Saturday, 22 September 2012

Clegg's Dunkirk

Nick Clegg is facing his personal political Dunkirk. His popularity is at Rock Bottom with the public and his party. His political mea culpa has been ridiculed and he is facing calls for his resignation.
How he now reacts will determine his future and the recovery of his party's fortunes. On the one hand he could react defensively and with pride and like Tory Whip Andrew Mitchell over "Plebgate" or Tony Blair over Iraq could continue with half an apology, arrogance and hubris. Or he like Winston Churchill after Dunkirk turn a disaster into a Political Victory.
If I were him, I would ensure that the Youtube Viral Hit "Im Sorry" was played at his entrance into the Party Conference.

 If I were him, I would take it with good humour and take ownership of the humiliation. If necessary why not travel like Lempik Opeg to the Australian Jungle to eat his "I'm a Celebrity - Jungle Humble Pie". It can only improve his popularity and it is how unpopular celebrities redeem themselves with the public, which is what he needs to do. If not (then perhaps Europe beckons?)

Does Clegg hear the Call of the Jungle?

He needs to also recognise that students want a cut in tuition fees and Labour's coming motion (reducing fees to £6000  from £9000) is a chance for him to get the Lib Dems as a party to support this and negotiate a change in government to find the money to fund this without breaking the coalition.  He is No.2 in Government and needs to starting action as Second in Command and not a "No.2".

Clegg can still show Leadership and turn blunder and humiliation into success. It's only over when it's over and the public loves an underdog - especially one they kicked, but the trick is to still smile. Not a job I would want but I'm not Vince Cable.

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