Category Archives: YouTube

Catch up with ‘Call Clegg’: on Boris, immigration, Gaza, Europe and the Tories’ electoral srategy

If you missed the latest ‘Call Clegg’ you can catch up with it below. Here are some of the edited highlights…

On Boris:

Do you know I think the thing about Boris Johnson is you know despite all the kind of clumsiness and bumblingness he’s actually a really, really ambitious politician. And you know you don’t need to sort begrudging him that. He treats his political ambition a bit like he treats his hair. He wants everyone to think that he doesn’t really care but he actually really, really does care. And so look he’ll now have to, I think now he’ll come a bit, you know have to come clean a bit more about the fact that he is in many ways a much more conventional politician than he likes to appear. … At some point he’s actually going to have to say, I’m going to be responsible for stuff, I have to take difficult decisions. Boy have I got the t-shirt on this, I know this. You sometimes just have to take a choice between a lot of invidious difficult decisions all of which you know are not going to be wildly popular and you’re going to have to stick with them. And he’s going to have to do that at some point if he really does want to see through his political ambitions and then we will see.

On immigration:

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg – Let’s use Pride in London to celebrate advances in LGBT rights

Pink News reports that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has released a video celebrating Pride in London, saying we should celebrate advances made for LGBT rights. It quotes Nick saying:

“It is quite fitting that on the eve of London Pride weekend we were able to announce the final, crucial steps to making equal marriage a reality. From 10th December those couples who are currently in civil partnerships but want to enter into a marriage instead, will be able to do so.

“It has been a long struggle to get here and many people have worked tirelessly to ensure true marriage equality, but it has been worth it. This weekend we will be able to celebrate the advances our society has made for LGBT people, their friends and families.”

You can watch the video here

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LDVideo: David Laws on the success of The Orange Book, 10 years on

On Tuesday, Centre Forum, the liberal think tank, held a one-day conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Orange Book (we have already run pieces on the event by Stephen here, by Andrew Chamberlain here and by Rebecca Hanson here).

David Laws, one of the co-editors of The Orange Book (along with Paul Marshall), delivered the key-note speech on the day, a video of which has now been put online by Centre Forum. You can view it below, or here on YouTube.

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Newark by-election: what I told BBC’s Daily Politics

imageI got a call from the BBC’s Daily Politics this morning asking if I’d be willing to pitch up this lunchtime to discuss the Lib Dem performance, as the party wasn’t willing to put up anyone official. (Labour didn’t either.) I duly did so and you can see what I said below. If you want to skip Grant Shapps and Roger Helmer, I pop up briefly at the 12 minute mark. As ever, you only really get to string together a couple of sentences: I blogged my fuller views on Newark …

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WATCH: Clegg – “the easiest thing in politics is just to walk away. I’m not going to do that”

A shattered-looking Nick Clegg has spoken today of the “gutting and heart breaking” European election results, but said he would not “walk away” from the leadership nor from the Coalition. You can read the full transcript of his interview with the BBC’s Vicki Young below.

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WATCH: Nigel Farage comes a cropper at the hands of LBC’s James O’Brien

Nigel Farage was interviewed by LBC Radio’s James O’Brien today: it didn’t go well for the Ukip leader. Watch here as he’s asked about the racist comments of elected Ukip representatives, the extremist views of its far-right European allies, its mis-use of dodgy stats to whip-up immigration fears, and its refusal to sign up for an audit of its MEPs’ expenses…

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6 British Pathé video clips of ex-Liberal leaders from 1931 to 1967

Sir John Simon speaks to the Nation. “Let us give to the Prime Minister a firm mandate in the name of the whole nation” (1931)

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Missed last night’s Nick v Nigel debate? Want to watch it again? Here it is…

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My 5 minutes defending Lib Dem honour against Bus Pass Elvis

“We’re interviewing Bus Pass Elvis – the guy who beat the Lib Dems in a council by-election last week – and wondered if you’d be free to come on and talk about whether it means the writing’s on the wall.” That was the enticing invitation from the BBC’s Daily Politics show – how could I refuse? You can see how I got on below.

It was a brief segment, so there were two points I didn’t get to make which I think are important and relevant.

First, what Bus Pass Elvis’s defeat of the Lib Dems in North Clifton ward in Nottingham shows is the extent to which the party’s support has been hit in non-target areas. The party didn’t contest the ward at all in 2011 but when it did in 2007 it attracted 7% of the vote. Seven years on, the Lib Dems got 2%.

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LDVideo: Matthew Oakeshott on the Lib Dem differentiation strategy

BBC’s Sunday Politics looked at recent statements by leading Lib Dems – including three of the Coalition’s biggest champions, Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander and David Laws – widely seen as an attempt to differentiate the party from the Conservatives:

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LDVideo EXCLUSIVE: “The Lost Liberal Democrat Votes”

Here’s a fascinating 7-minute video from documentary producer Ed Stradling looking at “The lost Liberal Democrat Votes” – and what the party can do to win them back by 2015. Ed’s not a Lib Dem member, so when I asked him what had prompted him to make this short film, here’s what he told me:

I’m not a party member, in fact I’ve never even voted for the Lib Dems, although I may have done had they ever stood a chance in any of my constituencies. However, I do think the Lib Dems have done a fantastic job in Government, and come 2015 I would certainly favour a Lib-Con coalition over an outright Tory Government, just as I’d favour a Lib-Lab coalition over an outright Labour Government. I think the political consequences of joining the Coalition have been terribly unfair on the Lib Dems and I guess that is the main motivation for the video – it’s always struck me as crazy that the Lib Dems should be punished by the left-sided voters for taking a decision which is clearly better for them, than the almost certain alternative of a Tory majority in a second 2010 election.

