Inside the Bizarre Lib Dem Manifesto Launch

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Guido headed across the river to the Lib Dem Manifesto launch held in a Battersea warehouse that has been turned into a “creative space.” It was so creative that to accuses the venue, you had to wander down a graffiti strewn brick passageway that opened up into bizarre neon nightclub. At the front was a garishly lit cage where the main event would take place, while strewn around  the edges were Maoist canvases of the dear leader himself in a number of ideological poses. Nick Clegg painting a wall, Nick Clegg watering vegtables, Nick Clegg holding a hammer…

All the press big wigs were there. Quentin Letts had positioned himself nonchalantly leaning against a rusty pillar at the front, sceptically surveying the sandal clad crowd, while Faisal Islam stood agitated at the back, pleading with his producer to stop patronising him. “Just speak clearly and I’ll be fine, I’m just going to do a show and tell”…

Clegg walked into the neon lit ring stage and with casual abandon began addressing the party faithful. “We made Britain better,” clap clap. “The Lib Dems would add heart to a Conservative government and a brain to a Labour one,” clap clap. “Most people want a a stronger economy and a fairer society,” clap clap. Farage bad. Salmond bad. Nick Clegg good, clap clap. The words were coming out with the rhythmic determination of a seppuku death poem. 

With a final ripple of applause and the finishing line in sight, a relieved Clegg settled into taking questions with a rambling self-assuredness. But the venue gremlins weren’t going to be so kind. The sound system went haywire, someone kicked over a fancy LED uplight and the broadcasters gave up on waiting for the thing to finish and started broadcasting from the back in defiance of the hushing from the Lib Dem supporters. They should have spend less on fancy lights and more on a PA system…




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