Monday, June 1, 2009

Old Clegg's Almanack

A sumptuous interview with the Cleggster in the Guardian. Something to bask in.

It is noticeable that Nick Clegg seems to be in the fortune telling business:

"I've got cards up my sleeve," he says coyly, but won't elaborate. Instead, he offers, "Let me spell out what I think is going to unfold. There's clearly something unsustainable about MPs saying, 'We've done something seriously wrong but we are going to hang around until the next general election.' I think for the most serious abuses, instead of having MPs adjudicated by party panels behind closed doors, the adjudication will have to transfer to independent hands such as the standards commissioner. Then I think the demand for by-elections will be overwhelming. If we don't have a general election we're going to have a war of attrition. People won't be satisfied by vague ideas. They're not going to be fobbed off with that."

And then a sentence which reveals Old Clegg at his most all-seeing and Almanackish:

I ask him why he's smiling. "I'm smiling because I know what's coming next."


P.S. My other favourite bit of the interview is this, which should be inserted surgically somewhere in the corporate Tory blogo-body:

In all our conversations, Clegg says nothing that could have come from Cameron's mouth. There is little discernible similarity as a character either; any confusion between the two men would require, for one thing, almost total ignorance of our class system, for Clegg's Eurocentric internationalism - his mother was Dutch, his home life is bilingual, he used to work for the European commission - places him on a different planet from the sloaney Englishness of the Tory leader. He is a quintessential Liberal, and on issues from ID cards to the environment can plausibly claim to be ahead of the curve.

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