ConservativeHome's regular update service today brings you a round-up of the frenzy that's sweeping the nation: the mega-phenomenon that is Cleggism. But first:
In common with every other media outlet, we may in the past have given the impression that Nick Clegg was at most an irritating pipsqueak, incapable of stringing a sentence together without annoying anyone within earshot. After last Thursday's edition of the X-factor, however, we realise - in common with all our readers, and the BBC News service - that in fact Mr Clegg represents the last, the only, hope for our embattled nation. If nation shall speak peace unto nation, then Mr Clegg shall be the germolene-type substance we rub into our scabby knee, in the hope that it gets a bit better, and we can stop picking at it, and making it bleed.
I was Nick Clegg's Fag - by Louis Theroux
It was that strange time, the eve of adolescence. You know, as well as I do, what it's like in your first term at an in-no-way exclusive twenty-nine-thousand-a-year public school, with the weight of A Famous Father draped about your shoulders like an invisible cloak of many, but mostly red, colours. I often wonder to myself: did my unerring ability to stare blankly at a camera with an air of fake disingenuousness begin that first term? Even now, closing my eyes, I can smell the burning toast as if it were only fifteen or twenty or perhaps as many as thirty or so years ago. I remember the first time I heard his high-pitched-yet-authoritative tone, already showing that compassion for the common man that has become his hallmark:
- You boy! Theroux minor! I want you for my fag!
- You boy! Theroux minor! I want you for my fag!
And then the post-script, delivered with a sideways, almost-shy, glance at the bigger boys he always seemed to attract:
- You'd better make a Theroux-ly good job of it!
It was my duty to creep into his bedchamber at 5am most mornings, 6am on public holidays, to rouse Nick from his slumbers. Sometimes he'd be dreaming when I entered; I could never resist the chance to listen to the dream-kissed burblings that issued from those cherubic lips; strange words that again prefigured his destiny - or did they?
- Five houses! At least another five -
and a silent laugh would settle on his curvacious lips. I would pull the rough Egyptian linen from this recumbent form, and shake him manfully-yet-playfully by the chest, until his eyes snapped open and those twin orange beams of a laser-like high intensity bored into me, and he playfully-yet-manfully slapped me hard across the cheek.
- Oh Nick, I couldn't help but simper - Teach me to show sincerity just like you [continues p94]
The Philosopher's Stoned, by the boy who plays Harry Potter
Look, first thing I'd like to get straight, is that I'm not a boy now, OK? I'm a man. I mean, I've done that nude scene in that weird play about horses that was that film with Richard Burton that no-one's ever watched the end of, and I'm fed up being known as Harry Potter. That was just one role among many, and I don't want to end up being typecast like my dear friend Thingy [fix that later, will you?] who was in that dancing film, Billy something, who only gets a job now if he agrees to do a hornpipe jig, even if he's in like Return of the Bloodsucking Vampire III: Death and Taxes.
That's why I'm doing this political interview with OK! It's time people knew that I've got a brain as well as a wand. It's like that scene with Hermione when I had to wrinkle my brows to show I was, like, thinking. Well make sure you tell your readers how wrinkled my brows are now. And they're wrinkled for Nick Clegg.
Dear old Joanne - have you heard of her? She wrote a couple books, she's stuck in the most awful rut now - she was telling me the other day about how she once had nothing, absolutely nothing, and had to write a book in a cafe, and to be honest my mind was wandering because - and I'm not being critical here - I think she may just have told me the story once or twice before - and I thought of this silly Tory idea that it's a good thing for people to marry. It was like, oh what's the word, an appendectomy? Like when you see something really clearly for the first time. I thought, well, take Joanne, she just wrote a book and got really rich, and that's like really what everyone should do. Unless they've got a talent for acting. Vote Lib Dem I say.
Cleggophilia - A Doctor Writes.
Many patients write to me, claiming that they're tired of the argy-bargy of mainstream political debate, and want a change to something nicer. - Oh Doctor, they say - Gordon Brown depresses me and Mandelson makes my flesh crawl, but I hate making decisions, and not everything about the Conservatives is perfect, so I was thinking, maybe you could prescribe me a vial of something warm but harmless? Like that Cleggomix that your locum gave Mrs Saunders down the road? She's not been the same woman since. When this happens, it's my duty to spell out the consequences -Yes, Cleggomix will make you feel good for a while, with the well-known early euphoric feeling that comes from mistakenly believing that it's brave to support the unworkable in search of the unelectable, but taken to excess - for more than three weeks, say - it leads to malign side-effects, the most famous of which is Twitching Brown Body. Your body politic turns Brown, and because of the interactive potency of Cleggomix (once in your organs, you are never free of its influence, a pharmacokinetic phenomenon known as disproportional representation) this condition is both irreversible, and terminal.
It's a Cleggover! by Glenda Slagg
Miriam Clegg. Donchajusloveher???!! Not for you the meetin and a-greetin of a Leader's Wife!! You keep yer high-powered job in the City or the Law or whatever you do [subs - check this] and let the hurly and a-burly of a so-called election "campaign" pass you by, not like the simperin and a-wimperin Sarah n Sam, with their focus on people doing good for others, without reward. You go girl!
Nick Clegg!!! Donchajustlovehim!!?!! So he had "not less than" four hundred lovers before he met his hard-workin' missus? This country needs a man of experience to lead it!!? I'd follow you into the aye lobby after any late night session! I'm really interested in your disproportional representation??!?
Miriam Clegg. Donchajushateher?!!?? Acting all a-high and a-mighty with her so-called "job" selling off money-makin homes for old Spanish nags [subs - check this] instead of getting out to meet the poor old voters??!!? Poor old Nick?? After a hard day on the stump he needs a woman who can make him a nice cup of cocoa, not bore him rigid with financial market updates??!???!!! Leave her with her spreadsheets, Nick, and come on over and check out mine [that's it, you're fired - Ed].
The Modest Saint by Vince Cable
When I met Nick's mum and dad, back in the 40s, I said to them - you've got to get married and have a son and call him Nick - they wanted to call him James or some such nonsense, only I got that right of course - and then have him become the MP for Sheffield - I was quite specific on that point, as the record will prove - and then we'll let him run the party, while I get on saving the Universe. Of course I write all his best lines, but my modesty prevents me from taking any of the credit [continues page 94].