Clegg the “victor”? Forget the policies. It’s all about personality

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    Comment at end

    17th April 2010

    This video ends with the discovery/realisation/revelation –

    “but after this first debate it seems Britons are ready to talk personality as much as policy”.


    It was ever thus, dullards.

    For years we have had political purists from all sides and none telling us that our is not a presidential system and so we don’t vote for a candidate as prime minister-in-waiting but for a party and its policies. It’s really, honestly they purified away nothing to do with how presentable, articulate or charismatic are the leading characters.

    All of this is clearly utter nonsense, as I have pointed out here on many occasions. It has always been nonsense.

    In my first post at this blog, on 15th September 2006 – ‘Dear British voter’ – I said this

    ‘Yes, I DO understand the system.

    Do We Vote For A Party Or For A Leader?

    Those defending the removal of the PM within the Labour party – and be in no doubt it is NOT Tony Blair’s choice to leave within a year – those defending say that people vote for a party, not a leader. Well, that’s the theory, but hardly ever the practice. Whether we like it or not, they vote for a leader. In earlier elections they wanted Labour but didn’t like Kinnock, so he didn’t win. And Thatcher was seen as a breath of fresh air after the previous “what crisis” Labour government. And can you imagine what would have happened after the landslides of Thatcher and Blair, if the next day their respective parties had decided to replace them? So what makes them think they have the right to replace Blair now, at will? It’s not even 18 months since his, and their third victory.

    The Party Leader Does Not Matter

    If leaders don’t matter why the struggle over the leadership in ALL the parties? Why the constant changes at the top of the Conservatives when this one and then that one didn’t quite cut the mustard? Why the hand-wringing when Charles Kennedy fell from grace and no-one could think of a more attractive and telegenic replacement? No, whether it’s written in the rules or not, voters vote for a leader at least as much as for a party, if not, in my humble opinion, more so.’

    Since the all-pervading box dominated our lives, it’s ALL about the personalities, sweetheart.

    Suddenly the most boring campaign in British pre-election history has become the most interesting.

    And why?

    The personalities, stupid.


    At The Independent pollster John Curtice says “the competence and empathy reminded me of Tony Blair

    DUH, again!

    Excerpt: ‘How did Mr Clegg create this opportunity? According to Populus by persuading people that he knows how to handle the country’s problems while at the same time conveying the sense that he is in touch with his fellow citizens. Apparent competence laced with a degree of empathy – perhaps it reminded some of Tony Blair?

    John Curtice is Professor of Politics, University of Strathclyde. He is analysing the opinion polls for The Independent’

    Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown prepare to contest the first election debate. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV

    Nick Clegg even LOOKS most like Tony Blair. Sorry, Dave.

    SO WHAT WON IT FOR CLEGG (so far)?

    The Liberal Democrat party has not suddenly won over the floating voters and some from other parties in the opinion poles by dint of the strength of their arguments on policy. Hardly anyone who doesn’t wear a political anorak KNOWS much about their policies.

    Nick Clegg, playing the “I’m not either of those two” card has thrown both the big parties into meltdown. CLEGG did it. Not his party. As Blair did it for three elections running … NOT his party. Blair was aided, it is true, by less than effective opposition leaders. On the Conservative side, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard and William Hague, and from the Liberal Democrat side, Charles Kennedy and Menzies Campbell. But once people think about the Liberal Democrats’ EU policies and their immigration policies things will change. The press will see to that, if not their political opponents.

    Apart from that the Lib Dems were wrong – so wrong – on Iraq.

    Over to you, Messrs Brown and Cameron.


    Telegraph: Pound falls after Nick Clegg’s election debate success

    Mirror, McGuire: ‘The power of telly’

    Washington Post – view of our debate from across the pond


    The Americanization of British politics (and all without the “pseudo-American” Blair! Interesting, eh?)

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    One Response to “Clegg the “victor”? Forget the policies. It’s all about personality”

    1. Blair-Obama-Cameron-Clegg. Morphed? What do they have in common? « Tony Blair Says:

      […]… […]

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