Editorial: Singalong with Nick Clegg, and other reasons to smile


Even the best-laid plans can have unintended consequences, as the unlikely – well, perhaps not so unlikely – duo of the Liberal Democrat leader and Waitrose supermarkets have just learnt.

When Nick Clegg apologised for breaking his election promise on tuition fees, he adopted the sad eyes and poker face familiar from a string of other people's staged sorrys. As one wag instantly realised, though, something crucial was missing – and that was music. With the soundtracked spoof soon viral on the internet, Mr Clegg's aides affected to bask in the party's unprecedented reach, and the new celebrity asked that any money raised should go to Sheffield children's hospital.

The supermarket bosses have tried to be good sports, too, after an old-fashioned marketing ploy that asked customers to complete the sentence "I like Waitrose because…". They had reckoned without the well-honed class consciousness of their fellow citizens and the caustic wit and wisdom today's social media invites. While the mighty smile through clenched teeth, let's give three cheers for well-turned irreverence and the seditious pleasure it spreads through the blogosphere.