Is Nick Clegg right to question 'national duty' with his background?

What does Nick Clegg know about 'national duty'?

What does Nick Clegg know about 'national duty'?

Nick Clegg has accuses Eurosceptics of ignoring their ‘national duty’ in pushing for EU treaty changes.

He added: ‘The last thing we should do is betray our own history and our own traditions by turning inwards and isolating ourselves from the outside world.’

Do you suppose that Clegg’s family history and background gives him special insight into our national duty and history?

He’s half Dutch, a quarter German and a former EU apparatchik.


Apropos of Clegg, Lady Campbell reminds me that he succeeded her husband, Sir Menzies (Ming) Campbell, as Liberal Democrat leader, and not Charles Kennedy, as I made it appear. Indeed, Elspeth adds: ‘Sir Ming earmarked him as his chosen successor.’ Isn’t it touching that Sir Ming is so proud of his protégé?

Double but not quits: George Clooney's new woman, Stacy Keibler, has upper her appearance fee

Double but not quits: George Clooney's new woman, Stacy Keibler, has upper her appearance fee

Being George Clooney’s new consort has improved the fortunes of model and former professional wrestler Stacy Keibler, 32, who has more than doubled her appearance fee to $25,000.

Perhaps that will soften the blow if he moves on, as he tends to do every two years or so.

Like rival showbiz dreamboat bachelor Simon Cowell, Clooney, 50, has remained untarnished by kiss-and-tell memoirs of bitter ex-girlfriends.

I was going to add Michael Winner to the list. Then I remembered that one girlfriend, Simone Hyams, 40, who appeared in his film Dirty Weekend, told the papers he wore ‘huge, baggy Y-front’ underdrawers.


Trendy Church of England cleric the Rev. George Pitcher, a former PR adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, tells Newsnight: ‘If it (the protest camp at St Paul’s) had happened at St Peter’s in Rome and even more so on the steps of the Vatican they would have been water-cannoned within half an hour. We fought a reformation not to be that kind of church.’

A Roman Catholic source responds: ‘Utter rubbish. The Reformation was so Henry VIII could take another wife and there’s no need for water cannon at the Vatican. They have the Swiss Guard.’


Julie Burchill’s farewell to readers of The Independent, which has let the controversial commentator go, mentioned its recent employment of heiress Jemima Khan, whom she congratulated sarcastically for ‘clawing her way up from the wrong side of the tracks’.

Of the paper’s resident plagiarist, Johann Hari, who, as his punishment, has been sent on a journalism course in America, Ms Burchill remarks: ‘With Johann Hari back soon I know I’m leaving the Indy in safe hands.’

No doubt for reasons of space, these remarks were redacted.


Ken Livingstone claims in a new memoir, You Can’t Say That, that Horace Cutler, former Tory leader of the Greater London Council (1977-1981) kept a London Transport-owned flat as a love nest.

He adds that Cutler, who died in 1997, and a woman friend were almost caught there in flagrante delicto by an arriving TV crew.

Re-arranging his trousers, Cutler told them jauntily: ‘Nothing like a good woman after lunch.’

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