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Clegg vacates his chair in protest at Cameron vacating his chair – pathetic

Posted on 12 December 2011 | 6:12pm

So Nick Clegg didn’t show up in the Commons today, because he didn’t want to be a distraction.

A distraction from what? A distraction from the fact that he is the most pro-European leader in UK political history, now propping up the most anti-European government.

A distraction from David Cameron’s latest effort to present his diplomatic failure as some gigantic political triumph, egged on by right-wing MPs and a media that on the basis of one snap poll has decided ‘public opinion’ is right behind him.

Public opinion is a very complicated concept, formed of the opinions of millions of people on millions of issues. On this one, as I said on Friday, David Cameron will get a short-term hit out of being seen to stand up to Germany and France even if, as Ed Miliband rightly pointed out, he achieved precisely nothing in his use of the veto. As the full implications of economic and diplomatic isolation become clearer, the worry that he has done the wrong thing for the wrong reasons will grow.

That is when Clegg will need a little bit more credibility and strength in argument than he has right now. One of the big points to make is that Cameron cannot have influence over key decisions when he has vacated his chair at the table.

All the more pathetic that Clegg vacated his chair today. He should have been in there, making clear to MPs and to the country that he intended to fight his corner. Instead, he went off in a rather pointless sulk.

  • Roydavidp

    The reality is that we have been outfoxed by France and Germany, now we have been cast aside by those two ” Euro Super Powers” but, in reality, it will be France that will end up being ignored by Britain, when the excrement hits the fan in Berlin, we will be able to laugh and shut the door on Europe and France, we won’t bail them out anymore, were on our own, we will survive, eventually.

  • Ehtch

    Yes, the Lib-Dem party seems leaderless at the moment, when their supposed leader can’t even be in the chamber or chambre for such an event.

    What makes me think Clegg has been a tory mole all along, as per Jeremy Thorpe, alleged? When Cleggy appears on the telly being interviewed, please take it with a pinch of salt, hardcore Lib-Dems. And find a new leader!

  • Gilliebc

    It is highly likely that the LibDems will be all but wiped out at the next general election.  So Clegg can go off in an indefinite sulk then.

    Though it’s more likely that he will land himself a highly paid job in Europe.  Well Europe is welcome to have him and any other members of that odious party, as far as I’m concerned.

  • ZintinW4

    Clegg is weak and lacking in any backbone. It is all I expect of a man who is a closet one nation Tory rather than a progressive politician. His decision to stay away is both bizarre and ill judged.

  • Yup. I wonder if Cleggy will get the irony of complaining about leaving an empty seat in the European debating chamber when he leaves an empty seat in the Commons. Probably not. 

  • Quinney

    Another massive moment of mis-judgement from Clegg, (his worst being joining Cameron for form the coalition, putting his own ego above his party).
    The bonus with all this is the electorate now see the Liberal Doormats for what they are, duplicitous, lying,cheating political opportunists with no principles.
    For years they told the electorate that they were the real progressives, that there was no difference between “blue Labour” and the tories. Only to jump in bed with a government to the right of Thatcher and then only to be walked all over and to act as the human shields of Cameron, Osborne, Gove and Co. What a price to pay for a referendum on voting reform which they lost.
    They now trail behind the UKIP, EDL and the BNP in the polls, hopefully we can look forward to Clegg having a “Portillo Moment” when the voters of Sheffield kick him out in to the peerage no doubt he’s negotiated for himself.

  • MicheleB

    Ian Dunt wrote an almost clairvoyant (and critical) piece on Wednesday and there’s good stuff in tonight’s Standard.

  • Libdem

    Thanks Gilliebc, I wonder if they’ll offer me a job…..

  • Ehtch

    Jesus Shit, BBC is filling it’s website news full of crap, to divert us brits away from how crap the BBC’s tory London-centric party is, stories like these,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16151424
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16152097
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16151712
    Please weather, snow or something or anything, Love Dave.

  • Horrendous abdication and utter lack of backbone from both.

    The GHOST OF BANQUO enters, and sits in MACBETH’s place ]

    MACBETH
    Here had we now our country’s honour roof’d,

    Were the graced person of our Banquo present;

    Who may I rather challenge for unkindness

    Than pity for mischance!

    ROSS
    His absence, sir,

    Lays blame upon his promise(ACT III SCENE IV)

  • Ian Eastwood

    Just looking forward to the day when Cameron vacates number 10.

