02 April 2009

Protocol and young Nick Clegg

Various blogs and the print media were littered with comments yesterday about the failure of Nick Clegg to secure a meeting with Obama.  Clegg was reported to have said:

I am really annoyed. As it was not a state visit I understood I wouldn't get to see him. But when I found out Obama was meeting the Queen and David Cameron I got on the phone to David Miliband to ask him what was going on. Frankly, it doesn't look good for Cameron to see him and for me not to.

Clegg is wrong on all counts.  He holds no official position, unlike Cameron who does, and has no right to see any overseas leader who visits the UK, whether on a state visit or otherwise.  Why did he get on the phone to Miliband?  It is nothing to do with him or the Government.  The G20 issues the invitations and this is why Obama is in the UK, where it so happens the meeting is.  Whilst here Obama can see who he wants, and clearly met with Cameron because the he is likely to be the next PM.

Young Clegg needs to grow up and brief himself on protocol.  Better still he could join a party that carries weight and influence, if any one will have this petulant young man.

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