Nick Clegg raised eyebrows during a speech last night when he confessed that he likes to dress up as William Gladstone – the towering political figure who served as a Liberal Prime Minister four times including two years during which he was simultaneously Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“It’s not a sex thing,’ Clegg told a bemused audience of cycling proficiency instructors. “It just makes me feel safe. When I dress as Gladstone I feel that I look right that it’s the real me.”
“Gladstone said ‘All over the world I will back the masses not the classes’ and was held in high esteem by the poorest in society. I have thrown in my lot with the most privileged and signed off on the destruction of the welfare state so in a sense Gladstone and I have got lots in common but I’m coming at things from a different angle but with the same very real level of success.”
“Do you know what I really love about Gladstone?’ Clegg said. “He was definite. You people have no idea how hard it is being a Lib Dem: the focus groups, the meetings, the endless striving for consensus. On my Gladstone weekends I stride about the world triumphant and decisive. Last time I was Gladstoning my wife asked me if I wanted a cup of tea and I replied ‘no’ without hesitation or stopping to consider how my decision would play in the North East and it felt amazing.”
When asked if he felt he could emulate his idol’s political success Clegg claimed confidently that he could.
“I return again and again to one of my favourite Gladstone quotes ‘no one ever became great except through many and great mistakes’ and I’ve made some real howlers in the past few years,” he chuckled. ‘Increased tuition fees, increased public spending cuts, failure to tackle corporate tax avoidance, the list goes on and on! Sometimes it seems like I all is do is bugger things up and bring my party closer and closer to annihilation at the next general election.”
“And on that basis greatness clearly beckons.”
Want to know what else Nick Clegg does on the weekends? Click here – http://eveningharold.com/2013/04/22/nick-clegg-is-ghost-story/