  • Chris lancashire

    Not terribly clever from Clegg however the Coalition will happily survive this little tiff.
    Hilarious in the Commons yesterday from Milliband accusing Cameron of being indecisive but unable to say whether he would have signed the treaty or not. When will we get a decent Leader of HM Opposition?

  • Robrob2002

    Yet another flat performance from EdM.

    In fact, since his election, the only issue where he has really shined was during the NotW crisis – during that week he was dictating the agenda and had Cameron on the ropes. His position on Brooks took guts and foresight – which I wish he could repeat.

    What the coalition are doing to this country is undemocratic and deeply damaging – and I don’t want the Labour party to be complicit by way of a lack of credibility.

    In my book he’s got another 6 months – if he doesn’t improve we need to look elsewhere.  

    DavidM has been making some interesting contributions recently – I think he is worth a second look. (EdB is too damaged by his Brown ties and YvetteC by her ties to EdB).

    • MicheleB

      I don’t agree that Ed Balls is damaged by his history or with  your simplistic comment about YC.

      I don’t think Ed Balls enjoys the limelight enough to be leader and sadly he is affected by the supercilious treatment from across the table, the dismissive crap from the smarmy army. 

      That’s very human and very touching, all the moreso as the donors of it keep exploiting it, being badly brought up. 

      Ed Balls has not become supercilious despite his own experience and (well-earned) reputation.  The characteristic does tend to be inbred.

    • Richard

      ‘Agree with you. Ed M still trying to work out how others could possibly understand  Osbourne spending a whole weeks average wage on a ski holiday! It seemed so good a taunt in front of the mirror.
      His performance over Cameron’s veto was lamentable. Clegg was in the toilet!
      The one thing that Clegg and Ed M have in common is the fear of an early election, which would result in wipeout for them both!

  • MicheleB

    Doubtless you enjoy the fact that (as you say, not very clever) Clegg’s prostitution deposed the best one on our horizon then or now.

    If it weren’t for the Bulliboy clique at heart of Govt now I do wonder what would be being said.

    I wonder if Clegg could make up his mind which tie to wear today?

  • Ehtch

    Can I be blunt In my experiences actually living in this country, but from the nether regions of the UK, unlike european observers,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16157785

    SE England has the problem, ever since the loss of pink parts around the globe. They used and abused us to win two world wars, but with little automatic respect nor recognition. Turned my guts visiting living and working in and around London and the home counties in the late 1980’s, how they bubbled carried on with sky-rocketing property prices, when most of the country was in poverty, and struggling. Hate Cameron, hate the Tory Party, and all that they stand for, hate them to the depths of my bile – hate hate hate. Please somebody just cut them off, and let them float off into the middle of the Atlantic, PLEASE GOD!

  • MicheleB

    Mr Barrosso ……
    “The United Kingdom, in exchange for giving its agreement, asked for a
    specific protocol on financial services which, as presented, was a risk
    to the integrity of the internal market.”

