Sunday, July 18, 2010

Public opinion? Nick's phoned his mates to find out...

Nick Clegg's response to the anger over his decision to hold the AV referendum on the same day as the Holyrood poll, made without any consultation whatsoever -

"I really struggle to understand why the extensive and wide-ranging debates about the future of Scotland, about the Government of Scotland, the politics of Holyrood would in any way be subsumed or overshadowed or overturned by a separate, very, very clear, simple yes or no vote on how in future people vote for their MPs...

I am genuinely trying to work out what the allegation is. I speak to friends of mine who will be voting in Scotland and they say they see no complexity at all."

Hmmm. Wouldn't it be a wizard idea to also check with a few people who aren't his friends, and therefore aren't 100% guaranteed to tell him exactly what he wants to hear? For all I know the answer might be no different, but I'd have thought it would be a worthwhile exercise all the same, just to be on the safe side. After all, the last time the concept of Scottish public opinion was mixed up with "whatever the minister's mates think" the government managed to convince themselves that the poll tax was a really popular idea in these parts.


  1. How true. I suspect that Nick's mates in Scotland may not be entirely representative of the population as a whole.

    After all, they are likely to be Liberals, possibly members of one of the parliaments or councils, and if they hang with Nick, they are unlikely to be short of a bob or two.

    I agree with your suggestion that the opinion of a few of us "ordinary" people might help to make the survey more democratic, or more liberal in nature...

    ...but why would Nick be interested in that?

    Actually, it's not just Nick that comes out with this kind of nonsense. I wish I'd a pound for every time I hear some politician telling me what he ‘hears up and down the country’ (presumably these are the ones that either don't have any friends to ask, or at least if they do, they have the savvy to keep them out of the "opinion polls".

    My advice to Nick would be to come to Scotland and ask around a bit....

    And I had such high hopes for him too.... tut tut...

  2. The other point of course Tris is that Clegg would never have done this in the first place if he didn't think it was going to have an impact on the outcome of the referendum, the Holyrood election, or both. So in pretty much every sense, he doth protest too much.