I rather liked the social media outrage from one commentator at Mr Clegg's imminent departure to Silicone Valley. Which I suspect would be something quite different to Silicon Valley.
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 …
evil moustache - either a long waxy/twisty one, or a really really narrow one...
seriously this is no culture class from FB. Liberal Democrat fits right in with FB's natural political inclinations. They simply hired someone who's like-minded with the rest of their management.
As it was under his leadership (and continuing since, sadly) that I found myself unable to follow my heart and historical trend of voting for the Lib Dems, quite frankly I'm rather glad he's pissing off from the UK entirely.
And the values the Lib Dem's supposedly hold, yet he's working for FB.... says everything you need to know about modern politics (or just politics?), regardless of colour.
If Clegg hadn't sold out for a taste of power as he did, my constituency wouldn't now be returning a f-witted Tory drone to Westminster. All the time I've lived here I've held my nose and voted Lib Dem just to keep the lower-than-vermin party out, but it became too agonising to sustain after 2010. And it seems about 2000 of my neighbours thought the same, not to mention similar numbers in another 39 constituencies.
Thanks, Nick, you useless wanker. Enjoy California. You won't recognise what remains of the UK by the time you come back.
Let me get this straight, you are saying that you stopped voting anti-Tory in your constituency and are angry that the Tory then got in? Sounds like it's your fault!
If you want to get it straight, read what I said again: it's Clegg's fault my constituency now returns a Tory. I'm angry with the Lib Dems (and I told them why), not with the smarmy git who now sits in Westminster (though I have caught him lying, but then like most politicians his lips do move).
The Lib Dems went into a coalition with the Tories, so voting Lib Dem turned out to be functionally indistinguishable from voting Tory. There's no point in repeating that action. The problem with tactical voting is that you never vote for what you want, only against what you dislike the most, and consequently no smaller party ever sees much of an increase in their vote and people then carry on voting tactically because they don't think any other party stands a chance. Sooner or later it has to stop. The Lib Dem vote collapsed in 2015 precisely because of the coalition, so they might yet learn their lesson. I have since voted for another party, even though I know they won't win, because at least it improves their chances over time. That's the only way to make a lasting difference.
The Lib Dems went into a coalition with the Tories, so voting Lib Dem turned out to be functionally indistinguishable from voting Tory.
So let me get this straight... You voted for a party whose major policy has always been electoral reform to bring in a system that virtually guarantees coalitions. Because they say they genuinely believe that this is a better way to run the country - by forcing parties to compromise when forming coalition governments. And of course having more and smaller parties gives more voters a chance at being represented.
And you complain that they joined a coalition with the Conservative party, when a coalition with Labour was mathematically impossible.
What else did you expect them to do? Say that "our whole political philosophy is bollocks that we didn't really mean and we don't believe in coalition politics after all" - or do the thing they've always said they'd do since the party was founded?
As for the pathetic comment where you call an entire political party that you disagree with "lower than vermin" - have you considered that sort of childish comment might just not be very good for democracy? A bit more understanding and nuance and a bit less childish arseholery would make our politics a lot healthier. As well as a lot more pleasant.
'If Clegg hadn't sold out for a taste of power as he did, my constituency wouldn't now be returning a f-witted Tory drone to Westminster.'
Do you mean leaving UK politics? Because as I recall, he lost his seat in an election. Pretty difficult to remain a political force without a seat.
Or do you mean entering a coalition with the Tory party? As again, I recall there was a hung election result where neither Labour no Torys could put an effective government in place without the Liberal seats.
Clegg was faced with a choice of sacrifice parts of the Liberal policy and enter into a coalition or sit back and watch the UK effectively be without governance or international representation until an election rerun could be arranged still with no guarantee the result would be decisive.
Yeah, I'm sure it was the thought of power that made him ditch the student grant policy and as a result, completely alienate the voter demographic all political parties are striving to garner.
What a useless wanker....
“WHICH 'lower than vermin' party?
Apart from UKIP I'd say they are all like that.”
