad political management of the tuition fees issue by Liberal Democrat leaders, above all Vince, but I honour Nick Clegg for his apology. Sir Humphrey might have called it brave and so do I. Our society will not be mature until politicians, businessmen and all in authority over us can admit their mistakes and their apologies be accepted instead of being exploited by the Tory press and the Labour scum (Yes, Harriet Harman, I mean you !)