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Nick Clegg Is The Celebrity Empathiser Who Wants You To Give Generously

by | 6th, April 2011

NICK Clegg. Bit of a knob, eh? But he is worthy of comment. And like all good celebrities, it is being ignored that they most fear.

Clegg has been noticed because he has said something wholly obvious. Of course, this will not be his undoing because the political elite are never wrong; they have merely triggered debate and invited us to join in.

What he said was:

“In Britain today, life chances are narrowed for too many by the circumstances of their birth: the home they’re born into, the neighbourhood they grow up in or the jobs their parents do.”

Well, yes, Nick. It’s been like that forever – in every country. It was like that when Clegg’s dad helped get him a gap year post with a bank. Parents work for their children. Get over it.

Clegg survived an internship and went on to earn lots of money and live in a lovely house. He was then rich enough to think about a career in politics. The privileged – some of whom have worked hard to achieved their status – might like to give their children every advantage is life. But Nick says to do so would be wrong.

Of course what Nick Clegg wants is to show us that he knows and he cares. He is not a politician creating a genuine policy for change – he is a celebrity in the business of orchestrated empathy, pleading with us over shots of poor people to give generously and save a life.

The Guardian leader nails it:

The BBC’s gently teasing brainbox Evan Davis asked minister David Willetts whether the plan amounted to the hope that all government policies would work well.

The papers reacts to a weak comment. The Mirror particularly enjoys it, writing five stories on the matter:

Whenever his inconsistencies and double standards are pointed out to him, rather than show contrition he becomes shrill and affronted. – Daily Express

Mr Clegg’s desire to create a fair market in internships is both patronising and fatuous: it has all the hallmarks of Labour’s “eye-catching initiatives”, designed to win headlines, but consisting largely of froth. And what is especially galling is that it does not attempt to tackle the real problem of social mobility. As the sociologist Peter Saunders pointed out on these pages recently, efforts to level the playing field over the past half-century have seen grammar schools abolished, streaming scrapped, curricula and exams rendered less taxing, unprecedented investment in school infrastructure and buildings, and an enormous increase in the numbers entering tertiary education – with barely any impact on social mobility rates. – Telegraph leader

Calamity Clogg criticising those who get on because of who “your father’s friends are” is either brilliant self-parody or a disturbing lack of self-awareness. I say the latter. – Kevin Maguire

Labour’s John Mann said: “It is hypocrisy to attack interns when he enjoyed the advantages of family connections himself.” – Daily Mirror

Former Westminster School classmate Chris Torchia, now a ¬journalist, said last year: “Nick Clegg built his career with the help of establishment ¬privileges.” – Mirror

Deputy Nick Clegg here, who was accused of hypocrisy in calling for an end to a poisonous “who you know” culture – when he owes his own rise to family friends. Both men are from a privileged elite which exposes the coalition’s “we’re all in this together” mantra as cynical spin. – Don Mackay Mirror

Oozing privilege from every pore, helped by private schooling and family connections, guilt-ridden ministers demand an end to the advantages that got them where they are today. Daily Mail leader – Daily Mail

Remember when Nick Clegg was loved?



Posted: 6th, April 2011 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink