current affairs

Nick Clegg the arsonist, and six other completely true facts…

Poor Nick Clegg is often overlooked as being a normal human being.

Poor Nick Clegg is often overlooked as being a normal human being. While it could be argued he lacks any form of gumption or decency, one thing I’ve discovered this week is that he certainly cannot be described as boring. In fact I’ve been shocked to have discovered some things about Nick Clegg. From ski-instructor to fire-raiser, Clegg has certainly got many surprising aspects about his past up his sleeve.

He used to be a skiing instructor

Yes. Really. In 1985 he embarked on a gap year in Austria where he became a skiing instructor. He initially learned to ski at his Dutch grandfather’s Swiss house on a ski resort. He still enjoys skiing and told “If there’s a hard moment in my work, I often think about my favourite places on the mountains. It’s very calming.” Just imagine that for a second.

He wrote a novel

Politicians are often criticised for writing terrible pieces of fiction, however, Clegg’s was written long before he became an MP. In January 2010 he spoke about it on Mumsnet, saying he tried to mimic the style of a book he had read which did not include any punctuation. In the end he thought of it as “pretentious garbage.” (Probably for the best, Ed.) 

Louis Theroux claims he was Clegg’s ‘fag’ at school

In the past, at England’s public schools it was often customary for older pupils to have a younger “fag” who would act as a servant. Apparently Theroux used to deliver Clegg his paper in the morning. They’re now best mates though, which I suppose is nice.

He was once arrested for arson

Though he doesn’t like to admit it, he set fire to some very valuable cacti as a 16 year old. Claiming he was incredibly drunk, he and his friend committed the crime during an exchange trip to Munich. He wasn’t formally charged, however, was required to dig some communal flower beds as punishment. His mum also took him to buy some replacement cacti, but apparently they were too small.

He’s a bit of an actor

I say “a bit” as he isn’t as well known for it anymore, but he acted alongside Helena Bonham Carter in a play about AIDS while at Cambridge. The play was also directed by Sam Mendes. He has also been known to partake in some panto (even while serving as an MP) with roles such as the Prince in Sleeping Beauty, and a health-and-safety inspector for Jack’s beanstalk. (Still is…)

He enjoys meditation

He has been mocked by brother Marcel and his pal Louis Theroux as, while on a road trip with them, he would insist on two stops a day to participate in ‘transcendental meditation.’ He says he finds it an extremely relaxing way to calm down “from the stresses of modern life.”

He was a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association

Although he claims he cannot recall having ever joined CUCA, there are records of an ‘N Clegg’ being in the association from 1986-1987, at which time he was studying Archaeology and Anthropology at the university. He does admit, however, to having joined many associations when starting university that he did not participate in later on. I guess they must have been offering some pretty good freebies. (Tories giving out freebies, shurely shome mishtake.)

Pic: Liberal Democrats (Creative Commons)