Nick Clegg apologises but is it believable?
Most of you by now will have seen the next LibDem party political broadcast in which Nick apologises. In case you haven’t, here is the video:
I admire Nick for apologising, I really do. Neil Monnery told him to do it a year ago & Neil pointed out that he or his advisers thought that an apology would be laughed at or that questions would arise as to why did you do it in the first place.
Now whilst it was good to see a politician do something as refreshing to apologise for what everyone sees as a giant mistake and damaging to your electoral chances.
I thought the video was very badly done and it was done in a manner that made the apology not believable. I use the words that it was far too staged and scripted. What I mean by that is that the way it was staged and scripted & the way Nick delivered the script made the whole thing not believable.
Now lots of LibDems think the opposite to me and that Nick’s apology was completely honest and sincere. Yet had Ed Miliband and Ed Balls apologised for their parties mistakes, then every LibDem in the same manner. Of course their advisers would make sure the tone is right, the lighting etc. was right but we would see it for what it was, a dishonest and insincere apology.
The video, is everything the public hates about politics. Its part of why trust in politics has been eroded. The public see these videos with the nice lighting, the politician talking straight into the camera & saying this & that, whilst going and doing the opposite. The public have been trained to see everything in that video as its been staged and scripted as “oh, look my polling figures are bad, let’s do something to increase my polling figures” or “oh look, lets see how we can best persuade these suckers to vote for us, in order to screw them once we get power”.
The apology would have been much done, if it had been scripted into his conference speech so that it appeared Nick had gone off-script, in order to say what he actually believes in & to connect with us. Of course in order to convince us, a different speech would have to be leaked to the press only for him to follow it to veer away from it.
The Guardian has a story, that his advisers were against it but Nick became convinced it was the right thing to do, after the summer tour. I agree an apology was necessary, but it needed to be done better.
In the language of the video, Nick says it was wrong to commit to a policy that wasn’t affordable at the time when there was “no money” lying around. If it wasn’t affordable, why was it in “our fully-costed manifesto”? If it became unaffordable because we were in government, which it did, if it became unaffordable because we had different priorities, which we did then say that but don’t contradict something else that we said at the time of the election. That makes what we say at the 2015 election, seem like its complete lies.
Instead of rebuilding trust, he’s actually eroding it further.
The apology also shows that Nick doesn’t get that the tuition fees is a symbol of distrust, that the people who went away from us over the broken promise see other broken promises so addressing one but not the others, I believe shows that he just doesn’t get it.
Now, I believe Nick Clegg should be Prime Minister, but I feel because of his “voters will miraculously come back” strategy, which it seems he still doesn’t want to move away from, will lead us into opposition for another century. I don’t believe this “apology” helps, I believe it entrenches that distrust.