Although I am new to British Politics but watching the Leaders debates this month, one man sounded interesting, and familiar. It was Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats – the third largest political party in the UK.
It was the first time in the British history that the leaders of the three largest political parties were to face each other in heated live TV debates before the elections. I was familiar with the Labour party probably because of their leftist links of present and socialist outlook of the past when it grew out of trade union movements under Attlee in 1920s. I didn’t knew much about other parties.
Young, enthusiastic, witty, clever and an exceptional speaker – that is what Nick Clegg was when I heard him for the first time on TV. He outclassed Gordon Brown and David Cameron in the first Leaders debate. 67% of the public voted in his favour after the debate. All the papers next morning had this young man on their front page. I can recall a column in the Metro, a few days later said, “… the establishment is worried and they want to stop this growing fan-club of Nick Clegg.” Establishment! I thought it was just about Pakistan.
The more I heard the man, the more he sounded familiar but I didn’t take much time to find out who he resembled. Imran Khan was the man. Just like him, Nick Clegg went to the finest universities in the UK. Before jumping into politics, Nick was regular student-theater-actor and the captain of the college tennis team. The two men looked similar in outlook, speaking abilities, enthusiasm and youthfulness.
During the debates, Nick tried to pose himself as a messiah. He repeatedly used the words “these politicians” referring to the Labour and Tories. Nobody asked him what the heck he himself is and then, if its so wrong being a politician, what about himself ?
He continuosuly tried to present his party as something new, something which doesnt belong to the existing politics, conveniently neglecting the fact that they have been in business for decades. (Hint: Read history of PTI)
These truly made him sound like our cherished popular leader Imran Khan. He as well had been trying to convince the masses back home that (i) his party is a new alternative (if you ignore they have been there for well over a decade) and (ii) he is good, he is neat and he is not like “those politicians“.
Nick worked under Christopher Hitchens as in intern sometime in his past and probably for this reason he leaned towards agnosticism. Nick is a openly declared agnostic unlike Imran Khan who has been having dramatic shifts between being a playboy or a born-again-Muslim.
But if I do justice and analyse on serious political grounds, it would be very unfair of me to say that Liberal Democrats are like the PTI or that Nick Clegg is like Imran Khan. Nick Clegg is now the deputy PM of the UK just after a short career of around 15 years in politics. His party, Liberal Democrats are the third largest party in the country taking a quarter of the share in votes. The political structure and trends in the two countries are different, I know, but the comparison of the parties is out of question as well.