Wait! We can still salvage something from this! Oh, wait…

…we can’t. Bugger.

Nick's happiest day

Nick Clegg seems to have had a pretty rough week. In fact, the only person in the whole world who has had a rougher week seems to be the late world hide and seek champion. And, like said elusive hate-mongerer, Clegg and the Lib Dems appear to be all at sea. (N.B.: The alternative joke there was that like said hate-mongerer the Lib Dems needed this week like a hole in the head. Thanks Osama, you’re a goldmine.)

Evidence of this hilariously predictable turn of events can be found by casual scrutiny of Nick Clegg’s face, and the party in general might be best summed up this over-ambitious outdoorsman. So close, but then he never stops sliding.

In a cruel electoral double-whammy, Nick and friends lost somewhere in the region of a billion council seats, and then promptly lost one of the most winnable referenda in human history simply by having their names attached to it.

Perhaps that’s a little unfair. There were maybe three major factors why AV got utterly routed on Thursday:

  1. The Yes campaign was as effective as the Pakistani intelligence service
  2. The No campaign was as effective as the US Navy Seals
  3. Nick Clegg said he liked it.

Which is a shame really, and definitely an opportunity missed for something approaching a fairer system. When the next debate about the voting system swings around in fifty years or so, I hope the proponents of change will look back at the way this one was conducted. And then do the exact, polar opposite. Seriously, you propose a half-arsed version of electoral reform, market it by assuming everybody is going to vote yes so you can save on those expensive leaflets and commercials, let the opposition tell outright lies and respond with a wall of indignant silence while their slimy propaganda sinks into the public conscience, make no attempt to ever explain why FPTP is crap, agree to hold the election on a weekday, when everybody is, y’know, working and have better things to do than worry about voting, agree to hold the vote in the midst of swingeing public cuts when faith in politics is at an all time low and then get the most despised political figure in the country to offer very public support for the cause, a man so distrusted that turkeys would vote for Christmas if he told them not to.

“Say, Moira, I see that Nick Clegg on telly telling us not to cut off our own feet. Isn’t that something?”

“Yes, that scarf will make a fine tourniquet. Thanks, darling.”

Utterly hopeless.

On the plus side, the Apprentice starts next week. Which means I can link to this, the finest video ever made.

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