Socialist Worker

Lib Dems just can't fathom why nobody likes Nick Clegg

Issue No. 2406

Vince Cable and Nick Clegg in happier times

Vince Cable and Nick Clegg in happier times (Pic: Nick-Clegg on Flickr)


Where did it all go wrong? According to the Evening Standard Nick Clegg was “the most popular politician to emerge from an election campaign”.

According to the BBC Vince Cable was “the undisputed heavyweight champion of the credit crunch in Parliament”.

But now nobody likes either of them. Or everyone is very loyal to both of them depending on what day you asked the questions. 

The former political party known as the Liberal Democrats was having a coup last week. It went as well as everything else they do.

Rather oddly the coup involved taking some opinion polls to show that Nick Clegg wasn’t all that popular. Which wasn’t in all honesty difficult to work out.

Then nobody admitted knowing about the polls. Though they count as a donation in kind so someone will have to decalare them on the Register of Members interests later this week. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

Lord Oakeshott’s political ambitions may be a distant dream, after resigning from the Lib Dems over the “shambolic coup” to oust leader Nick Clegg.

But, on the upside, at least the peer has more time to devote to his former day job as an investment manager.

He ran the Courtauld private bank’s pension fund. 

More recently, the former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman has been keeping his eye in by managing funds for an unnamed wealthy private client.

Oakeshott is also the chairman of Olim Property, a Mayfair investment fund founded in 2012, which specialises in commercial property.


Hard right toffs ship out

Old school hard right group the Freedom Association plan a luxury Magna Carta boat trip on 15 June. 

For £40 you get “a boat trip from Windsor to Runnymede and back, a glass of Pimm’s, a buffet lunch and speeches”

Anyone with a spare submarine with usable torpedoes should get in touch with Troublemaker urgently.


Hedging the betting is a gas for Belgium

The 30 percent fall in wholesale gas prices since the start of the year has not been reflected by cheaper bills.

Keeping prices high is partly about what the bosses call hedging.

It’s also apparently due to the “political risk” posed by Labour’s threat to introduce energy price freezes.

“We don’t want to cut gas bills now, only to raise them again to protect the business in the run-up to the general election,” says one energy mole.

On the subject of hedging, bookmakers are reporting a series of very large bets on Belguim  to win the World Cup.  

A Belgian supermarket chain have a cool promotion. Shop three times during the World Cup  and if Belgium win your fourth shop is free. 

But it could result in a six million euro hole in the accounts. Hence the sudden rush to get some money in the betting markets to pay it off. Take a 300,000 euro hit now or a six million one in July. 


Bungling baron George Osborne is enlisting a virtual Buddhist monk to bring harmony and enlightenment to the finances. The Tory chancellor has asked for a phone app which teaches techniques to “feel happier, sleep better and beat stress”. Good to hear he needs it.


Burying the bosses’ bonus bonanzas

Monster bonuses for greedy bosses at HSBC bank were buried in the business pages. Despite opposition from shareholders, HSBC chair Douglas Flint will get a £1 million bonus on topof his £2.25 million pay package.

Naturally, it’s not enough. Sir Simon Robertson, chairman of the quaintly-titled remuneration committee, explained, “Douglas is underpaid, frankly, for what he does.”

Not to be outdone, bosses at publicly-funded Network Rail deliberately delayed the announcement of £50,000 bonuses. This meant the news would be lost among the election results last week.


PIG OF THE WEEK

Darren Lewis has been charged with possession with intent to supply anabolic steroids

  • Lewis is a serving inspector with the Metropolitan Police
  • He is accused of one count of conspiracy to supply Class C drugs, one count of conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and one count of money laundering.
  • Lewis and another man go to court on 10 June

Council chief suspended over bogus texts spree

THE deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been suspended from the Labour Party. He sent a string of messages with false names to a radio station—to praise the council.

Paul Shotton contributed to debates on BBC Radio Stoke over a period of six months.

Staff rumbled the councillor after he sent text messages from the same mobile number under names such as Alison, Jean and Dave.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY

No. 654745

Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon-Dos Sicilias

  • Was chosen to be king of Spain by fascist dictator General Franco. Has now retired from kinging
  • Has managed to make the monarchy in Spain deeply unpopular
  • Likes shooting elephants
  • Has plenty of corrupt relatives to take his place

The Things They Say...

‘Have a baby by the time you’re 27’

Tory Kirstie Allsopp tells women to put off university to have babies

‘Completely to plan’

A St George’s Hospital spokeswoman on a visit by Boris Johnson—after the London mayor got trapped on the roof

‘That’s my name, I’m on the list to attend’

Labour’s Ed Balls pleads with security to be allowed to enter  the secretative Bilderberg group meeting

‘Candidates who do not assist at by-elections may put themselves at risk of being removed from the list of approved candidates’

Tory chairman Grant Shapps’ email to Tory MPs. He wasn’t panicking at all about the Newark by-election

‘I think we have probably achieved more in the first term, than the blessed Margaret did in hers’

Eric Pickles gloats over the coaliton’s ‘success’


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 3 Jun 2014, 17:56 BST
Issue No. 2406
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