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The Mess They’re In

Ross McKibbin: Labour’s Limited Options, 20 October 2011

... Simon Hughes, and various spokespeople, and who often act as though the coalition doesn’t exist. Nick Clegg has been an ineffective leader: he made a mess of the negotiations that led to the formation of the coalition, and a mess of the AV referendum (from which, however, he has ‘moved on’ with great speed); he saw no difficulty with Andrew ...

Money and the Love of Money

Ross McKibbin: Crisis of the System, 2 August 2012

... been enacted, and because it is politically and electorally necessary for the Lib Dem leadership, Nick Clegg especially, to assert itself. It supported ‘deficit reduction’ because it believed in it, but disagreement is likely over issues that are important to MPs but probably of little significance to the electorate. Gay marriage, for instance, is ...

Brown and Friends

David Runciman, 3 January 2008

... classics), Michael Gove (Oxford, English) and a few, like Andy Burnham, Chris Grayling, Nick Herbert and Nick Clegg, who went to Cambridge. (Chris Huhne, incidentally, also read PPE at Oxford, but he is now in his fifties and therefore appears to be viewed by some Lib Dem members as already past it.) No doubt ...

Is this the end of the UK?

David Runciman: The End of the UK?, 27 May 2010

... preferences, particularly the first debate, which changed a lot of minds about the merits of Nick Clegg. We must all know somebody who switched allegiance after that; some of us must have done it ourselves. A certain amount of this support tailed off over the following three weeks, but a lot of it was still there on the last day of the ...

Cronyism and Clientelism

Peter Geoghegan, 5 November 2020

... an hour as an ‘external adviser’ to JCB – itself a major donor to the Conservative Party. Nick Clegg now works for Facebook. Sajid Javid became an adviser to J.P. Morgan barely six months after leaving Number 11. Theresa May earned more than her annual salary as prime minister from two cancelled speeches she was to give to J.P. Morgan this ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour, 23 April 2015

... politics is that there is a large centre ground, and that this is where elections are decided. As Nick Clegg has discovered to his cost, in a period of economic depression this area has a tendency to shrink. Yet as the political situation polarises and the establishment parties feel the earth fall away beneath them, they cling ever more tightly to their ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... who apparently claimed £2000 to install a drainage pipe under his tennis court. As the BBC’s Nick Robinson remarked, ‘the political class has lost control of this story. No one knows where it’s going.’ 11 May. To Westminster. Entire place traumatised. No one talking about anything else. The Speaker gave a right bollocking to Kate Hoey and Norman ...

Reasons for Corbyn

William Davies, 13 July 2017

... alleviating existing debt burdens. But not just any leader could credibly have made this promise: Nick Clegg famously reneged on it in 2010, and no Clegg-alike could have got away with making it in 2017. Centrist Labour figures and their friends in the press continue to believe it is a bad policy, on the grounds that ...

The Politics of Now

David Runciman: The Last World Cup, 21 June 2018

The Fall of the House of Fifa 
by David Conn.
Yellow Jersey, 336 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 0 224 10045 8
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... into his premiership, added ruddy-cheeked bonhomie to the party. Only if the FA had sent deputy PM Nick Clegg in his place could it have signalled more clearly that it believed hard political choices could be alleviated with some honeyed words and a shy smile. The previous day, England’s cause had been gravely damaged by the broadcast of a BBC Panorama ...

The Demented Dalek

Richard J. Evans: Michael Gove, 12 September 2019

Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry 
by Owen Bennett.
Biteback, 422 pp., £20, July 2019, 978 1 78590 440 0
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... as mince’, ‘lazy as a toad’ and ‘vain as Narcissus’. Cameron’s deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, was a ‘revolting character’. Cameron’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, was a ‘classic third-rate, suck-up-kick-down sycophant’. Cummings in his turn has been called ‘off the wall’, a ‘bit of a nutter’, a ‘bonkers, scruffy ...

His Fucking Referendum

David Runciman: What Struck Cameron, 10 October 2019

For the Record 
by David Cameron.
William Collins, 732 pp., £25, September 2019, 978 0 00 823928 2
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... was the pledge delivered by the three main Westminster party leaders – Cameron, Miliband and Clegg – to devolve more powers to Holyrood in the event of a ‘No’ vote and to wrap this up in a generous offer of future funding. Until that point, the focus of the ‘No’ campaign had been on the risks of independence. The message was: don’t chance ...

Time to Repent

Ross McKibbin: The New Political Settlement, 10 June 2010

... that five days after the election there would be a Con-Lib coalition government, even though Nick Clegg had hinted during the campaign that such an outcome was in his mind. The election result itself was one of the oddest in recent memory. Although the Conservatives won more votes than any other party and won a clear majority of seats in England ...

This Way to the Ruin

David Runciman: The British Constitution, 7 February 2008

The British Constitution 
by Anthony King.
Oxford, 432 pp., £25, November 2007, 978 0 19 923232 1
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... either Brown or David Cameron to form a government, which would in turn depend on what concessions Nick Clegg could extract from either of them for the Lib Dems, and on how much confidence either could place in the continued support of their backbench MPs (likely to be more of a problem for Brown than Cameron). What the sovereign should do – or be ...

What’s the point of HS2?

Christian Wolmar, 17 April 2014

... is a very important part of the wider revamping and modernisation’ of UK infrastructure (Nick Clegg); ‘HS2 connects up the economic heart of the country’ (Andrew Adonis). And so on. The methodology on which the case for HS2 rests has been quietly set aside by its supporters, who now claim that the arguments were never about business cases ...

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands and Helena Kennedy, 3 January 2013

... We were appointed to the Commission on a Bill of Rights in March 2011 by Nick Clegg. The circumstances were not auspicious, and we were concerned from the outset that our composition – all white, almost all male, almost all lawyers and London-based – would undermine our ability to speak with any legitimacy ...

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