Thursday, 17 July 2008

Why is Nick Clegg so stroppy?

I've just listened to Nick Clegg's interview on the Today programme. I tried, honestly I did, to listen to what he was saying but I just couldn't get past his manner. Why is he so stroppy? It was a perfectly light canter around his own party's tax policies. There was nothing too heavy. No personal attack, no really tough questions. He sounds like he is going to walk out of the interview at any moment having thrown his glass of water over the presenter and upturning the table before kicking the door on his way out.

It's a fact of life that the Lib Dems have difficulty making themselves heard in the media. They generally gain support in a general election as they can demand more airtime. I wonder whether that will be the case next time with Nick Clegg as leader. His biography has echoes of David Cameron's but I can't imagine a wider gulf in personal style. Having said that, I'm not sure it is just style. It is temperament as well. It is type of temperament that led to him marching his MPs out of the Commons chamber when he couldn't get his way on the Lisbon Treaty.

I honestly think the Lib Dems have made a huge mistake in replacing Menzies Campbell with a completely unproven alternative. I don't know what the Lib Dems can now do but I really think Nick Clegg needs to look very closely at his way of communicating. Stroppy doesn't cut it in the modern media age.

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