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Lib Dem Deputy Leader election: result expected today at 7pm

Three Lib Dem MPs hope that by this evening they will be elected Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems – the post was vacated by Simon Hughes when he was appointed Justice Minister. The three competing for the post are (in strict surname order) Gordon Birtwhistle, Sir Malcolm Bruce and Lorely Burt.

The electorate is comprised of their fellow MPs – technically the post is Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons, though only the first two words of the title are commonly used – with the wider party membership getting to choose the Party President (for which there will also be a vacancy later this year when Tim Farron’s second two-year term expires).

We’ll find out the result this evening, but to whet your appetite the BBC has this two-minute profile of the runners and riders…

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Careful, Boris. Remember what happened to the last top Tory to liken the Lib Dems to a bird?

“The sooner we are shot of the great yellow albatross, in my view, the better.” So said Boris Johnson yesterday, taking a pop at both Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems.

But, as a classics scholar, Boris should beware a little thing called hubris. At the 1990 Tory Party conference, Mrs Thatcher poked fun at the Lib Dems’ new logo, the bird of freedom, by performing the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch:

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Nick Clegg celebrates 40 years of LBC and asks for a forty year contract

It begins with a tongue in cheek moan. Where’s the caviar and red carpet? It ends with Nick Clegg recording a heartfelt tribute to LBC’s 40 years of broadcasting. And in the process Nick asks the broadcaster for a forty year contract.

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As Channel 4 News goes on titillating ‘fishing trip’, Sarah Teather calls them out

I wasn’t too impressed by the timing of Sarah Teather’s announcement — on the eve of the party’s conference — that she wouldn’t be standing as a Lib Dem at the next election. But I was impressed by her performance on Channel 4 News last night.

Invited on to talk about immigration in her first television interview since that news broke, Matt Frei decided instead to search for cheap and easy headlines — does she think Nick Clegg’s a sell-out, is she in touch with Lord Rennard? etc — to her evident frustration.

She deals with it well, though as she’s commented today: “I agreed to do Channel 4 last night hoping for a thoughtful space to articulate some of my views on immigration and public discourse. Sadly Channel 4 were doing the Westminster thing and trying to make everything personal and titillating. But that is Westminster I guess. One of the challenges of trying to make arguments from inside the party political space! But I got to make some points anyway.”

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LDVideo: Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras

Don’t mess with Dale! And definitely not when he’s in protective publisher mode and wants to ensure a hassle-free interview for his latest political author, Damian McBride. Just a still photo and the link to the video for now, but it’s bound to be on YouTube soon enough…

iain dale no nukes

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LDVideo: Glasgow 2013 party conference redux

Why attend a Lib De conference? And what happens when you do? Those are two of the questions communicatios firm covi set out to get answers to in this 5-minute video featuring Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive: Mark Pack, Editor of Lib Dem Newswire; David Boyle, author and policy maker; and Professor Stephen Lee, Chief Executive of CentreForum…

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Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom brands Michael Crick a racist and hits him with party’s ‘no black faces’ conference brochure

This tweet from Mark Wallace was picked up Channel 4′s political editor Michael Crick…

… who decided to quiz shy and retiring Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom about the absence of black faces from his party’s conference brochure.

Here’s what happened next

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LDVideo: Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year for BBC’s Daily Politics

Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year – it’s ups and its down – for the BBC’s Daily Politics, recalling some of the questions on Nick’s weekly LBC radio phone-in, Call Clegg…

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RIP David Frost. Here’s the TW3 sketch I’ll remember him for

Sir David Frost – satirist, interviewer, writer – has died. Here’s my favourite That Was The Week That Was sketch, in which he and Willie Rushton excoriated Conservative home secretary Henry Brooke. It concludes with the brutal pay-off: “If you’re Home Secretary, you can get away with murder”.

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Nick Clegg on Syria: Government “is not going to act outside the remit of international law”

Here’s Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg commenting on the Government’s actions on Syria:

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LDVideo: Watch Spanish premier Rajoy’s “fin de la cita” cock-up

Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy has been having a tough summer. The country’s economy continues to contract, unemployment has soared, and — most personally damaging of all — he and his (very) right-wing Partido Popular have been embroiled in a slush fund corruption scandal.

A recent speech to the Spanish parliament was intended to draw a line under the affair. But Rajoy seemed not to have read his text in advance: after each quote, he also read out loud the words in parentheses, ‘(fin de la cita)’ — ‘(end of quote)’. He did this nine times, with varying intonations of intensity, triggering confusion among his peers in parliament and prompting guffaws among the public at home.


