Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I was underwhelmed by Clegg at PMQs. Am I in the minority?

Have just watched Prime Minister's Questions live for the first time in a very long time.
I was underwhelmed by Nick Clegg's questions and cringed when he said:

"Isn't it true that the real choice for the electorate is between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats?"

I always think those statements are a bit embarrassing and have unfortunate echoes of "prepare for government". Just who are they for? The electorate? If so, they can surely see through them?

I see the BBC 1 O'Clock news cut that bit off thankfully.

I guess we had to go on the rudderless Labour theme to get on the news (or would they have had to cover Nick anyway due to RPA?) but we surely need to grab every opportunity we can to seem distinctive?

Having said all that, it seems this isn't the prevailing wisdom. Clegg's performance seems to have been well received over at Caron's Musings and even Iain Dale marked Clegg's performance highest (I agree with that, Cameron was lacklustre) and said the above quote was "a corker".

Maybe I'm out of touch, or everyone else is...

UPDATE: It seems Nick's quotes are being used more than Cameron's over at the BBC, so maybe we did the right thing. I still don't like the fact it makes Nick look like just another politician obsessing about Westminster.


Caron said...

I can see where you are coming from, but I think that Nick was speaking directly to the country at that point and to most voters, that is the choice they face tomorrow. I thought the line about people needing help and we don't have a government we have a void was very good.

Those of us who lived through go back to your constituencies and prepare for government maybe do feel a bit uneasy about that sort of comment, but these are different times and I think he was justified in using that comment on the eve of an important set of elections.

Mark Reckons said...

I agree with Caron.

There is a danger tomorrow that because of all the media coverage Cameron has had that some people almost by default put a cross next to the Conservative candidate as a protest against the Labour shambles. Clegg was simply reminding people that there is another major party to vote for and that will hopefully be on the news tonight and fresh in the electorate's mind tomorrow. Smart use of a question in PMQs in my view.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much you and other Libdems dont like it is that the Labour Party will even after the next general election continue to be the main and 'serious' opposition party. Until and when you have a change to FPTP at Westminster you will remain a think-tank for the other parties, who will adopt small elements of your constitutional reform programme and anything else they consider worth using. This has been the reality since the 1920s and I see nothing yet that will change this. Your best hope is a Labour Party that is so badly scarred by events since 2005 and a devastating election result in 2010 that it adopts some form of change to the voting system for Westminster. I am afraid that under FPTP you have to look to convert the Laoour Party, you have no hope of replacing it.

Anonymous said...

Labour rather than Laoour.