Clegg attacked over World War II comments

By Sasjkia Otto

Nick Clegg came under attack today in the Daily Mail for writing that Britain has a “more insidious” cross to bear than Germany since the Second World War.

Mr Clegg wrote in the Guardian that British people had a “misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war.”

The comments published on the traditionally right-wing paper’s front page under the enormous headline “Clegg in Nazi Slur on Britain” were taken from a 2002 article, written by Mr Clegg when he was an MEP criticising anti-German sentiments after two German computer experts said they were forced out of their jobs by harassing colleagues.

“It is not easy to explain the mixture of arrogance and insecurity that fuels this peculiar British obsession,” he said. “Watching Germany rise from its knees after the war and become a vastly more prosperous nation has not been easy on the febrile British psyche.”

Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP and Winston Churchill’s grandson, said to the Daily Mail: “They are an insult to the memory of Britain’s war dead and to a time when the British public all pulled together for the common good.

“They prove that Mr Clegg shares the European view of Britain rather than the British view.”

The attack on Liberal Democrat pro-European policies come ahead of the second prime ministerial debate which will focus on foreign affairs tonight.

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said: “Mail readers who see the article in full will realise that it was written in the context of an incident of anti-German prejudice. He remains against prejudice in any form.”