Exclusive: Labour releases spoof of Clegg's "broken promises" video

In the latest stage of its assault on the Lib Dems, the party turns Clegg's 2010 election broadcast against him.
 

Back in 2010, Nick Clegg presented himself as a new breed of politician, committed to ending "broken promises". One memorable Lib Dem election broadcast showed him walking down the banks of the Thames as bits of waste paper (representing the "trail of broken promises" left by previous governments) swirled around him. It was, in retrospect, a remarkable hostage to fortune. With Clegg breaking his own promises on spending cuts, VAT and tuition fees, the film has regularly been recalled as evidence of his political naïveté.

Now, in the latest stage of its assault on the Lib Dems, Labour has released an artful spoof of the infamous broadcast. Entitled "Nick Clegg: The Confession", the film begins in the same fashion as the original before cutting after 30 seconds to Clegg standing with David Cameron on the doorstep of No. 10 (the moment many Lib Dem voters defected to Labour). As Strauss's Blue Danube swells in the background, it turns the Lib Dem leader's words against him:

Fairer taxes: a promise broken. Better schools for everyone: a promise broken. Cleaner politics: a promise broken. Life is still too unfair for too many people; so choose fairness, choose real change that works.

As Clegg again utters "choose", it cuts to the word "Labour". 

It's nicely done, and is further evidence that the party recognises how crucial the Lib Dem defectors are to its election chances. In addition to those seats that Labour hopes to win directly from the party, strategists point out that in 86 of the party's 87 Tory targets, the Lib Dem vote share in 2010 was larger than the Conservative majority. In 37, it was more than twice as large. If a large chunk of Lib Dems move to Labour, as a similar number of Tories move to Ukip, scores of those marginals will fall to Miliband.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland