It’s Clegg’s fault
Someone asked “has there ever been a worse politician than Nick Clegg”?, and at first sight it is hard to think of one, other than GW Bush. And actually, most American politicians.
But Clegg has been spectacularly rubbish. He has squandered the opportunity of coalition and politically, ruined his party. Financially, it was already ruined. He could have, should have been a much feistier coalition partner, not afraid of the odd harsh word (they are different parties, anyway) but always standing up for what is right. He’s failed, but for the nation as a whole, his biggest failure came last Thursday.
If Clegg, not Cameron, had been doing his job, Thursday night’s Brussels fiasco could have been prevented. Cameron was doing his, for the sake of his mates and his toxic backbenchers, but Clegg was asleep in Sheffield.
Clegg doesn’t have a country to run. He doesn’t have the Eurosceptic baggage that Cameron has, he speaks several languages, and he could have spent time building alliances before the meeting.
With those alliances in place, there might not have been the need for a Tory veto at all; if Clegg had done his job, the options on the table might have been palatable even to Cameron.
Had he been in Brussels, as he should have been – he’s Deputy Prime Minister, after all – he’d have been able to say to Cameron, as he was considering his veto at four in the morning, “Listen, Dave, don’t be such a twat.” Or words to that effect. He might have been able to negotiate a better deal on the Tobin Tax – “yes we support it in principle, and we will agitate for it internationally, but it must be global, so we want a deferred implementation”.
But he didn’t. He was asleep in Sheffield.
What a useless fuckwit he has been.