Is this like Blair rage?
The vicious tone of some of the opposition to Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrat leadership over tuition fees raises the question of whether something deep and unpleasant has changed in our political culture.
Probably not. I seem to remember people being vitriolic about Margaret Thatcher, calling her a fascist and singing songs about her death. So, although I never satisfactorily resolved the causes and psychopathology of the unreasoning hatred towards Tony Blair, perhaps the law of It Was Ever Thus applies.
Each case is different, of course. Clegg and the 35 other Liberal Democrat MPs who failed to vote against the fees rise have unambiguously broken a prominent promise on an issue that matters to a lot of people, even if it does not directly affect most of the students who protested yesterday.
So when they are accused of betrayal that is a factual point, rather than something to do with the internal architecture of people’s heads.
And the physical violence, which was largely absent from all street demonstrations against Blair, is frightening in a different way from the passion, moral certainty and ignorance that characterised Blair-hate and Thatcher-hate as much as Clegg-hate.
Still, there must be a part of Blair that is relieved that he is not the most hated politician in Britain any more.
Photograph of students hanging Nick Clegg’s effigy: AFP/Getty.Tagged in: blair rage
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