Despite what the media were saying this morning about Nick Clegg doing badly in last night’s debate with Nigel Farage on the issue of the EU, I actually think he’s been rather clever.
In a broader context, such a debate was never going to change the hardliners. Liberals and lefties are likely to want to stay in the EU. Tories don’t. But I didn’t need to tell you that.
But who else don’t want to be in the EU? UKIP. So, the Tories and UKIP are scrambling for votes from the same pool of voters with their ideology. None of these people are every going to vote LibDem. Such a debate was never going to change a UKIP or Tory voter into a LibDem voter.
So, although it might be nice for Clegg to convince some people sat on the fence, I think doing badly in a debate with UKIP is actually a good strategy. As Clegg is inevitably associated with Cameron, by doing badly he undermines Cameron, his party and his government, and persuades Tory voters that UKIP might be a better use of their vote.
In doing badly, Clegg doesn’t really loose out. By doing badly he actually makes UKIP look good and gives a kick in the guts to the Tories. The anti-EU brigade are never going to vote LimDem. They are going to choose between UKIP and the Tories. Rolling out the Deputy PM who is so associated with Cameron *cough* lapdog *cough* was a really bad strategy for the Tories but quite a clever one for the LibDems
I also nearly choked on my Coco Pops this morning when Cameron said Farage and Clegg have extreme views on Europe and they’re both wrong. I think you were missing a “In my opinion” before that, senor.
And, tangent, sports stars are big on saying ” you know” every third word (well, if I knew, why are you telling me?), but have you seen Cameron? Look, look, look, to be honest, look, look, look. No matter how may times you say it, I’m never going to see your point of view. On Anything.