Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Miriam Clegg is a force to be reckoned with" #ldconf

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

I couldn't let that comment, or the context in which it was made, go.

The BBC's new replacement for Laura Kuenssberg, who is kicking Robert Peston's backside over at ITN now, is Norman Smith. Yesterday, I was very disappointed to see him get into this "Miriam is a harridan who keeps Nick Clegg very firmly under her thumb" narrative.

It's all to do with this piece of nonsense in the Daily Fail - a biography by Jasper Gerard which seems to be little more than tittle tattle and wild speculation. It is alleged that Miriam has put her foot down about Nick doing another term as Deputy Prime Minister. I can't imagine anyone's even started to think about what happens after the next election for a start.

So, Norman Smith, talking about this book on camera yesterday, saying that Team Clegg had dismissed it as rubbish, said "Miriam Clegg is a force to be reckoned with." With a bit of added eyebrow raising. What? For a start he could have actually got her name right. Her name is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. In Spain people don't change their names when they get married. I took the time to go and find out his name. Until about 10 minutes ago, he was Norman Thingy as far as I was concerned.

It sounded like one of those blokey cosy comments. You know, when you're at a party, as I was last night, and the girls are drinking mojitos in the kitchen and the boys are drinking beer outside - and when a girl ventures out, the conversation goes dead. How we mocked, by the way.

Except Norman Smith wasn't out on the decking drinking beer, he was broadcasting to an audience of men and women. It'd be nice if he remembered that in future.

What sort of ridiculous world to we live in when a politician's wife is expected, in this day and age, to be meek and passive? We saw what happened to Hillary when Bill was in the White House and sighed - and that was 20 years ago. And when expressing an opinion on anything other than knitting or cookie recipes is seen as undue, insidious,  interference.

If Nick Clegg is such a passive character, why on earth is 75% of the Liberal Democrat manifesto being implemented and why do we see such a stream of Tories whinging about all the things we are stopping them doing?

And every time Miriam opens her mouth, she earns more respect from women outside the Daily Mail's fantasy world where women are seen and not heard.

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