Monday, 28 May 2012

Compliant Quislings - a gift from the gods

I sometimes use the term 'compliant quisling' to describe someone who I disapprove of.  In my case I usually mean our Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who abandoned his election promises and ruined the future prospects of his political party for a generation to come, just in order to gain brief political 'power'.

Richard Dawkins used the term to describe Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees for similar reasons.  As usual I find it hard to disagree with Richard's assessment.

Something made me realise that not all the readers will know what the term 'quisling' means or why I use it for Clegg.  Hopefully the following might clarify matters a bit.

Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer who somehow succeeded in WW2 to persuade Norway to surrender to invading German forces so that he could be the puppet Minister-President.  After his appointment The Times wrote:

Major Quisling has added a new word to the English language. To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous. Visually it has the supreme merit of beginning with a Q, which (with one august exception **) has long seemed to the British mind to be a crooked, uncertain and slightly disreputable letter, suggestive of the questionable, the querulous, the quavering of quaking quagmires and quivering quicksands, of quibbles and quarrels, of queasiness, quackery, qualms and quilp.

Quisling also developed his own religion or philosophy, called "Universalism." which essentially looked for the improvement of the human race through "religion and morals as well as statecraft and science."

Nick Clegg is the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party.  As far as I know he is not thinking of setting up his own new religion, although it might be his best hope of a career after the next general election.  However, in the last election none of the political parties got enough votes to be able to create a government on their own so there was a scramble for a coalition.  This gave the Liberal Democrats (who normally come third by a very large margin) the opportunity to go into 'power' as the minority party in one government or another, and so they had a moment of fame.  As it happened, many years of work and some amazingly fair policy promises in their manifesto had brought them more votes than usual.  Ultimately they got into bed with right-of-centre Conservative Party, allowing a slimy millionaire to become Prime Minister.  In their desperation for power, they appear to have given up all of their principles and made it almost certain that the next election will be their biggest electoral disaster in living memory.  They have gone against almost all the election manifesto promises and enabled a raft of amazingly inconsiderate and unpopular policies to be introduced.

In fact, this photo appeared last weekend on the BBC One's hilarious contribution to the news, a weekly satirical programme called Have I Got News for You (@hignfy on Twitter) with a spoken caption relating to Clegg and Cameron.

School of modern dance version of the coalition government!

I don't blame Clegg for everything.  Just for most of it.

This is why I call Clegg a 'compliant quisling'.

** Editorial note - I assume that the "one august exception" is 'Queen', and while that might be true, it is not universally agreed that it applies to the rest of her family!

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