Never mind the coalition, all the evidence this morning is that it is the Guardian that is split.

I give you in evidence this page where Simon Hoggart makes the outrageous claim that Nick Clegg is “morphing into Tony Blair”.  But before you read on to sift through Mr Hoggart’s argumentation, follow the link you’ll find south-south east of his opening par and you’ll arrive here, where a Mr Peter Collett, who describes himself as a “body language expert” asserts the thesis that Mr Clegg is “metamorphosing into David Cameron”.

Hmm. A man who can simultaneously transubstantiate in two directions at once. Get the Pope back. I think aggressive secularism may have met its match. No wonder the Liberal Democrats made this guy their leader.

One’s first thought, of course, is for Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, Mr Clegg’s generously-monickered wife.  Of all the similarities posited between Messrs Cameron and Blair (and there are many), the one that stands out like a cherry on a dungheap is their enthusiasm for impregnating their wives such that the prime ministerial potency credentials might be burnished by the sound of a baby’s cries ringing through Downing Street (Mrs Thatcher achieved the same with her Cabinet without the need to get pregnant, but that’s a different story).  It seems likely therefore that, if she is to keep up, Ms G-D will have to produce twins. Perhaps one now sees the point of the conference slogan “Delivering for Britain”.

With a body turning into David Cameron, and a brain manufacturing the famous verbless platitudes of Tony Blair, the Clegg Monster clanked to his party’s podium yesterday to denounce the Conservatives.  Since the conventions of coalition politics mean that he finds himself temporarily unable to denounce the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrat leader was forced to signal these base emotions to his followers through the technique of condemnation by proxy. He chose a pair of readily-identifiable synonyms for Tories and attacked bankers and tax-evaders instead.

Let no one say that the Clegg speech did not have a beginning, a middle and an end. He attacked bankers and tax-evaders in the third paragraph of his text, returning generously to the topic in the otherwise brackish reaches of the centre and then, finally, giving the twitching corpse a valedictory bit of welly as he reached his peroration.

One of the curiosities of the new politics is that Mr Clegg found it necessary while doing this to portray Labour as the party of the bankers, which may come as something of a surprise to the spirits of Keir Hardie and Clement Atlee.  I don’t think that his audience was fooled. They knew who he was talking about.  Each salvo against the rich and heartless was awarded with a round of applause. The actual Conservatives and David Cameron were mentioned just the once – praised indeed, albeit only for the boundless sagacity they had displayed in inviting the Liberal Democrats into government.   This received no applause.

Needless to say, it was mainly when leftish sentiments were coming out  that Mr Clegg’s audience felt roused to respond. Much clapping when – with due reference to the discomfort of the Government’s lawyers – he re-stated his belief that the war in Iraq had been illegal. A cheer even when he said, and then said again, that there would be no selection in the Government’s schools policy. He didn’t quite go down the David Blunkett path and say “read my lips”, but since that would only have drawn his audience’s attention to what Mr Collett maintains is the deputy prime minister’s Cameronesque mouth this is probably just as well.

For his conclusion, the Clegg Monster invited his audience to imagine all the fun they will be having knocking on people’s doors in the general election campaign of 2015. If you cannot possibly imagine that canvassing is fun – and are certainly not the person who starts looking forward to it five years in advance – then you are not a Liberal Democrat.  We will be able to tell them, Mr Clegg ploughed on, that we have scrapped ID cards. We will be able to tell them that we cut crime, stopped Labour’s “mass incarceration of children” (eh?), brought the troops home from Afghanistan, knelt the bankers down and put a bullet through their heads and discovered a quick way from the M4 to the M1 avoiding the M25. Well not the last two actually, but you get the general idea.  It was rousing stuff, or certainly intended to be.

The fact that David Cameron, with one or two tweaks of emphasis, could tell his conference to tell the people on the doorstep the same thing need not trouble us for now. But one day it will. One day it will.

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