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Nick Clegg and a taste of his own nasty medicine


WITH Andrew Neil’s 24-hour channel GB News launching tonight and promising features such as Woke Watch, we take out our crystal ball to see what might be in store.

Neil: Hello, and welcome to Faith the Music, where interviews are based on a principle shared by all religions: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Every Sunday GB News will examine how public figures like it if we treat them exactly how they treat us.

How will Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary react when his taxi to our London office dumps him in Basingstoke? How will the Archbishop of Canterbury like being interviewed by a trendier-than-thou vicar with an even more selective set of fashionable principles? How will the boss of Virgin Media react when locked indefinitely in our green room by a robot guard repeating platitudes on an endless loop?  

Those exchanges are all coming up, once we’ve found the right legal loopholes. 

Our first interview features Nick Clegg, the former LibDem leader who is notorious for his reversals. When he joined the LibDems it was a big party and he had a small house. He left it a smaller party, but he had a bigger house. Some say he’s a passionate believer in equity – Private Equity.  

Clegg implies that he holds truth to power. But as the VP for global affairs communications at Facebook, he threatens truth with power. Again, he has reversed a journalistic tradition. Once, a story was something that someone, somewhere, didn’t want people to know about. In Nick Clegg’s media, a story is something that someone, somewhere can trust him to suppress.

Move fast and fake things, as they say in Clegg’s new home.

Politicians used to promote the interests of their constituents. Nick Clegg, who was hired by Facebook on the back of his Liberal credentials, has moved fast and broken that arrangement. Now he stands accused of lobbying Ofcoma British regulator, on behalf of American interests. Those interests are, as we’ve seen, censorship, tax avoidance and freedom investigation into its sinister business practices. This time the morality polarity was powered by a salary of half a million dollars. 

Neil: Nick Clegg, global director of communications for surveillance marketing confidence tricksters Facebook, welcome to the show.

[Clegg’s mouth moves but nothing can be heard. He gestures impotently at the interviewer, then the producers, pointing at his microphone and holding his hand up in frustration.]

Neil: Can I just correct you there Mr Clegg? Your microphone is working. What you’re saying is Fake News. 

[Text flashed up on screen saying #FakeNews Alert!]

Neil: The mike has been muted because our moderators have suspended your right to speech. The mike is doing exactly what the producer asked it to do. So your claim that it’s not working is offensive.

[Text flashes on screen: #TrollAlert!] 

[Clegg is seen appealing.]

Neil: Sorry, the moderators have banned you for 20 minutes. 

Now, Mr Clegg, let me put a question to you, Nick Clegg-style. 

We are prepared to accept that you are not a Stasi. Nobody is accusing your employer of confidence tricks. Nobody is saying that the tactic of giving something away free was a way of conning your way into people’s privacy. Although that is a classic grifter’s technique. But we are not saying you’re a con man. 

I’m sure there are perfectly innocent reasons why you plant software on people’s computers, without being upfront about it and then eavesdrop on everything they do. I’m sure there are great reasons for storing 12,000 individual ‘data points’ on people and selling them to anyone.

One final question: have you got any principles left to sell?

Clegg: Can I just . . .

Neil: Well, I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got time for. Thank you. 

You’ve been watching Nick Clegg, interviewed on his own terms.

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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