I’m dedicating my first ever blog to Nick Clegg.
Just a week ago, I was sitting in my local London pub with friends, having my usual farewell dinner before returning to Cairo, when conversation turned to the upcoming election and who we’d each be voting for.
A very good friend declared that she’d be voting for the Lib Dems which provoked an inner – if not an outer – chuckle. Why on earth would anyone vote for a party that had absolutely no chance of real power? A party that represented to me the utmost in earnest, wishy-washy mediocrity, led by a man who I scornfully referred to as Cameron-lite.
I stand duly chagrined in the corner. I didn’t watch all of that historic debate but it’s clear that Clegg was the clear winner. It’s put a much-needed shot of adrenalin into this election and the idea of change – real change – has proved more exciting than I could possibly have imagined. Like most Brits, I’m tired of the tedious dichotomy of Tory-Labour politics and the relentless, and hypocritical, centrism of both parties.
Of course, the fact that a vote for the Lib Dems would almost certainly guarantee a Labour victory does fuel my fervour. Despite my disillusionment with Labour, the alternative – a Tory government led by a spin doctor – is much, much worse. And if Clegg does do the unthinkable and get into power, then good luck to him. He can’t be any worse than the status quo.