Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Nevin's Notes: Fit for purpose

An alternative take on the election

Fit for purpose

Time now for the latest grave concerns that have been raised about the fitness of N Clegg to govern. 1. He is descended from the same 16th century Dutch count as David Cameron. 2. This means they are also both descended from William of William and Mary, better known as King Billy, the original Orangeman. 3. Clegg is also descended from Edward I, so bang goes the Scots vote, too. 4. And a Yorkshire grocer. 5. News is also coming in of disturbing variations in the answers given by Clegg to two similar questionnaires published in one of our so-called rivals, the first in 2008, the second at the weekend: more as I have it.

Dress dilemma

Cameron attended his sister's wedding at the weekend. Tricky one: probably not too wise, given the Tories' Trojan Toff policy, Bullingdon Club, etc, to appear in morning dress. So, morning dress and hats for the other guests; lounge suit for DC, hatless for Mrs C. Let's get the views of that critical constituency, Daily Mail readers. These were the first two comments online: 1. "I am tired of seeing Cameron dressed with white shirt, tie and dark blue business suit. He looks so snobbish all the time! Same old same old for the Tories." 2."What a joke - Dave is so concerned about his image that he wouldn't even wear a morning suit for his sister's wedding!" Hmmm. Thank you, Peter, Ali.


More on those questionnaires! In 2008, Clegg claimed to be happiest with "family and friends": in 2010, it's "in the mountains". Just which is it? Or is he only happy with family and friends in the mountains? Or vice versa? Again, in 2008, asked about what super power he would like, Clegg said: "To be able to breathe under water". Now, it's "Easy. Teleporting". Worried about floating voters? You decide.

Brown: Joke

G Brown has clearly acquired a new gag writer. In his now historic confrontation with an E Presley impersonator in Corby on Saturday, Gordon came out with this cracker, reminding everyone of his penchant for statistics by telling them that only 4 per cent of people believe Elvis is still alive. Excellent. I wonder if they're the same 4 per cent who in a recent poll thought that the parties were being completely honest with voters about their tax plans. Next!

On the stump!

And reader Mr Boaler has been in touch with news of his former MP for N Wilts, the Tory James Gray, the one whose interestingly interpreted approach to family values (adultery) almost led to him being deselected. I had been wondering myself about how some Tory candidates were managing with the party's leading slogan on the door step: Mr Boaler tells me he's heard Mr Gray handles it thus: "I've been your MP for 13 years ... do you agree it's time for change?". Surely not!

Clegg: More! N Clegg has changed his dream dinner party guests! In 2008, they were Bill Clinton, Christopher Hitchens, Cate Blanchett and Prince. Now, Cate's still there, but Bill, Chris and Prince have been deselected in favour of Johnny Cash and his brother (Nick's). The last time he cried, though, remains the same: "Recently, listening to music in the car". Crikey: watch out for him if you're on the road. And he tells the same joke. If you'd like to hear it, do let me know, but don't expect too much. Onward!