Big Society House, Day 3, 1:05 pm – Nick Clegg is in The Diary Room
Big Society: Hello Nick. How are you settling in?
Clegg: Hello Big Society. Well, we got off to a cracking start, apart from Vince telling The Times that he wasn’t that keen on the Coalition with the forces of darkness and preferred to cosy up to the Dark Lord. Oh, and I suppose it isn’t that helpful that we have probably irritated quite a lot of our members…. but in the national interest, and certainly mine, sacrifices have to be made. The wheeze to ensure the coalition stays together and to keep us in power until 7th May by proposing a 55% majority to dissolve parliament hasn’t been that well received and it was unhelpful, almost unpatriotic some would say, for Charlie Falconer to refer to ‘zombie parliaments’ on Newsnight…
Big Society: Are you feeling pressured?
Clegg: Good grief no. I went to Westminster, born to rule and all that… they call us Old Wets, you know… we can hack anything. As Giles Coren said only this morning in The Times, Old Etonians, or OEs as they are better known, and Old Wets take this sort of thing in our stride. It is expected of us… we wear our learning lightly, you know. I wasn’t that happy with Giles telling everyone, however, that dear old George Gideon Osborne was cleverer than me and David, so I’d like to put it on record that St Paul’s is, as Giles so rightly described it, Grange Hill without the girls in a concrete building south of the river. Enough said.
Big Society: Are you going to have enough to keep you busy?
Clegg: Good grief, yes. Hang on…what do you mean? Of course I am going to be busy, making speeches all over the country explaining why I sold my party and my principles down the river. This will take a great deal of my time and is in the national interest. We are at the start of a game-changing era.
Big Society: You haven’t got a department to run. Don’t you feel a little bit marginalised?
Clegg: Good grief, No. I am Lord President of The Council – I am sure I’ll find out what that means soon enough if I can get ten minutes with Dave – and I am, of course, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of reforming parliament.
Big Society: That’s going well, isn’t it? Your Tory housemates are all delighted by that, delighted that you fell for it hook, line and sinker. The crowd outside are baying for blood. Do you think you’ll be the first to be evicted from The House? Does that trouble you?
Clegg: Good grief, No. I’m an Old Wet. I can handle anything… born to it. I’m very relaxed. It is time this country understood that we are in the midst of a hung parliament, a major financial crisis and that tough love is needed. The 55% majority to ensure that we remain in power is in the national interest and is game-changingly game-changing. Between you and me, Big Society… I think Vince will be the first to jump ship… sorry, I mean.. be evicted from the House.
Big Society: If you don’t get evicted from the House before 2015, when are you going to start your election campaign to remind the country that there is a Liberal-Democratic party… or are you going to stay in bed with Dave forever..and become a Tory?
Clegg: Good grief, no. ………….. Sorry, Big Society…. I can’t answer that question… hadn’t really thought that through…. I’d better talk to Dave and see what he thinks and come back to you… that is how Coalitions work in the national interest… Bye for now, Big Society…
Big Society: Bye, Nick… come back and speak to us anytime you like.
Lawyer’s disclaimer! All entirely fictitious and made up… obviously.
Lawcast 167: Carl Gardner on the 55% rule and the civil liberty reforms planed by the LibCons
You might like to listen to a podcast I did with Carl Gardner on the 55% rule and the Civil Liberty plans of the new LibCon axis of evil/paradise party…. you choose… you are the Kingmakers after all