back to article Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

Facebook has hired former British deputy PM Nick Clegg to head up its global affairs – a move that reportedly involved boss Mark Zuckerberg spending months “wooing” the Lib Dem has-been. The Financial Times reported that the ex-Liberal Democrat leader will move to Silicon Valley permanently in January to replace Elliot Schrage …

  1. SkippyBing Silver badge

    I would have done it for half the price. I have no problem with whatever anyone calls me at that price.

  2. Eeep !

    Are you suggesting he held out for the price of his values? Doesn't he have Facebook employees doing him a favour? Well, "favour" is probably not how it will be described in a few months.

  3. Alan Bourke

    Has he promised it'll be always free for students yet?

    Try the fish etc

  4. andy 103
    WTF?

    "an attempt by Facebook to demonstrate that it isn't trapped in its own tech bubble and is taking criticism from politicians seriously."

    That's the best one I've heard all week. Facebook is a tech company that's interested in making money, and don't give a shit where it comes from. They have no real political affiliations as long as the money's right. Politicians tell citizens Facebook can't be trusted for news - particularly political news. People don't trust politicians. Or Facebook.

    How does appointing Nick Clegg make any of this better or different??

  5. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Depends. If they're worried about following Google through the office of the European Commission's Massive Fines for US tech companies Commissioner - then Clegg might be useful. I'm pretty sure Google could have easily got away with abusing their search/advertising monopoly, had they not been so stupid and actually shown some interest in working with the Commission when it was more friendly. Someone a bit more plugged into European politics might have been very useful - but they were too arrogant and stupid to listen. And now they're probably going to end up on a repeated treadmill of fines and failure to agree remedies for the various areas where they've abused their market position.

    As happens, I don't think Facebook are abusing their monopoly in other markets that much, so are probably safe from Vestager anyway. But there's all the fake news and data protection stuff happening. Personally I'd have thought they'd be better hiring a German - as it's Germany that's the real driver of data protection in Europe - it's been a live political issue there for at least 25 years. But Clegg has good connections across the EU and Britain - so ain't a bad choice.

    It could even be (gasp!) that they're making a genuine attempt to change their corporate culture - and have got in someone to help them show governments they're actually doing that. But I don't believe that Zuckerberg is capable of that. So I suspect it's more trying not to get blindsided by the EU in the same way Google have been - and from the way they're failing to learn, I think will continue to be.

  6. ratfox Silver badge

    I always knew he would make it big! /trollface

    (Why can't I have an icon on mobile?? Even requesting for the desktop version doesn't work)

  7. Bloodbeastterror

    He killed the Lib Dems...

    ... let's hope he can do the same for FB. He should slot right into that pit of vipers. Scum.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    What's the point of Nick Clegg?

    He's essentially a Tory lapdog in disguise - utterly incompetent as deputy prime minister so I suspect he'll fit in real well at Facebook, all "political" issues will be neutralized and nothing will change. That's the point of Nick Clegg.

  9. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: What's the point of Nick Clegg?

    He can't have been utterly incompetent. The coalition government survived. The first one in peacetime British history in 80-odd years - and they managed to sort out a working relationship with less backbiting than New Labour could manage in the same party with both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

    Actually I'd say that's the other reason the Lib Dems could ony have done a deal with the Conservatives. Even if Labour had the numbers to make a coaltion work, they were led by Gordon Brown (who struggled to share power with people in his own party). Also, if you think how rude people are about the Lib Dems now - imagine the flak they'd have copped if they'd propped up a PM who'd only ever faced one election and lost it?

    Also a lot of credit needs to go to the Civil Service for coming up with a draft procedure for coalitions before the election.

    I know it's fashionable to be massively rude about politicians. But it's a bit depressing the levels people seem to go to.

    It'll be interesting to see if Clegg has any effect at Facebook. He's got the power to publicly resign, and massively embarrass them. So he could do something useful there. Or he could just be a money-grubbing bastard. Ah you might say, but all politicians are out for themselves. But if that's true, why the hell did he join the Lib Dems?

  10. JimC Silver badge

    See, we're determined to join the main business community

    By getting into the practice of offering nice lucrative soft posts to retired politicians* so the ones in power know that if they play nice they could get an enhanced pension plan too...

    *can I say depowered politicians?

  11. Persona

    Re: See, we're determined to join the main business community

    This sort of thing is going to happen more and more post Brexit when all those lucrative EU commission jobs are no longer available to our ex politicians and they are forced to work for a living.

