Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Clegg's murky past

Nick Clegg has hardly been reticent in his admissions about his past life - many would think he should have been more reticent! But it's curious that whilst he has no qualms about exposing himself to public ridicule as "Cleggover", he feels the need to lie about other events in his past.

Stories have abounded that when at university Nick Clegg was a member of the Conservatives. He has denied this - see The Daily Telegraph: Three Line Whip: 'Tory mystery' in Nick Clegg's past where:

...Clegg's spokesman denies it.

"Nick is one hundred per cent adamant that this isn't true".
However over on CentreRight: Nick Clegg's Tory past, Greg Hands produces evidence showing that Clegg was indeed a member of the Conservative Association in his first year at Cambridge. There is no other Clegg it could have been.

So why does Nick Clegg feel the need to lie about this? It's not remotely as damaging as his Cleggover revelations, and he's not the first leading Liberal Democrat to have had a past in other parties - Vincent Cable went from being a university Liberal to being a Labour activists before becoming a Social Democrat. And he's talked about believing in honesty - so why does he feel the need to lie about this?


Semaj Mahgih said...

Why on earth would they give him the job?

Manfarang said...

I remember it was a common practice to add names to student union societies in order to reach the required number.
At some universities the Conservative students joined the Labour club and the Labour students the Conservative thus taking it over.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Yes, though given its huge membership I seriously doubt CUCA in 1986 was either of these!

And two other points make it doubtful Clegg was just a notional member - Hands has clear recollections of delivering CUCA material to Clegg (before email; they were in the same college); and Clegg's membership was the one year £2 option not the more common (and membership list helpful) life £3 option.

There's any number of reasons why his name would be on the list that are perfectly valid and have been hypothesised in the blogosphere. Any of them would have killed the story dead. Instead by issuing a 100% denial he's made his denial the issue.

Manfarang said...

Well I used to know some communists(Stalinists) when I was at university,now did they add my name to the Communist Society member's list without my knowledge?They told me about their meetings and I did go to a few.


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