Friday, July 08, 2011

We need to hear from Nick Clegg on News International and phone-hacking

We have heard from David Cameron speak on News International and phone-hacking and we have heard from Ed Miliband. The person we have not heard from is Nick Clegg.

This ought to be a good story for the Liberal Democrats: we have no connections with the Murdoch empire – if only because he has always thought us too insignificant to be worth courting. Instead we have been all but silent.

Nick did get a mention in David Cameron’s press conference this morning – “the Deputy Prime Minister and I have agreed...”, but that sounded like an attempt to get him to share the guilt a little.

Meanwhile we are told that Nick is to say that Britain should be more involved in the Greek bail out. He may well be right, given the consequences for us if the European financial system collapses, but I hope we are not seeing a pattern where Cameron makes the popular announcements and Clegg the unpopular ones.

The News International affair gives the Liberal Democrats an opportunity to assert themselves on it and other issues, stealing a little of the duvet back from the Conservatives, who may well suffer a fall in support. Such a fall will even make the Coalition for stable. For it to work well, it needs the two parties to be equally scared of a general election.

A worrying thought is that Clegg’s advisers have told him that he would no longer carry conviction as the voice of clean politics following the breaking of our foolish pledge over tuition fees. But if that is the case he really has got problems.


Anonymous said...

Cameron is failing to speak out because of who his friends are.

That means Clegg is unable to speak out because of his link with Cameron.

Miliband is the only leader able to provide actual real leadership and he has really grasped the nettle. Cameron today sounded like a guy desperately trying to catch up whilst falling further and further behind.

Manfarang said...

New Labour cosied up to the Murdoch media empire, Miliband won't be able to distance himself from that. After all, this all happened under New Labour's watch.

Richard Morris said...

I agree with Lord Bonkers

Val Bogan said...

As one of those voters who transferred allegiance from Labour to Lib Dem at the last election, I am bitterly disappointed by Nick Clegg's absence during the recent phone hacking debates. This is surely a golden moment to win back some of those that lost faith during the third level fees debacle. Where is he? Every minute he reamains mute another voter returns to the Labour fold.

Martin Brookes @oakhamuk said...

they tried to call him but he's lost his phone....

Anonymous said...

Just nineteen days ago Cameron & Miliband, plus Balls, Cooper & wee Dougie Alexander were all paying homage at the Murdoch's summer party.

The Labservatives are totally wedged up Murdoch's rectum.

"They're dirty, we're clean" should be our simple message. If the f***wits that evidently surround Clegg can't see that they are even dumber than we supposed.

John Minard said...

I think Clegg shouldn't listen to those advisers, they're the ones who probably told him to make the pledge anyway. He should try and be the cleaner of politics, because you could bet your bottom dollar that if NI still backed Labour, Miliband wouldn't even squeak - he wouldn't even be leader.

All Nick needs to say is "don't expect me to work miracles with 8% of the House of Commons - we would have been in a stronger position if we got a proportional number to what you vote for".

Always use greater force against itself!

Frank Little said...

Perhaps Clegg is making sure that no individual LibDem MP has benefited from NI's favours before launching a "clean hands" attack.