  12. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: See, we're determined to join the main business community

    There's only one "lucrative EU Commission job" going per 4 year cycle. That's not exactly that much of an incentive...

  13. Spazturtle Silver badge

    Re: See, we're determined to join the main business community

    There is only 1 president, but 1 in 5 EU employees earns over £140k and I think that can be described as fairly lucrative.

  14. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: See, we're determined to join the main business community

    EU employees are mostly not ex politicians. The ex politicians are the 27 Commissioners - which is one per country when you include the the Commission President. There's also a President of the Council and a High Representative (foreign affairs) - so that's a pretty small number of jobs for the boys to go round.

    I know EU salaries are high, compared to other civil service jobs, but I'd like to see some evidence for the 20% earning over £140k. Although, again, if true that isn't ex-politicians on the gravy-train but civil servants.

  15. spannerpog

    Boring boring boring.

    Really, the stick the bloke is getting for simply taking what will probably be an amazing job for amazing money. If offered the same role themselves you wouldn't see his fatuous critics for dust as they rode off on their moral high horses to Menlo Park.

    I appreciate that politicians are set to higher standards than the rest of us, but I'm not aware that he's ever done anything as a politician that could really be construed as self serving. Clearly many forget the state that the country was in when the Libdems agreed to a coalition and also don't think for a nano second that they didn't understand the likely consequences. But not difficult to see that in the current political environment the concept of political party actually putting the country ahead of itself doesn't seem credible.

    Whilst I am ranting can we please give up on the tuition fees thing? I know it's a tricky one to comprehend but when you are in a coalition you don't get to do all your stuff. You do some of your stuff and some of their stuff. But hey ho, another seemingly incomprehensible concept to grasp.

    Having been given the finger by an electorate and by his local constituents (for whom I believe he is considered to have done a reasonable job) who appear to have taken the view that the current shower of shite would do a better job at running the country, I'm not surprised he's buggered off. I would.

  16. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Re: Boring boring boring.

    You do some of your stuff and some of their stuff.

    Except he failed to achieve the Lib Dems' main political intent of going into coalition: getting a meaningful vote on AV. He was outmanoeuvered by Cameron (can you imagine being outmanoeuvered by the man who thought a Brexit referendum would heal the divisions in his party?) and the referendum was held on the shittiest version of AV possible, with no-one except the Lib Dems arguing for it. Doomed to failure.

  17. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: Boring boring boring.

    "when you are in a coalition you don't get to do all your stuff"

    Have you mentioned this to Theresa May? Well, I guess she's in a coalition so she's not going to get to do all her stuff, she'll just have to follow Arlene Foster's lead ... is that really the way it works? Someone should have told Nick Clegg.

  18. itzman

    Re: Boring boring boring.

    Theresa May is ion a coalition precisely so as to have an excuse to not do all her stuff.

  19. tiggity Silver badge

    Re: Boring boring boring.

    Problem was Cleggs LibDems campaigned on the most left wing manifesto of the election (out of Con, Lab & LD - excluding smaller / non Eng/Wales parties) - go and look, it was left of Labour.

    Thus, coalition with Tories was a killer long term LD blow, as plenty of people voted for them as the anti Tory vote / due to leftish policies, and so getting into bed with Tories alienated lots of voters. That trust is gone "forever" (a good few electoral cycles, until enough voters forgot / unaware if younger). Most LD voters at that election would have expected LDs to align with Labour given why so many people voted LD

    If someone had offered me the FB job on huge money, I would have refused - but then again I have my set of morals that mean I would not work for certain companies / people at any price (so given I have strong ethics I'm not & never will be a politician)

  20. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    The Machiavelli of our times strikes again!

  21. Mr Dogshit Silver badge

    Well

    I didn't see that coming. You've got to hand it to the Cleggster. And he married a top Latina MILF too.

  22. The Nazz Silver badge

    Good luck to the guy.

    I've never liked him, certainly can't trust him, don't agree with how he pushes *HIS* politics**, and not necessarily those of the former Liberal Dems, but good luck to him, i'd have taken the job also. Not that i'm Cambridge educated, multilingual or open to lucrative lobbying ( ok,maybe that last one, short of my soul though).

    But what i've learnt and amazes me, according to the BBC, is that he has been paid public money (presumably as all former deputy prime ministers are)

    "he responds that he is a private citizen, and that he has written to the Cabinet Office to ask that the stipend he gets for public work, as a former deputy prime minister, should come to a close when his office in the UK shuts."

    to actively and publicly campaign for a second referendum and to keep the UK in the EU.

