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Editor’s blog Monday 20 September 2010: Deputy PM Clegg's masochism strategy

You know the old gag about the masochist and the sadist. Yes, you do.

'Beat me', begs the masochist. 'No', replies the sadist.

And you remember Tony 'Jazz Hands' Blair's masochism strategy - he would stay in TV studios for ages, trying to argue opponents of the Iraq invasion round to see his point of view. The Catholic sacrament of confession, maybe? Catholics do the oddest things. Ask Opus Dei.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg's party conference speech went long on the 'pain-for-gain' approach. Civil liberties got a lot of mentions. There was a particularly limp attack on Labour for not contributing ideas to the Coalition for how to cut the deficit.

Oop. And he's gone all Lansley, offering us "a liberating government". Mmmm.

One mention that "we have protected the funding for the NHS, the biggest public service of all', conveniently ignores the fact that Lib Dem policy was to cut the NHS budget.

Meanwhile, "I want Britain to have the best schools and hospitals in the world. But that doesn’t mean we should be controlling them all from Whitehall" could have the word "private" inserted in after the first seven words (but obviously, only by someone mischeivious).

Quite a good line about Labour's political memoirs.

Bright, sunny uplands of how it's going to be in 2015.