I would suggest a re-assessment of UKIP...
With Farage gone, UKIP ceased to be a single issue party and the alternative leadership options have been been unfit to be politicians let alone touching the heady heights of being vermin....
I accept some may speculate that UKIP was always thus, but there was always a range of political views within the larger party covering the differing views within their supporter base.
"I accept some may speculate that UKIP was always thus, but there was always a range of political views within the larger party covering the differing views within their supporter base."
Farage invited the racists and pond life in to UKIP to boost support and numbers by allowing them to hide their racism behind pretending to be merely anti EU. A very successful strategy which delivered as intended.
With the referendum over every half decent person left the party leaving only racists and idiots who clinging to brand loyalty.
As it was under his leadership (and continuing since, sadly) that I found myself unable to follow my heart and historical trend of voting for the Lib Dems
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Political parties routinely renege on manifesto promises and that's even without coalitions. It was obvious the Tories were going to force an increase in tuition fees through so the only question was, what could the Lib Dems get for agreeing to them and I think they got a reasonable deal on the whole: it was five years of fairly scandal free government and the country still had a health system at the end of it. Whatever your politics, if you compare the governments immediately before and after I think you'll agree the coalition ran fairly smoothly and both parties had to compromise.
In my view the real mistake was agreeing to a referendum instead of a parliamentary vote on changing the electoral system. Had it gone through the Tories wouldn't have won a majority in 2015 and we wouldn't have had the Brexit fiasco. But too many purists decided it wasn't enough so shot it down.
What?! I really don't think you've been paying attention.
Perhpas not as much as you, but consider the last two Labour governments and the Tories since 2015 and try and keep the politics out of it. If the Tories had one an absolute majority in 2010 then they would have been able to push through the boundary changes in their favour in time for 2015.
The scorn poured on the Lib Dems — what were the alternatives in 2010? — for making compromises and being unable to fulfill campagin promises reminds me of some of the discussions about leaving the EU with the naive idea that compromises can be avoided with the right strategy/negotiating team/choice of tie.
Personally, I thought the coalition and the introduction of fixed term parliaments were, on the whole, positive. I really, really wanted electoral reform. But since then we've witnessed a slide back into single issue bickering which mainly serves feed disaffection with politics in general and, thus, bolster the extremists (Momentum and the ERG).
I've a few more suggestions if Facebook wants more ex (Or soon to be) politicians (All ironic of course):
Tony Blair as head of Middle-East public relations...
Gordon Brown as head of accounting...
John Major as head of Human Resources...
Theresa May would make a good coat rack...
Presumably because this is the point at which facebook needs a name synonymous with trust, kept promises and public confidence.
<sarcasm alt="in case anyone was in doubt"/>
Alternatively, facebook absolutely DOES need someone who can sing the "I'm sorry" song every few weeks each time they let on they lost more user data.
>I seem to remember the LibDems stopped the brexit referendum being called when they were in coaltion.
Most LibDems seem to remember that - unfortunately the in/out EU Referendum was in their 2010 manifesto. The delay was because Cameron convinced the Eurosceptics in his own party that he could get the UK a special deal.
If Labour hadn't adopted its "members elect the leader directly" constitution...
If the Scots had voted to leave the UK... or if their referendum had never happened at all...
If the Germans had treated the Greeks a little better...
Heck, if Philip II of Spain had succeeded in invading England in 1588...
I could play "things that could have prevented the referendum" all day. But I've got things to do.
I'm sure Nick sold them a great tale about being one of the most trusted former politicians in the world with regard to privacy an honesty.
I would say Facebook know full well that every politician or former politician they buy is a useless knob end. But that doesn't matter, because anybody who has held significant office retains residual door-opening abilities to governments, oppositions, civil servants and regulators. They shouldn't, but they do.
Mind you, Clegg and Zuck are both revolting, smarmy, shallow, lying knobs, maybe they really like each other's company.
"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??
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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)
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".
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.
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.
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.
..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!'
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!
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