    ** for clarity, even when he was their "leader".

  23. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: Good luck to the guy.

    I imagine that stipend is to pay for some secretarial support. As the quote even links it to his office in the UK closing. That could be part of the Lib Dem's Short Money (government cash parties get to support party activities and policy research) - or it could be a separate thing that ex senior ministers get that I wasn't aware of.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I actually thought Clegg might not be a massive c**t

    Oh

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I actually thought Clegg might not be a massive c**t

    More fool you then.

    He is a complete 'wizards sleeve'

  26. johnB

    Snout, meet trough...

  27. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

    "Trapped in its own tech bubble"?

    Or maybe "trapped in its own liberal bubble". Doubt it will help much with that.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Name two things that were cool in 2010

    Nick Legg and Facebook

  29. PhilipN Silver badge

    Senior European Politician

    Who's that, then?

    Thought it was an article about Clegg.

  30. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: Senior European Politician

    He's been an MEP, worked for the Commission and been a part leader and Deputy Prime Minister of one of the major members. That makes him a senior European politician. It's quite simple really.

  31. silks

    Re: Senior European Politician

    Ex senior UK/European politician...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought you needed skills to get in the USA, but apparently "Eurofanatic multimillionaire socialist with a knighthood" now does the trick!

  33. ThatOne Bronze badge

    Having a valuable address book is a precious skill. Being wealthy and having a knighthood is proof of morals, so of course he can get in the USA!

    Political lobbying will get so much easier for Facebook with someone who knows the right people by first name.

  34. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    "Eurofanatic multimillionaire socialist "

    And by calling Clegg a socialist you demonstrated a stunning ignorance of politics.

    The Lib Dems are small government anti-regulation, formed from the Liberals (who at one point were mainly the "legalise homosexuality" party) and the people who deserted the Labour Party thinking it was too left wing ever to form a government.

  35. MrMerrymaker

    How surprising!

    And here's me thinking he had a reputation for enabling evil!

  36. Denarius Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Why surprise ?

    How many pollies have shown they can avoid wads of money ?

  37. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Re: Why surprise ?

    Dennis Skinner.

  38. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Facebook Then and Now

    Then - Cambridge Analytica

    Now - Cambridge Politico

  39. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Re: Facebook Then and Now

    Then - 1968, London Bridge sold to the Americans (they thought they were getting the famous "Tower Bridge")

    Now - 2018 - Nick Clegg to join Facebook (they think they are getting..)

  40. werdsmith Silver badge

    Re: Facebook Then and Now

    Then - 1968, London Bridge sold to the Americans (they thought they were getting the famous "Tower Bridge")

    Do people still actually believe this? McCulloch knew exactly what he was doing when he bought only the facing stones from the old Rennie London Bridge to take to the newly built Lake Havasu City. And it paid off very well for him.

  41. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Cameron off to Google, Blair off to Amazon

    But thanks to Treason May we stay in the EU.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the passage of time...

    ..there are seminal moments that mark the apogee and descent of a 'rising star' to the depths of bankruptcy.

    One can clearly see the demise of this overblown undergraduate hook up site into terminal obscurity reflected in the Cleggster's appointment. In a decades time people will laugh 'remember when we were all on FACEBOOK! hahahahah!'

  43. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    Ah, the unnerving last triumvirate of UK political leaders who all looked physically interchangeable. Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband. For a while there it looked as if a central controlling entity was in charge of everything and creating a class of Stepford Leaders. I sometimes looked at them on screen and for a moment was unable to discern which of the three I was experiencing. Cameron was more polished and shiny, Clegg was blander, and Milliband was slightly off kilter; but otherwise they were interchangeable. Happily we now have chaos, entropy, and inexplicable back in charge, masquerading as strong and stable. Lovely!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he's a weasel

    no better or worse than any other politician

  45. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Just a point of pedanty: Sheffield Hallam is *NOT* student-heavy, that's Sheffield Central next door.

  46. kloczek the iOS6 user

    Good to know ..

    .. that Nick Kleg is MI5/6 asset delegated to Facebook.

  47. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Select Committee appearance

    How long before Zuckerberg sends Clegg to represent him before a Select Committee at Westminster?

    Paris?? - Unfortunately for her, she is at higher risk now of running into Clegg at some event or the other over in the west coast

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titles...

    'Deputy Prime Minister'... Reminds me of the time that a UK university of my acquaintance hired a 'Professor' from an American university because they thought he was a 'professor' and not just a lecturer...

  49. silks

    Fun

    Should be fun to see how this plays out...

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