    “as presented” …… same old same old from Cam then.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Did David Cameron manage to protect the City?
    The UK fund-management industry is looking after £3.9tr of assets. 37% of all foreign exchange trading occurs in London. The City employs over a million people.
    Yet financial services constitutes only 7.5% of the UK GDP. It is smaller sector than manufacturing which employs much more people.
    The Corporation of the City of London is unaccountable autonomous state within Britain.
    It is outside the authority of parliament. But official lobbyist from the City of London sits in parliament!
    The Corporation of the City of London is equivalent of a local council. It is responsible for a small area in London known as Square Mile.
    21 of 25 electoral wards are contolled by corporations, mainly banks and other financial companies. The bigger the business, the bigger the vote.
    The Corporation is outside many of the laws and democratic controls which apply to the rest of the UK.
    It is outside the power of the mayor of London. It is an offshore state which contols a network of tax havens in UK´s crown dependencies and overseas territories.
    Britain does not get its rightful tax receipts.
    Olli Rehn has warned that financial rules apply to Britain, too. City of London will be subject to regulation from Brussels.
    So it seems that David Cameron has failed with his veto.
    The support for Ukip is now 8%, one below the Lib Dems.
    Mrs T in her Bruges speech said that Brussels in threatening Britain with “collectivism and corporatism”. 48% of Britons now want to be out of the EU.
    62% say that Cameron was right to use the veto. The rightwing press is against the EU. New Labour´s policy on Europe was from the pen of Rupert Murdoch.
    Will there be a general election before 2015 with the focus on Europe?
    Why is not the left complaining about lack of democracy in the EU?
    We are letting Tory Eurosceptics and Nigel Farage to be the champions of democracy.
    The uncritical pro-EU liberal lobby sees nothing wrong with unelected Eurocrats taking more power. Balanced budgets and near-zero structural deficts will outlaw expansionary fiscal policy in the future if the new Treaty comes to force.
    All eurozone budgets will be submitted to the unelected Commission for approval.
    Keynesian stimulus policies or tax cuts will not be possible. This is not democracy!
    Commission should be replaced by an administration made up of elected members of the European parliament.
    Neoliberal policies of the Commission must also be dismantled.
    It was Ted Heath´s Tory government which took Britain to EEC in 1973.
    Labour´s 1983 manifesto pledged withdrawal. Neil Kinnock, a critic of the common market, ended up as a European commissioner.
    Europe must be built around the interests of working people, not big corporations.
    Banks rule Britain. “National interest” means banks. It means investement banking which caused the “mess” in the first place.
    The collapse of RBS cost taxpayers £45bn.
    The City paid £193bn in taxes between 2002 and 2008 – manufacturing £378bn.
    British taxpayers have paid out £289bn in direct financing to prop up banks since 2008. Add loans and underwritings, and the figure is £1.19tr!
    The City accounts for 50% of Tory party funding.
    Banks are not lending. Banks are not paying much in taxes. Manufacturing is employing double amount of people.
    Yet banks retain a veto on policy-making. This is bankocracy. Banks rule!
    Opposition to banks does not come from Westminster. This is not in  national interest.
     

     

  • Ehtch

    I love my Europe, and my Wales, unlike some.
    A song for Jose above, live and love, but within your means, like us welsh,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG6yOcUfjO8

  • Ehtch

    I love my Europe, and my Wales, unlike some.
    A song for Jose above, live and love, but within your means, like us welsh,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG6yOcUfjO8

  • Ehtch

    I love my Europe, and my Wales, unlike some.
    A song for Jose above, live and love, but within your means, like us welsh,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG6yOcUfjO8

  • Ehtch

    BIG DIPLOMATIC WHOOPS! He is Portugese of course, so here goes, via youtube, to regain european diplomacy, shucks,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3L6kNQCkzo
    took me ten minutes, but I think you will like my select, Portugese?

  • Ehtch

    BIG DIPLOMATIC WHOOPS! He is Portugese of course, so here goes, via youtube, to regain european diplomacy, shucks,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3L6kNQCkzo
    took me ten minutes, but I think you will like my select, Portugese?

  • Ehtch

    BIG DIPLOMATIC WHOOPS! He is Portugese of course, so here goes, via youtube, to regain european diplomacy, shucks,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3L6kNQCkzo
    took me ten minutes, but I think you will like my select, Portugese?

  • Libdem

    You’ll probably ask me why I’m responding to you on another person’s post but heh ho! Knowing your ‘leaning’ from other posts, that means that Mr. Brown was and is ‘the best one on the horizon’. Pity, for you anyway, that the bulk of the electorate couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him.

    I’m convinced that there really is a ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and that you occupy it.

  • Libdem

    You’ll probably ask me why I’m responding to you on another person’s post but heh ho! Knowing your ‘leaning’ from other posts, that means that Mr. Brown was and is ‘the best one on the horizon’. Pity, for you anyway, that the bulk of the electorate couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him.

    I’m convinced that there really is a ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and that you occupy it.

  • Libdem

    You’ll probably ask me why I’m responding to you on another person’s post but heh ho! Knowing your ‘leaning’ from other posts, that means that Mr. Brown was and is ‘the best one on the horizon’. Pity, for you anyway, that the bulk of the electorate couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him.

    I’m convinced that there really is a ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and that you occupy it.

  • Richard

    Re your BBC link:
    That is the same ,unelected, Jose Manuel Barroso who will be sitting in judgement as ex nation states submit their miserable proposed budgets for his prior approval, before delivery to said former nation states former sovereign parliaments. It is terribly sad that it will take the break up of the  euro to derail these daft plans for USE(urope).

