Let me attempt to articulate the utter disgust that millions of Britons must be feeling on this Boxing Day morning: I mean, “Sir Nick Clegg”? Are you kidding me?
In case you’ve only just risen from your alcohol-fuelled yuletide stupor, I’m talking about the New Year’s honours list. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Nick Clegg’s set to become a knight of the realm.
Perhaps this is an appropriate reward for the establishment stooge, who served as second-fiddle deputy to Cameron and was complicit in the Con-Dem Coalition government’s ideologically driven austerity agenda.
This is the man who betrayed millennials over tuition fees. The oath-breaker who reneged on his promise at the smallest whiff of power and co-presided over the trebling of tertiary education tuition fees. Apparently being a self-serving liar ticks all the essential criteria for becoming a knight.
It’s not just my generation that Clegg turned his back on, it was some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I’m talking, of course, about the Bedroom Tax – long may it be a stain on Clegg’s and every other Tory-Lib Dem coalition member’s consciences. And let’s not forget the role that Clegg and Vince Cable played in helping to flog our Royal Mail on the cheap.
This knighthood is just the latest example of the Tories giving honours to their most faithful, and – in Clegg’s case – obsequious cronies.
Nigel Farage didn’t receive a knighthood as a result of campaigning for Brexit. I personally think he should have a lordship bestowed upon him.
Look at some of the remarkable things he has achieved: he campaigned on a platform of British jobs for British workers, while employing his German wife at one point; he campaigned to stop freedom of movement as it is, while at least two of his children are probably entitled to dual citizenship if they don’t already have it, thereby almost guaranteeing that freedom of movement for them can continue, unlike all the other children in Britain now and yet to come.
He campaigned against squandering vast sums on the EU budget, but remains committed to receiving his rather large pension from them after we leave the EU; he pontificated that he wanted the blue passport back, omitting the fact that it wasn’t introduced until the 1920s and it was Britain’s choice to change it to the burgundy colour, not the EU’s demands.
And the list goes on.
He should without doubt get some form of recognition for service. It was an incredible achievement.
At least with a lordship he could add to his list by becoming an unelected member of a faceless unelected governing body, yet another criticism he levelled against the EU. If he became a lord he could still get paid by the UK tax payer, in addition to his EU pension paid for by UK tax payers.
Perhaps he could even be a minister of state, which some faceless unelected lords and ladies are. Perfect.
Lorde was right to refuse to perform in Israel
When I see people like Sir Tom Jones and Sir Mick Jagger who have sung for Israel, I think of children languishing in solitary confinement and a world that looks away.
New Zealand artist Lorde has made the difficult decision not to look away. Good for her.
We should be worried about the behaviour modelled by our politicians
As 2017 draws to a close, the world’s deeply fractured political discourse (birthing Trump and Brexit) testify to election cycle-driven governments that carelessly jettison our moral and civic responsibilities for short-term gain.
The ruthless ambition and backstabbing that plague power struggles are now so entrenched as to be considered run-of-the-mill battle lines drawn in the malleable sand of the race for approval ratings. A preoccupied and disillusioned electorate has been far too blinkered to notice the negative consequences of poor leadership role models. This has imprinted impressionable youth with the mantra that to get ahead by any means remains fair play.
Negative vibes from tearing fair-minded, humane and visionary qualities from the fabric of leadership risks alienating a whole generation of young people from the obligation of a morally and civically engaged life.
Calculating cynicism and unbridled ambition is a fulminant turn-off for young people. One worries Thucydides’ fear of “a citizen who does not partake in politics is not only one who minds his own business but useless” is about to come true.
Worse still is deplorable parliamentary behaviour furnishing the template for future leaders who couldn’t care less who they have to step on or hurt to get ahead. The world’s future is imperilled if its future leaders emerge from such compromised stock. We risk infecting those who come after us with the destructive legacy of insularity and aggressive parochialism.