(Watch here on YouTube.)

It brings to mind the classic “As I look out over this magnificent vista” clip from The West Wing. It’s Sunday, so why not enjoy those four minutes once again…

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Jim Messina and “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”

The Conservatives have hired Barack Obama’s election strategist Jim Messina to advise on their 2015 general election campaign. The Guardian describes it as “a coup for the Tory team to have been able to hire a strategist who proved such a vital figure in Obama’s presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012.”

Those unfamiliar with Mr Messina’s work can watch an example of his kind of ad below. It’s from the 2002 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee race between Max Baucus and Montana Republican Senate nominee Mike Taylor, and has been described by Salon.com as “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”:

Renowned in political circles, the ad set porno music to 20-year-old footage of a video from Taylor’s cosmetics business. The video showed Taylor in a leisure suit rubbing cream into another man’s face. As the spot faded to black, it showed Taylor then seeming to reach for the man’s crotch as a voice-over said “Mike Taylor — not the way we do business in Montana.”

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LDVideo: Graham Norton meets Lib Dem councillor Paula Belford and her husband’s “little chappie”

Here’s Islington Lib Dem councillor Paula Belford starring on Graham Norton’s chat-show, with Steve Carrel among others looking on…

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Lib Dems select Maajid Nawaz as candidate in ultra-close three-way marginal of Hampstead and Kilburn

maajid-navazIn the 2010 general election, Hampstead and Kilburn was a three-way marginal: Glenda Jackson squeaked back in for Labour by just 42 votes, polling fewer than 900 votes ahead of the third-placed Lib Dems.

This week, the local Lib Dems selected the candidate they hope will succeed Ms Jackson when she retires at the next election: he’s Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist, author of Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening, and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation. As the Ethnic Minority Lib Dems note:

He is the first visible minority so far to become a PPC for the 2015 general election in a constituency where the party has a realistic chance of winning. EMLD welcomes his selection as a step forward in BAME representation. He will take on Labour’s Tulip Siddiq who is seeking to succeed Glenda Jackson as MP. Jackson’s north London seat has a paper-thin majority and is regarded as a three-way ultra marginal. The Lib Dems were in third place in 2010 but have a realistic chance of success, particularly if we garner a sizable share of the BAME vote, which makes up over 30% of the local electorate.

And here’s how the Qulliam Foundation acknowledges Maajid’s selection:

Maajid Nawaz will run in his personal capacity, as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. In running for the Liberal Democrats, Mr Nawaz continues his political journey from a former leading member of a radical organisation towards liberal democratic values. He will remain Chairman of Quilliam and is committed to its cross-party values and mission of countering extremism, promoting pluralism, inspiring change and seeding democratic culture.

You can read more about Maajid on his Wikipedia page here, and see him in action on BBC1′s Question Time here:

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The right to privacy: “in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?”

With news today of yet further alleged intrusion into private citizens’ communications — GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications (Guardian) — here’s how The West Wing anticipated the past week’s furore…

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LDVideo: Danny Alexander on UK’s commitment to tax transparency and the unproven case for arming the rebels in Syria

Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander did the rounds of the TV studios yesterday to promote the Coalition’s actions to increase tax transparency. You can see his BBC News interview here. On Channel 4 meanwhile, he was also quizzed about whether he thought the UK should help arm Syrian rebels: he said the case was unproven that would help the country at this time:

Also posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

LDVideo: Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes comment on the Lib Dem performance in the local elections

The Lib Dem leader and deputy leader on the outcomes from Thursday’s elections…

Nick Clegg on the Lib Dems’ local election performance

Local elections: Simon Hughes defends Lib Dem result

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Clegg defends Coalition: “We inherited from Labour an economy teetering on the edge”

Nick Clegg was interviewed while on the campaign trail in Lewes today for Channel 4 News by Gary Gibbon — here’s a 6-minute excerpt in which Nick explains the steps the Coalition has taken to rescue the economy since 2010:

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Nick Clegg grilled by Martha Kearney: Lib Dems “the voice of fairness” in government

Nick Clegg fared better than Ed Miliband in his pre-local election grilling today by Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4′s World at One. You can watch the 18-minute interview here:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 22nd Aug - 8:49pm
    Hi Stephen, I certainly wouldn't be looking to kick off over your use of the word radical (I'm trying to reduce my tantrums), I just...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 22nd Aug - 8:44pm
    The point surely is that few Voters expect us to form a Government on our own. What they want to know from us is how...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 22nd Aug - 8:37pm
    Paul Pettinger 22nd Aug '14 - 3:48pm "But it is what the leadership stands for, and therein lies the problem ..." Paul, I am 100%...
  • User AvatarPaul in Wokingham 22nd Aug - 8:10pm
    In a recent YouGov poll, only 25% of self-identified Liberal Democrats said that they expected their household finances to improve in the next 12 months....
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 22nd Aug - 7:23pm
    Joe Otten - The basic problem there is fairness for whom? I would find it extremely difficult for example to justify the pension triple lock...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 22nd Aug - 7:12pm
    At least SEFS distinguishes Lib Dems from all those other parties who are calling for a weak economy and an unfair society.