We’ve had the selfie, which has made it into the OED, and now welcome to the Cleggie – talking about an important subject which you’re meant to know all about but manage to get completely wrong. Such people used to be known as stuffed poltrouns, idiots, fatheads, daft as a halfpenny watch or just a waste of space. The language needed a new single word for those with nothing between their ears – and it’s a Cleggie.
Nick says leaving the EU will threaten 3 million manufacturing jobs, which rather overlooks that 60 per cent-plus of our exports go to the world beyond the EU, and rising; and that the EU buys things from the UK that it needs and cannot do without. Then he goes on air to say that UKIP is scaremongering over immigration, as he sits as number two in a government missing its border targets by a mile.
Now he has turned his attention to the City, writing in yesterday’s Evening Standard under the truly scaremongering title: ‘UKIP would pull the rug from under the City.’
His leading hypothesis is that ‘UKIP’s people resent the 21st century’ – which is as improbable as it is just plain daft – whereas ‘London is an outgoing city that embraces the world’. He continues with ‘isolationism is masochism’, whatever that means: I always thought a masochist was someone who wouldn’t do a sadist a good turn.
But surely it’s the inward-looking, self-defeatist, euro-masochistic single currency of the EU which is the laggard in the global recovery, now led, globally, by the UK. UKIPers cheer this fact to the echo, as it proves we don’t have to be in the bureaucratic job-destroying EU to lead the world. We need to be out of the EU, now.
Nick then says that if the City is not in the EU, its leading position in global FX will erode, but gives no evidence. The Nicks of this world, blind to the obvious, asserted exactly the same would happen if the UK weren’t in the euro: they have since been proven spectacularly wrong.
What Nick didn’t dare mention is a much longer list of EU/EBA/ECJ recent interventions negatively impacting the City, namely: the capping of bonuses; the banning of short selling; the rejection of the UK’s attempted opt-out from the Tobin tax; the imposition of EU regulations on top of the UK regulatory system, with no attempt to blend the two into a coherent system; and now the attempt to move all euro-based settlements out of the London clearing system. I could go on.
Nick ends by asserting his Lib Dems are ‘internationalists to our core’ – so why not look beyond the flagging and failing EU, Nick?