Former Deputy Prime Minister says Britain will never elect a Jeremy Corbyn government
By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online
Nick Clegg says the British people will never elect Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister and have no desire for “Che Guevara” politics.
The former Deputy Prime Minister, who led the Liberal Democrats from 2007 to 2015, told the audience at the Hay Festival Segovia: “It was totally unsurprising, almost inevitable, that the Labour Party elected a leader from the hard left but they will never win an election under Jeremy Corbyn as leader. I have seen this frequently in my time in politics: when political parties just talk to themselves they always end up losing. There is no groundswell for Jeremy Corbyn. A couple of thousand people seeing him in a hall on a rainy Thursday in Leeds is not a revolution.”
Then, in a reference to Guevara, the Marxist revolutionary leader of Cuba, Clegg added: “The British people aren’t going to look for Che Guevara in the next election. Labour may have a politically motivated group whose voice will be ever more shrill and loud and amplified by social media but there is a whole sea of people, millions of voters, who don’t engage with politics. I think roughly only 20-25 per cent of the population are strongly engaged in politics, whether that is going to meetings with Corbyn or being foot soldiers for UKIP but the vast majority of people are broadly sceptical and bored by politics and they are the ones who count in elections. When the Labour Party realise that they can have their sanctimonious debates, throwing rocks, but that it won’t make them win, then maybe they will change again. But that could be a long time. I remember a time when the Conservatives were considered stuffed and Tony Blair was in sway but the pendulum has swung. Who knows, it might take another 15 years for it to swing back for Labour.”
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