Nick Clegg must be wishing the Liberal Democrats had waited until December to backtrack on their promise to oppose an increase in tuition fees – then he might very well have been looking at a Christmas Number One.
Posted on YouTube yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister’s video apology for reneging on one of his party’s core pledges was immediately remixed into a musical version by satirical website The Poke, becoming an instant internet phenomenon that saw Clegg’s name trending on social media website Twitter. Meanwhile, BBC newsreader Jeremy Vine gave the tune an airing on his Radio 2 show.
Now, Clegg has granted permission for the song – which uses Auto-Tune technology to turn his spoken apology into a catchy melody – to be released as a single on iTunes, with all profits going to the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, of which his wife Miriam is a patron.
When asked about the decision, Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb joked that the party would be hiring The Poke to produce its next party political broadcast.
Webb told The Daily Politics it “took guts” for Mr Clegg to make such a public apology. “He knew this was going to be on YouTube,” said Webb, “he knew it was going to be out there but he thought it was the right thing to do.”
Whether the music-buying public agrees remains to be seen – but if they love the song as much as we do, they’ll be voting with their iPods.