    Re your other fair minded, constructive comments re-mount your corracle and paddle backwards a hundred years to meet others like you.

  • Richard

    Re your BBC link:
    That is the same ,unelected, Jose Manuel Barroso who will be sitting in judgement as ex nation states submit their miserable proposed budgets for his prior approval, before delivery to said former nation states former sovereign parliaments. It is terribly sad that it will take the break up of the  euro to derail these daft plans for USE(urope).

    Re your other fair minded, constructive comments re-mount your corracle and paddle backwards a hundred years to meet others like you.

  • Richard

    Re your BBC link:
    That is the same ,unelected, Jose Manuel Barroso who will be sitting in judgement as ex nation states submit their miserable proposed budgets for his prior approval, before delivery to said former nation states former sovereign parliaments. It is terribly sad that it will take the break up of the  euro to derail these daft plans for USE(urope).

    Re your other fair minded, constructive comments re-mount your corracle and paddle backwards a hundred years to meet others like you.

  • Ehtch

    Richard! – tidy! paddle my coracle backwards – I am in stitches here- fecking like it, great banter.
    How about this, how to get a ship in a bottle,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS1-aoUNBbE

  • Mac

    Cameron is a joke abroad and rightly so. This little Englander government will bring about the break up of the UK. While an independent Scotland will enjoy a good relationship with it’s European partners, with the USA and the Far East because of it’s positive historical links with these regions, England will be isolated with no influence anywhere in the world.

  • MicheleB

    Yes pet, everybody knows you go for pseudo mister nice guys that then prostitute themselves to the smarmy inbred.

    As others have said here in recent days, we didn’t (and still don’t) need a Mr Nice (and especially not the Mr False Nice), we need a Mr Intelligent (distinct from expensively educated / coached – in case you don’t already know that and remain in awe).

  • Peter Baldrey

    Couldn’t agree with you more Alastair! A gutless no show which has backfired on Clegg. Yet another reason for Lib-Dems to now vote the only progressive party in national UK politics, that will be Labour.

  • MicheleB

    I trust you will correct the Wiki page about him Richard as at the moment it says this about his present term :

    On 16 September 2009, Barroso was re-elected by the European Parliament for another five years. If he completes his second term he will become only the second Commission president to serve two terms ……..

    You were right about his first term, perhaps he did a good enough job to get re-Selected?

  • MicheleB

    Re AC’s tweet about the Higgs Boson thingy that’s going on, I hope that at least one of Prof John Ellis’s perpetual white on black T-shirts says something very rude

    http://www.thecupawards.com/news/small-particles-matter-a-great-deal-is-the-title-of-dr-john-ellis-s-lecture/

    This is funny :
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/sci-tech/higgs-boson-explained-with-twilight-video-bonus/story-fn5fsgyc-1226220927156

  • Gilliebc

    I have to confess that I quite like Ed Balls!
    He has a sort of 1950’s look about him, which I find
    rather endearing.

  • Richard

    He was “re-Selected”, as you say.
    Where and when did you get the chance to vote for or against him? I got no such opportunity.Perhaps you should refer to Wiki for the definition of Democracy.
    If you are happy with the situation, fine, that is your entitlement.

  • Libdem

    He needs a pipe…..I’ll let you decide where….

  • MicheleB

    I really like him Gbc and think he’s worked incredibly hard behind the scenes for ages, he knows the ins and outs and the very good and less good results of all that Labour did for society and should still be doing.

    The beauty pageants were the problem, along with the meida’s exploitation of an accurate description of a bigot.  We all have our prejudices and we might all choose to assail a PM in the street with what is our priority among them; Mrs Duffy did just that.

  • English

    So. will you adopt the euro when you leave?
     Will you become another vassal state of the FU or use your mighty power to remain fiercely independent?You’ll go the same way as Eire if you’re not careful…..

  • MicheleB

    I don’t expect the EU to hold EU-wide elections for citizens that know nowt or little (not to mention those with ‘cute’ agendas).

    Knock someone by all means if you can suggest a willing alternative candidate that was willing and available at the time, otherwise put a sock in it (or put your mitts on).

  • Richard

    You decided against reading the definition of democracy then!
    You can now spend the Xmas holidays contemplating the electoral system which resulted in the election of the hopeless Red Ed as Labour leader.
    Or perhaps you are well pleased with the opinion polls
    hoping that the Balls’s will be replacing him in the near future. They are both well popular too.
    ( Your reference to socks and mitts leads me to suggest that you stick to your knitting!)

