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Monday, 15 December 2014

Are Clegg's strings broken?

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The other day I chanced on a TV interview where Andrew Marr was "grilling" Nick Clegg about the economy. I didn't take much notice of the interview content because professional liars are not one of my enthusiasms, but I'm sure I saw a hint of defeat in Clegg's demeanour.

Of course the guy is bound to land on his feet whatever happens to the Lib Dems. An EU sinecure is probably lined up somewhere in the background, but I think he knows the game is up as Lib Dem leader and I think he knows he has failed.

Perhaps he doesn't care and he'll move on without a backward glance and all I saw was a momentary hint of fatigue, lack of interest or simply lack of inspiration. After all, if he knows the game is over then his mind will be elsewhere.

Yet ambitious people such as Clegg need to believe they have succeeded, at least in their own terms. Clegg didn't strike me as someone who had that belief running full bore. He may have it now, because the mood may have evaporated, but I don't think he had it during that interview.

Such people have the hide of a rhinoceros and ludicrously rich supplies of self-belief so it isn't easy to read these things from their behaviour. Too often we have to ignore their potential human qualities because that is the only safe assumption. Too often the public persona of a modern politician doesn't have any significant human qualities anyway.

So maybe Clegg gave a slight hint of his private persona or maybe it was an act or maybe lack of genuine interest in the debate. One of many absurdities of politics is that we cannot really tell the difference.

Our leaders don't even do PR-puppet particularly well.

4 comments:

Roger said...

IMHO he was doomed from the moment he signed up with Cameron, forget him. The local Liberal chap is nice enough and made a reasonable foil to the Tory, but the Liberal brand now has bad vibes. Therefore the local Tory will not fear any loss to him which means the local UKIPer will probably be the protest of choice. Keep them lean, keep them keen is my view.

Anyway your Zeus post prompted the thought 'not surprised Zeus is bored', for it seems to me the world is in a hiatus, science does not seem to be discovering much that is really interesting. Industry seems focused on shiny little toys to poke and prod and sell me crap I could not care less about. Trivia seems the modern obsession, there seems little else.

James Higham said...

Yet ambitious people such as Clegg need to believe they have succeeded, at least in their own terms. Clegg didn't strike me as someone who had that belief running full bore. He may have it now, because the mood may have evaporated, but I don't think he had it during that interview.

It's been a damp squib for him. Poor Nicky.

Demetrius said...

Clegg reminds me of an insurance salesman for a company that does not pay out for claims on its policies.

A K Haart said...

Roger - maybe science is becoming too difficult for any but the most gifted as some seem to have resorted to making things up.

I think you are right about boredom. Wars used to keep us on our toes, but it's not a solution.

James - I almost feel sorry for him, but I'll fight it off.

Demetrius - they never pay out do they?