It would be more accurate to call Marina Hyde’s brilliant piece in the Guardian about the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto launch a column, but what’s a little inaccuracy among friends? I’m a pundit, not an investigative reporter, fer chrissake.
I haven’t written that much about the May 7th UK election but it’s time to get all changey-n-hopey. I used that phrase because David Axelrod is advising the Labour Party this year. I hope he’s worth the 300K quid they’re paying him.
Back to Ms. Hyde’s awesome piece Nick Clegg isn’t in Kansas any more. He’s in Battersea. She described the hapless Lib Dem leader’s use of a Wizard of Oz analogy and spun it against him. The first and last graphs are the stuff that dreams are made of. Oops, that’s The Maltese Falcon, wrong movie classic:
Let Nick Clegg be clear: “The Liberal Democrats will add a heart to a Conservative government, and a brain to a Labour one!” Unfortunately, courage for the cowardly lion will be a casualty of any coalition agreement. It’s like Dorothy says: “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises!”
Still, for those who like both the words “stronger economy” and “fairer society”, there is incredibly reassuring news in Clegg’s rousing conclusion. “This manifesto proves you don’t have to choose between them,” he declared. “If you choose the Liberal Democrats, you can have both.” So there you have it. You can have your cake and eat it and make a sort of word trifle out of it too. Just pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
The 5 years since so-called Cleggmania have not been kind to the Deputy Prime Minister and his party. In a coalition government, the junior partner usually takes it on the chin. Clegg’s party is on 7 to 9% in most polls after getting 23% in 2010 and looks poised to lose half of its 57 seats. No wonder Marina compares him to the Wizard. There’s no there there.
I also dig the crazy photoshopped picture of Cameron the Tin Man, Clegg as a po-faced Dorothy, and Miliband as the Scarecrow that’s at the top of the piece:
We’ll resume following the yellow brick road after the break.
The hills are alive with Wizard of Oz analogies right now. Oops, that’s from the Sound of Music, a stage and film “classic” I loathe. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of as far as I’m concerned. Nuns and Nazis are a toxic combination.
Where am I going with this? Last night on the Face Off finale, Emily Big Hair did a take on a post-apocalyptic Wizard of Oz. She didn’t win, but it was so brilliant that head judge Glenn Hetrick got a tattoo in its honor. Just joking but it *was* close. Besides, I’m not sure if he has space for another tat. Click on the picture to see the GIF in action: