We no longer judge politicians on straight answers but on their level of obfuscation. Farage was sinister. Cooper out of touch . Clegg revealing

3 May 2015 at 09:34

Yvette Cooper, Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg were very revealing in their obfuscation on Marr today. It is strange that we don’t judge a politician on straight answers any more, just their degree of opaqueness. Cooper can’t admit the obvious that any government putting through legislation can’t do it blindfolded. There are always discussions with usual channels or in their case the unusual channels of the SNP. To fail to do this leads to Parliamentary paralysis. Nigel Farage’s failure to explain that part of his manifesto where those who disapprove of different lifestyles will be ‘accommodated’ was eerily instructive. Now that should send a shiver down the spine of those who believe in tolerance and equality.

But Nick Clegg’s good humoured dodging whether an EU referendum was a red line was most revealing. His ploy was clever. The subtext is if you give me more money for the NHS and the most vulnerable in society I won’t scupper your referendum plans. This will cause horror on two levels. The Cameron haters on the Rampton wing have always screeched that this is their red line and their excuse to dump him. They will have to think of another cunning plan. Oh, I think they have. They want a secret ballot on any referendum deals. In other words a coward’s charter to stab him in the back from the shadows of obscurity. Constituency associations will be furious. The Rampton view is that the imperative to to defenestrate Cameron. An SNP/Labour deal would be a disaster and wreck the economy and after a year the Tories would romp back with Boris at the helm. Bollocks. The country would never forgive them. Worse the SNP are only interested in leverage for the 2026 elections and a springboard into a referendum.

Then there is the horror for Cleggy. Cable is on manoeuvres. Grass roots don’t want another coalition with the Tories, they prefer Labour. But the red line for Ed would be Clegg’s head. Tim Farron in government with them propped up by the SNP? We might as well hoist the red flag over Downing Street now.

And then there is Ed. Unless he is Prime Minister, he is dead man walking. He wouldn’t hang on for long and then take up an academic post where he would be deliriously happy

Just a few days to go and everything to play for. Forty percent still haven’t decided. My guts tell me that this is ground hog day for 1992 but my head is deeply troubled.

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