The LibDems have announced their new ‘top’ team. Clearly Nick Clegg is too busy with his speaking engagements:
“Nick Clegg was offered a post in Tim’s spokesperson team, but decided after some consideration that he wanted to take a quieter role on the back benches and would not be taking a spokesperson position at this time.”
Here are the riveting details in full:
- Leader: Tim Farron MP
- Economics: Baroness Susan Kramer
- Foreign Affairs/Chief Whip/Leader of the house: Tom Brake MP
- Defence: Baroness Judith Jolly
- Home Affairs: Alistair Carmichael MP
- Health: Norman Lamb MP
- Education: John Pugh MP
- Work and Pensions: Baroness Zahida Manzoor
- Business: Lorely Burt
- Energy and Climate Change: Lynne Featherstone
- Local Government: Mayor of Watford, Cllr Dorothy Thornhill
- Transport: Baroness Jenny Randerson
- Environment and Rural Affairs: Baroness Kate Parminter
- International Development: Baroness Lindsay Northover
- Culture Media and Sport: Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter
- Equalities: Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
- Justice/Attorney General: Lord Jonathan Marks
- Northern Ireland: Lord John Alderdice
- Scotland: Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Wales: Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
- Campaigns Chair: Greg Mullholland MP
- Grassroots Campaigns: Cllr Tim Pickstone, Chair of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors
Poor Nick Clegg has seen his £134,565 Deputy Prime Minister’s salary plummet to a measly £67,000 now he is merely a lowly MP. How will he cope?
By hiring Leading Authorities, a Washington based agent, to manage his after-dinner speaking engagements. Boasting of his “internationalist approach to world affairs”, Clegg says he is available to give speeches “in five European languages”:
“For UK audiences, Clegg shares his experiences about the future of politics and the direction of the UK, specifically relating to the EU. For international groups, he explores how current UK politics affects international relations.”
How much will it set you back to book him? A cool $55,000.
Asian audiences with deeper pockets are asked to “please inquire”.
Seems a bit steep… Ken Clarke will do you a drab speech about Europe for under 10 grand…
Labour MPs who suffered polling day humiliation must be delighted at the prospect of Tom Watson becoming their party’s new deputy leader. Apparently he wants to turn the Labour Party into the “finest campaigning organisation in Britain”:
So what’s his track record there? The man who cocked up the 2012 Bradford West by-election spent this election campaign rounding up hundreds of Labour activists and herding them to Sheffield Hallam. Watson’s vanity “mission to kick Nick Clegg out of parliament“, as he briefed the Birmingham Mail, even saw him try and fail to get Owen Jones to stand. This post on his Facebook page reveals Watson’s responsibility for diverting valuable resources away from marginal seats, which Labour went on to lose:
“Though [Labour’s Sheffield Hallam candidate] is not on the official key seat list, he is top of mine.”
Those resources diverted by Watson would have been much better spent in marginals like, say, Morley and Outwood…
Who’s going to get it on?
Worth taking with a large pinch of salt because Ashcroft doesn’t prompt candidates’ names, but he has UKIP behind in South Thanet:
And Clegg trailing in Sheffield Hallam:
Guido has a considerable amount of money saying otherwise in Sheffield…
It is not so #SexyMiliband according to a YouGov survey bring further proof that we have passed peak #SexyMiliband. Nick Clegg is the housewife’s choice, Cameron is sloppy seconds. Ed comes a distant third just ahead of Nigel Farage.
MiliFandom is clearly a minority interest…
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…
The moment it all went wrong for Ed, punched out by Clegg on the economy…
Thursday night’s mass-debate will see Miliband in the centre, with Cameron on the far right.
The full line up will be: Natalie Bennett, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Ed Miliband, Leanne Wood, Nicola Sturgeon, David Cameron.
While the PM has got his wish of being far from Farage and Ed, the Labour leader has lucked out in terms of aesthetics.
“Clowns to the left of him” says a Tory source.
Worse than tuition fees.
Red magazine have been quizzing the party leaders…
Tell us in six words why we should vote Lib Dem?
“Stronger economy. Fairer society. Opportunity for all.”
Yep, that would be seven words.
Tell us in six words why we should vote Conservative?
“Security for you, your family and country.”
Yep, that would also be seven words.
It must be a coalition thing…
Representatives of the ‘Free University of Sheffield’ have released a statement to the global media:
“we have transformed the space, symbolic of betrayal and the politics of the neoliberal establishment into an autonomous, collectively-run learning space. Among other things we will be running a seminar on the failures of liberal democracy”
Alas, “a core of 10-15 students” only managed to get into Clegg’s constituency office for a few minutes to unfurl a banner before the coppers turned up and turfed them out.[…] Read the rest