Nick Clegg has finally emerged from the woodwork to give his hypothesis on why the Liberal Democrats lost so badly on May 7th 2015. Some of what he says has a ring of truth to it, for example, he states that the scaremongering by the Tories concerning a possible coalition between Labour and the SNP frightened voters away from Labour and encouraged the majority of electorate to vote Tory. As I said, it has a ring of truth to it but then you have to remember that Labour ran a completely clueless campaign. Even now, in the aftermath, Labour Party members are falling over themselves to put distance between themselves and Miliband.
Unfortunately for Labour, Miliband is a product of his own imagination. I don’t doubt that he is a decent man, my issue is purely with his politics. During the Election Campaign he appeared on TV several times and each time I was reminded of shows put on by Darren Brown. Shows where some poor, hapless sap has been hypnotised into thinking that he is invincible, that he can lie on a railway track and stop a train by kinetic energy. Or that he can fend off a horde of Zombies by sheer presence and attitude. Think back to the TV Debates and picture Miliband, he glared at the camera, defying it not to follow his every move. He spoke with an authoritative air but, not one people could believe in. He sneered at the opposition Parties, often lost in waffle but always keen to get the last word. Cameron on the other hand, all slime, sleaze and soundbite, managed to sound like a leader, someone in charge, someone not afraid to grasp the nettle. The fact that no one likes him or believes him did not matter, the perception won through.
Clegg expanded on his theory as to why his Party did so badly by pontificating that much of what the Liberal Democrats achieved whilst in Coalition was lost to the General Public because they were always perceived as the ‘small Party’ in the Coalition. The Party just there to make up the numbers. Once again, Clegg proved his total lack of comprehension. In my opinion, they did so badly because they failed to understand the rise of UKIP. I do not mean by that, UKIP as a Party but the movement behind UKIP and the other pro British / anti EU Parties which sprang up during the five years in which we had to endure dour Clegg. The British people were beginning to question why Laws, made in the British Parliament by elected British politicians, were being overturned by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg. traditional jobs, be they on land, sea or in commerce were/ are being lost because of EU red-tape or diktat.
The fact that Labour and, especially, the Liberal Democrats were so vehemently pro EU did not go down well with the electorate, a fact made worse by the LibDem’s overbearing and superior attitude towards anyone who dared to criticise the EU or any of the EU policies. Even the Tories, sensing defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory, did a complete u-turn in their public attitude towards the EU. People were getting fed up with the “I know best” attitude of 21st century politicians and Clegg failed to see it when in Coalition and, judging by his interview today, he is still blind to the truth.
A true democracy is one where Parliament fears the people and not what we have now, which is the reverse. Surely we are not that masochistic that we elect politicians specifically on the understanding that they will bully us at all times with no redress. No, politicians are 100% accountable to the people who elect them and they should ignore this fact at their peril! Something Clegg and fifty odd Labour politicians have found out to their cost.