As the Sunday newspapers and TV commentators complete their post mortems of Thursday’s referendum and local elections, one thing is abundantly clear: any campaign backed by the Daily Mail and Murdoch news machine, plus vast amounts of Conservative party cash, is going to do significantly better than one that is not.
Whatever antipathy there may be around the nation towards the Liberal Democrats over the year-long national government coalition, it is clear that grassroots Tories are especially resentful of Nick Clegg.
Take, for instance, local Waddon councillor Clare Hilley’s Tweet from the Croydon count on Friday: “was great to be there with @JamesFitz1981@Aaronk28 @DarrenRutland @dommoffittand nail Cleggs ‘miserable little compromise’.”
The fickle media has gone from its “I agree with Nick” unrestrained adulation of April 2010, to undisguised contempt today. Steve Gauge is the local LibDem politician who helped run Clegg’s campaign 12 months ago. In his latest online posting, Gauge says, “When I set up events for Nick Clegg before the election, the media only chose to use positive images of this new kid on the block.
“Now, just 12 months later, run exactly the same event and the commentary and picture selection is completely different. Cleggmania was a little bit bonkers and its current hysterical replacement is much the same; different sides of the same bankrupt currency.
“How things turn out next depends very much on how Liberal Democrat party members respond to this dramatic change of fortune. Whether we stick together or fall apart.”
This, of course, was written before Paddy Ashdown and Vince Cable started (again) laying into their Tory “partners” in the ConDem government on radio and TV on Saturday. Following Thursday’s ballot results, it may be even more difficult for the coalition to stick together than the LibDems.
- The Independent View: Iain Dale on Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems (libdemvoice.org)
- Ed Miliband calls on Lib Dem MPs to quit cabinet (guardian.co.uk)
- Nick Clegg’s chance to some good at last (mirror.co.uk)
- Miliband Urges Lib Dem Ministers To Jump Ship (news.sky.com)
- Nick Clegg: little to show for selling a political soul (sluggerotoole.com)
- Calm down dear: Hilley goes silly over man on the tracks (insidecroydon.wordpress.com)