Nick Clegg has previously admitted behaving “appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally” in torching two greenhouses of rare plant specimens in the early 1980s — but seems loathe to discuss the issue in the aftermath of riots which saw multiple incidents of arson.

A local radio host put the deputy prime minister on the spot over the incident, which occurred when Clegg was an exchange student in Germany, stating “you’ve got a record of this sort of thing”. Clegg paused before blustering his response:

“I just … sorry … The idea that this has any relationship with in Nottingham or other cities … The full force of the law must be brought to bear right on top of [people involved in recent disturbances]”

But while Clegg counsels that young arsonists should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible, this didn’t apply to the Liberal Democrat leader. While the BBC has reported that Clegg was “convicted of arson”, the Daily Mail¬†claims that the¬†owner of the greenhouses “was somehow persuaded not to press charges”.

It isn’t just the Bullingdon boys that got away with it.

  1. The anxiety of being disadvantaged and not equipped with the necessary tools (affordable further education) to allow you to compete – a riot was begun in protest against a shooting, but has been continued as the legitimate voice of those entering a society in which they are not represented and cannot compete – centre right wing should be centre left-wing DO YOU UNDERSTAND

    You are listening to the urdan underclass now are you not, they have nothing to loose

  2. @ Mike. Many of those convicted so far have been employed, or have been students and graduates. Many individual stories have also come to light, such as the millionaires daughter caught with 5 grands worth of electrical goods in her car. Difficult to see how she’s been disadvantaged.
    As for education, people in this country have opportunities that those in many other countries can only dream of, but we still have kids leaving school with skills levels of 8 year olds. Education takes hard work, the fate of every illiterate and unemployable waster out there can’t be blamed on student fees.

  3. Brian, you use the word many, because those are the stories the press has singled out. The truth is you have no idea what the exact numbers are amongst the thousand and more people who have so far been ccharged.

  4. This is silly.

    This was years ago. Clegg holds his hands up to it (well, now he does) and realises it was wrong. It was also an isolated incident.

    The riots were multiple incidents that caused damage to the lives of many people and the communities that they live in. Few of the looters and rioters seem to accept there was any problem with what they did.

    The two situations are very different and shouldn’t be compared.

  5. nice try David Morris, but the courts and now prison cells are full of people who got involved in an isolated incident during the collective madness of the riots. One guy got 6 months for taking a bottle of water from a looted Lidl, and a kid (well 22) has 4 months for starting a Facebook page to start a riot in Warrington which never materialised. These are hardly hardened criminals, but they are now in the penal system costing us money. Clegg’s actions were criminal damage, the situations are just the same, it involved law breaking and they absolutely can and should be compared.

  6. Cotswold Quaker says:

    There are a lot of things that are lawful that are wrong. There are a lot of things that are unlawful that are right. It is lawful to close a library, but its not right.

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