I don’t care about the Lib Dems, but I’ll enjoy seeing them get their payback

With or without Clegg at the helm, the Lib Dems will remain a party devoid of principles and heading for oblivion, writes Jessie Thompson

May 30, 2014
3 min read

sad-cleggImagine pledging your absolute allegiance and support to Nick Clegg. No, seriously, stop laughing. All sinking ship, car-crash and other transport-related disaster metaphors aside, doesn’t it seem to defy not only belief but logic itself that anyone could sincerely summon the effort and conviction to stand by the embattled Lib Dem leader?

After coming nail-bitingly close to a ‘nil pwa’ performance in the European elections, mutterings that Nick Clegg should probably think about clearing his desk have begun to reverberate. Lord Oakeshott’s secret polling showed that Clegg will lose his own Sheffield Hallam seat in the next General Election by a sizeable enough margin if he remains as leader – but Vince Cable, Danny Alexander et al have been sure to state that it was deceitful and wrong to do these polls, and they are behind their dear leader all the way.

Their blustering and desperate attempts to tell us that they support Nick Clegg, honestly, truly, really they do, now come across as nothing but utterly farcical. It’s a dogmatic and anachronistic belief in a man who has made a career out of having no beliefs, all at the electorate’s expense.

The self-righteous and conscienceless way that the Lib Dems sold their voters down the river is now met with a punishment that befits their crime: their delusions of importance are made a mockery by an electorate that deems them irrelevant.

This is a party whose very existence is now so trivial that they are bumped off Question Time in favour of Joey ‘four ugly girls’ Barton. We don’t need to talk about whether Nick Clegg will last until 2015, or even if the Lib Dems will even to continue to exist by then, because none of us can even muster the energy required to pontificate about it. With or without Clegg at the helm, the Lib Dems will remain a party without principles, not waving but drowning.

This is how the Lib Dems will be repaid for shafting students and getting into bed with the Tories. There won’t be riots on the streets or shit put through their letterboxes. Instead, there will be a feeling of intense glee shared by millions as we watch the Lib Dems melodramatically grasp their way through an existential crisis, peppered with in-fighting and rubbish coups. Laughter will abound as Clegg’s soul finally exits his body on the day he loses his seat, and cements the Lib Dems legacy as Tory-enabling liars.

Oh, and then we’ll remortgage our houses because we’re saddled by tuition fee debt and interest rates have gone up. Will Nick Clegg stay or will he go? It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because, in a cruel and tragic twist of fate, our destiny seems to be inextricably bound up the Lib Dems: that is, we’re both fucked.


✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.

Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change

Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself

Secrets and spies of Scotland Yard
A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh

#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces

How progressive is the ‘progressive alliance’?
We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank

The YPJ: Fighting Isis on the frontline
Rahila Gupta talks to Kimmie Taylor about life on the frontline in Rojava

Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'

Confronting Brexit
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond

On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network

Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter

#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement

Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.

Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees

Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides

The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari

Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next

Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace

Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill

Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility

Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports

From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices

How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed

In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design

Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform

Who owns our land?
Guy Shrubsole gives some tips for finding out

Don’t delay – ditch coal
Take action this month with the Coal Action Network. By Anne Harris

Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen

Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant


84