  • Dave Simons

    If you love your Wales can you do something about the public rights of way network in mid-Wales? It’s a tragic tale of illegal obstruction by farmers and landowners which can only make a negative contribution to the tourism mid-Wales claims to covet.

  • Ehtch

    Got to remember, Porugal is in a better position to sort their coner out what with their very close relationship with the BRIC country Brazil, and how growth is skyrocketing there. Brazil had one of the most civilized independence from a parent country, Portugal, in history, it is told. Portugal diplomatically knew then the game was up, and signed on the paper gracefully, with no extended guerilla battles and all that. And Brazil remembers that.

  • Ehtch

    Pardon? Be more specific and I can help you. Give examples of where, but no need to mention names and I most probably know the problem then can enlight you. What you have got to remember is Welsh landlords/farmers have fallen over backwards to have a complete coast path all around Wales, but obviously there were one or two sticky patches. Is that what you are referring to?

    Welsh farmers, generally, on the whole, don’t might people tramping over their fields, to say get a shortcut to the nearest pub, footpaths/bridleways or not. So get some scale on whatever problem you say there is.

  • Ehtch

    By saying that, I have been charged several times by a bunch of cows crossing some farmers field. The tactic is to hold your arms out either side of you, and bellow in a loud deep voice to them, and they SHOULD stop in their tracks, but if they don’t, pick out the kingpin cow, as with humans,  and charge at her. That should sort it, and the rest will back off. Calving season this usually occurs, but if you tell cows you won’t take any of their shit(!), they soon who know who’s boss, and realise you are not a sabre-toothed tiger from their genetic past, nor a simple rustler.

  • MicheleB

    I think it’s you that needs to bone up.

    The EU is not a nation, is not called a nation, does not have an imposed currency as a nation would have, is a group of nations that have chosen to be close or unclose in varied aspects as THEIR elecorates want them to be and EU member countires are able to use the currency they choose.

    It is not a wannabe United States.

    Democracy is about Governments and MEPs are NOT members of one of those.

  • Gilliebc

    That’s good advice and a very funny/amusing comment also Ehtch.

    Dave S, there you go!

  • Ehtch

    Don’t go down legal lines, call your friends that know you are sound, and send them to break knees, that are me.

  • Dave Simons

    You can’t get more mid-Wales than Llanidloes and I’ve recently seen some appalling examples of illegality in that area. When you talk about Welsh landlords/farmers ‘falling over backwards’, let’s not forget that we subsidise them – as we do English landlords/farmers – and have done for the last sixty plus years. They wouldn’t survive without the taxpayers’ financial input. Most people in the UK live in towns, cities and suburbs and their homes are surrounded by public rights of way, like pavements and streets. Therefore I don’t feel much sympathy for people on isolated farms, belly-aching about public footpaths going across ‘their’ land.

  • Ehtch

    I get what you say, but the main sticky patch for farmers in remote areas is their worry about theft, machinery or livestock, which sadly is skyrocketting at the moment. And they can tell strangers are in the area when their farm dogs start barking at silly hours of the morning. Farm dogs normally stop after a couple of minutes if it is foxes, when they are scared away, but if they keep barking, they know something sinister is going on. But saying that, many farmers are ranckled due to duff infomation on their deeds drawn up by property solicitors many decades ago when their family bought a farm, where such ways do not appear. And also, that farmer might feel agrieved that he has to pay himself for maintenence of such boundaries as in barbed wire and such, without grants for all these years, originally.

    So for you city types whinging, there is two sides of the coin.

  • Dave Simons

    Skyrocketing theft isn’t just a worry for farmers. We’re all in that together. Farmers get grants for maintenance of boundaries and a lot more. I was talking about the last sixty years or so, not the nineteenth century.
    Incidentally you don’t know whether I live in a city, town, village or field, but I did rescue a sheep a fortnight ago which had got its head trapped in some of that square fencing that farmers use, tailor-made for sheeps’ heads to get stuck in.

  • Ehtch

    The amout of lambs heads that I have released from said fencing, as well as when they get the wrong side of the hedge, bleating, is many. Also, it is alright living in a city, but when country living it takes the constabulary about two hours to respond, you do tend to feel alone, and are tempted to get the shotgun out.