Nick Clegg: ‘Maoist’ SNP is like deluded Japanese soldier who hid in the jungle for 30 years


Recent polls suggest Lib Dems may only hold onto one seat in Scotland

NICK CLEGG has claimed that there is a “maoist tendency” to the SNP and that it is like a Japanese soldier who hid in the jungle for 30 years because he thought the Second World War was still on.

The Liberal Democrat leader made the remarkable attack on the SNP and its support for independence from his campaign battle bus, despite SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon insisting there was a “triple lock” on the issue.

For Scotland to become independent the first minister said it would first require a change in public opinion, the election of a party proposing independence in its manifesto and then another referendum.

Recent polls (click here to read more) have suggested that the SNP are on course to win 53 seats out of Scotland’s 59 seats in the 7 May election. The Lib Dems are only expected to hold onto one seat – the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Among the potential Lib Dem casualties in Scotland is Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and former LibDem leader Charles Kennedy.

However, Clegg has claimed that talk of another referendum could have a “paralysing” effect on the economy and compared the SNP to Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda who hid in the Philippine jungle for almost 30 years.

Cleg said: “There is almost a sort of Maoist tendency which says that the people must be wrong according to the SNP and that they must be forced to ask themselves the question over and over and over again until they give the answer which is satisfactory to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.”

“It is a bit like that Japanese soldier who emerged from the jungle after 30 years and he thought the Second World War was still on. I sometimes think the SNP’s a bit like that.”

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said: “This a very silly intervention from Nick Clegg, and is not be sort of language to use about the very people intending to vote SNP next month.

“The reality is that a strong group of SNP MPs in the House of Commons will stand up for Scotland and help deliver progressive politics across the UK.

“That will be positive and refreshing – in stark contrast to the cruel Tory cuts that the Lib Dems have been cheerleaders for these last five years.”

Picture by Cabinet Office