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Imagine 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.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
How can the heavily-armed Israeli state claim to be victimised by one teenage activist? By Richard Seymour.
Governments are manufacturing a new 'enemy within', write Yasser Louati and Malia Bouattia
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism