5 May 2011

Thinking Paper # 5 – Will Nick Clegg’s face last the full 5 years?

By Ron Ford-Golightly


There has been widespread discussion about whether the Coalition will last until 2015, but we here at the IIPBA think that this is a mere side issue when compared to the more pressing factor of Nick Clegg’s face and whether will see out the 5 years. IIPBA analysts have looked at a time lapse video of his face between May 2010 and May 2011 and have drawn out several interesting trends set out in the analysis below.


Nick Clegg has a face just like me and you. He also has feelings. Sadly, he heads up a political party that, before May 2010, tended to be somewhat idealistic in its policy position. Upon entering Government, it had to leave all of these policies behind in the face of reality. Unfortunately for Nick, many of his grassroots supporters don’t see the value in leaving behind much of what makes the Lib Dems the Lib Dems, in large part because they don’t earn a quarter of a million pounds and have not been tainted by power.

The Detail

Returning to Nick Clegg’s face, we will now focus on the factors at play in the decline of his face, notably: free lunches, late nights, some angry performances at the House of Commons, rage, regret, the wind and last winter’s snow.

Daily Routine

According to our sources, Nick Clegg eats approximately three animals a day, he drinks seven cups of coffee and rarely gets access to fresh fruit and vegetables. He sees the outside of his office for the 20 minutes that he spends in the toilet and he sleeps sporadically between trying to get into No10 through the connecting door (he regularly fails). Upon getting home, his wife, Miriam, demands a foot rub and its 1am before he opens his red box full up with briefing that he will never read from Civil Servants who simply don’t care as much as they should. Each day lines form around his eyes and mouth and his face falls slightly further towards the levels of Lib Dem polling.

Workload pre-government

As leader of the third party, workload tends to be light and sporadic. Sources suggest that as Lib Dem leader in opposition he used to wakae up for 10am, watch Jeremy Kyle whilst eating his Weetabix (it makes you strong) before making his way down to Lib Dem HQ for 11ish. Some days he would read his emails, other days, not so much. He would enjoy a budget lunch at one of the many canteens at the House of Commons before settling down to have a nice nap in the afternoon, curled up on a sofa bed in his office with Chris Huhne’s dog. Occasionally, he would appear on television but only if he was accompanied by an aging but elegant TV celebrity.

Some days he would get really rather cross about something or other and 24 news stations might film what he said but then make disparaging remarks about it. He would be home for 4pm, make himself a nice bowl of soup with crusty bread and bed-in for the night watching soap operas whilst his wife (an international lawyer) made a real living. He would usually be asleep by around 9pm and is reported to have regularly dreamt about living in a harmonious society as a Bonobo Monkey.

Workload as Deputy Prime Minister

He’s bloody everywhere isn’t he? Pounding his fist on the despatch box, getting angry about political systems and making speeches which usually contradict what the Prime Minister has told him to say (good for you Nick). He seems to work terribly hard and likes to get involved with a bit of everything, making sure that Lib Dem views are sufficiently represented across Government. At the end of a hard day of getting a bit angry and terribly frustrated with the Civil Service, he faces his most arduous task of the day – getting through the red box. The red box is similar to a school child’s homework. A box packed full of all of the important things that he should know and tasks for the following day. For many new Ministers it usually replaces their wife/husband/partner as the night time bed fellow and is made up of very useless information which, in Nick’s case, won’t prevent the Tories from systemically bringing about the destruction of the Lib Dems at the next general election.


The IIPBA believes that it is this very latter point which is the biggest contributor to the fall of Nick Clegg’s face. No amount of power, free lunches and back slapping can make up for the sad fact that Nick must surely be aware of i.e. since May 2010 the Lib Dems have been on a hiding to nothing. It was right for them to work with the Tories to form a Coalition and they would have been stupid to pass up the opportunity to work in Government and shape the country. However, it may result in the complete destruction of the Lib Dems in the long run and the collapse of Nick Clegg's face in the short term.

Final Answer to the question “Will Nick Clegg’s face last the full 5 years?”

Probably not, but the Coalition will. And David Cameron’s face will simply get shinier, smoother and ever so gradually pinker, in line with the predictions of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell.

^Picture copyright Liberal Democrats, used under Creative Commons^

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