Hardly any of the students on the demonstration this week will have been awake all night waiting for that ‘Portillo moment’…. as that uber-right wing neo-Thatcherite waiting for the guilotine to fall.. And when it did millions cheered. That was the prized scalp – the moment you knew it was all over for him and his ilk…
I won’t dwell on the disappointment, despair and disgust we felt for more than a decade after that fateful evening in 1997.
Instead, let’s fast forward to 2014 as the Coalition calls or is forced to call the election a year early.
Nick Clegg will be heading north defending his seat in Sheffield, a world famous steel town now turned into a shopping destination in the minds of outsiders.
On election night in four years time, millions of young people (students and former students) will be inviting friends to gather around the screen.
Calamity Clegg will be facing his moment of truth. What calculations will run through his brain as he wonders how it all went wrong.
The moment his ‘unassailable majority’ crumbles and he contemplates life beyond Westminster, a roar will rip through the island.
Andrew Neil will be one of the first to ring him up. To congratulate him. To invite him to the graveyard of all has-been politicians.
A place next to Micheal Portillo, once so infamously filled by once-upon-a-time Left Black heroine, Diane Abbot.
The sofa on the late night programme we all know is rubbish but can’t switch off when we ought to… it’s so bad it’s actually quite good as reactionary drivel fills the airwaves..
Well, let’s hope so.
Perhaps Clegg will turn out to be the last of the Blair babes – disparagingly referred to female MPs such as Oona King when it really only applied to David Cameron and Nick Clegg – the modern, anti-intellectual, post-ideology political talking heads whose only qualification is to be able to ‘look good’ on TV….
Hasta la vista Nicolai…. perhaps he will end up in Brussels where he started… as a lobbyist for the banking industry.