I have always found Ken Clarke to be a fairly congenial politician, even if he is a Tory. Yes, of course, the hushpuppies, the cheroots, the jazz are all part of a carefully prepared front to convince the simple-minded that Ken is at least human. Nevertheless, for the most part, it is successful: what you see is what you get.
But I cannot see how his latest ploy has any hope of success. Vote for us, or the world will go to hell in a handbasket, is at best a counsel of despair. It is utterly negative, conveying no hint of the optimism necessary to convince the voter that somewhere out there is the possibility of a better future.
It is also patently and demonstrably untrue: coalition and/or minority governments are no less capable of taking the difficult decisions, especially when the three potential partners pusillanimously share the central proposition on the need to rein back the deficit. Would a Conservative government adopt a programme which was radically different from that which might be adopted by a Lib-Lab coalition? Only in the minor details, important but hardly game-changing.
So enough of the blackmail, Ken. Tell us what you positively want to do and stop panicking.