At last night’s Spectator awards the Children’s Minister Tim Loughton, journalist Gary Gibbon and I were sat on what Gary described as the ‘Nick Clegg Glee school’ table.
On my right sat Nick’s civil service SPAD and on my left sat his political SPAD. Someone at the Spectator was having a laugh when they worked out the seating plan.
They were actually very good company although I was slightly disappointed during the awards hand out and speeches.
When someone receives an award it is polite to clap. You may not agree and you may have other ideas as to who should have received the award but it doesn’t matter, you clap. It’s the right thing to do.
Last night, when Bernard Jenkin collected the award on behalf of Adam Holloway for his principled resignation and return to the back benches during the EU ‘81’ vote, the Lib Dem SPADs chose not to applaud.
This may be because Bernard read back to Nick some of Nick's own words regarding an EU referendum. Bernard quoted Nick as follows;
“I believe we should have a real vote on Europe...whether we should be in Europe or out… the public back our position by a margin of 2:1”
Well done Bernard for using such an occasion to highlight the Liberal Democrats total and utter hypocrisy.
However, it was just another one of those ‘this is what you said Nick and this is what you did’ moments. It’s hard to understand why they would be miffed, surely they are used to it by now?
The Lib Dems did the right thing on the tuition fees vote but should have never given their pie in the sky guarantees before the election when they thought they had no chance of being in Government!
Likewise, the SPAD hands remained in laps when Charles Walker collected the best speech award for his four words, ‘If not now, when?’
Slightly churlish methinks, especially as they joined in with the rest of the applause in the room for Shirley Williams.
The boys in question may think that this blog is a bit mean but I’m sure when they think about what I could be writing in it they will agree I’m being really quite generous.
Ah, politics, it’s such a lovely world to work in.
Having been alerted to an Independent diary piece on my blog, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/diary/diary-they-bullied-poor-georgie-and-silvio-says-nadine-6262421.html I was far more interested to read about Larry's love for Maisy! That cat had better have the PMs full support or he will have the back benches to deal with. We want no distasteful Cherie Blair cat napping repeats under a Conservative Prime Minister.