Tag Archives: call clegg

UK decision to stop migrant rescue operations attacked by Teather (“unethical”) and Ashdown (“inhuman”), defended by Clegg (“Italian decision”)

Conservative home office minister James Brokenshire defended the Government’s decision to withdraw support – along with all other EU member states – for future search-and-rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean. The BBC reports:

James Brokenshire told MPs the change would “save lives rather than putting them in peril.” About 3,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean so far this year. That is out of an estimated total of 150,000 to have made the trip by boat across to Europe. Mr Brokenshire said operations to rescue migrants encouraged more people to make the “perilous journey” across the Mediterranean in the hope of being granted asylum. He said the “despicable work” of human traffickers had made the problem much worse, and must be tackled. On the new approach, he added it was “inconceivable to suggest that if a boat were in peril, that support would not be provided”.

Italian officials have made clear they intend to scale down their government’s current operation, known as Mare Nostrum, as the EU introduces a new operation known as Triton. Triton will focus more on border control – tasks such as vetting asylum seekers once they are ashore, and coastal patrols – rather than search and rescue in international waters. Mr Brokenshire said that 28 EU member states had “unanimously agreed” to the new proposals, and criticised those attacking the policy for seeking to “politicise” the issue.

Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather was not impressed by the minister’s defence:

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Clegg: May’s comms data claim “one of most misleading and outrageous platform speeches I’ve heard”

On Call Clegg this morning, Nick Clegg said he’d written a strongly worded letter to Theresa May demanding an apology after her claim in her speech to the Conservative Conference that the Liberal Democrats had put children at risk by vetoing the Communications Data Bill.

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Call Clegg: Nick robust about need to act on ISIL

Nick Clegg LBC squareHere’s today’s Call Clegg. There were some lively exchanges about the rights and wrongs of air strikes in Iraq against ISIL.

I was quite surprised that so many people thought that everyone should just sit down and talk to ISIL. They have shown no sign so far of being “get round the table” sort of people. There will eventually have to be a political and diplomatic solution, but is that really feasible right now? And how best to help the people who are being so brutally tortured and murdered by them. Nick explained that as he saw it, we were part of a broad international project to tackle ISIL in several ways and we were just one part of the jigsaw.

Asked whether he’d have notes when he made his conference speech, he said he would “be speaking with the trapeze safety of an auto cue system.” That has conjured up a mental image I don’t think I’m going to get rid of very quickly.

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Call Clegg: A well-informed 9 year old, empathy with the Kings and the moral dilemmas of dealing with terrorists

Nick stopped off at LBC on his way to the NATO summit in Newport. As an aside, my heart has been warmed by the lush and beautiful Welsh countryside, but who have planning permission for that building in the middle of it? Could they not have built something with more of a soul?

The star of the show was 9 year old Rowan who was incredibly well-iinformed about the school meals policy, telling Nick that his school meals weren’t that healthy and that the evidence of their efficacy in improving learning was a) marginal and b) more relevant at Key Stage 2 than 1. It is worth listening to the whole exchange. Nick said that it’s difficult to target by areas because 4 out of 10 children in poverty don’t qualify for free school meals. He said that the evidence is that if you want all children to do well, having them share a healthy meal together at lunchtime it has a dramatic effect. Sadly, though, it means that Rowan’s sister at his old school is missing out on her gym class because the gym is being used for dinners. It was absolutely brilliant to see a 9 year old completely confidently arguing with the Deputy Prime Minister. We need more of them. Nick referred Rowan to read Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent’s School Food Plan. I have the feeling we haven’t heard the last of that young man.

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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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Call Clegg 3 July – On the desire to reform Westminster from “top to toe”

This week’s Call Clegg saw Nick being questioned on everything from Rolf Harris to Iraq and Israel to PMQs. Twice he talked about wanting to reform Westmisnter from top to toe. He also said that he didn’t mind Prince Charles speaking his mind on policy issues, saying that politicians shouldn’t feel pressured to do what he says.

He also had warm words about Susan Gaszczak, who resigned from the party the other day.

Here’s the video of the whole thing, also available here on You Tube)

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Call Clegg 26 June: Tories can talk all they like about snoopers’ charter, it won’t happen as long as I’m in government

call clegg Clegg started in robust mood this morning, vowing that Theresa May will not get her way on increased surveillance powers while he’s in Government. He’s done well to stand firm against this for more than two years now. It’s certainly true that he had to be persuaded into this robust stance initially, but it’s to his credit that he listened to the points made to his office by a group of angry bloggers in April 2012 and has held firm ever since.

There seemed to be a clear theme throughout the half hour of Liberal Democrats standing up for people in the face of abuse of power by both state and private companies. Abuse of zero hours contracts is to end thanks to Liberal Democrats and the exorbitant interest rates charged by payday lenders is to be capped, among a whole raft of regulations brought in by Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson.

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Call Clegg: Iraq, poverty, knife crime and “Hancock should resign”

Nick Clegg LBC squareToday’s Call Clegg saw Nick questioned on Iraq, knife crime, poverty, web snooping, longer school days and, inevitably, Mike Hancock. He was very clear on Hancock – he should have apologised sooner and he should now resign from the party.

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Nick Clegg announces review into local and Euro election campaigns

Nick Clegg LBC squareOn his weekly phone-in today, Nick Clegg announced that the Chair of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee, James Gurling, would lead a review into our election campaign and strategy which would take advice from a  wide range of party members in all parts of the country where we did well and where we did badly.

I was very keen that the grassroots should be able to contribute to this and James Gurling replied to me on Twitter to say that this would be the case:

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Call Clegg: “Inhumane” treatment of elderly in care homes, gambling, Royal Mail, Nick’s messy car and putting Dominic Cummings in his place..

I’ve done a Storify thingy of today’s Call Clegg highlights. Enjoy!

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The three things Nick Clegg would change about the EU

Nick Clegg York Q&A Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats13 hours after leaving the debate stage last Wednesday night, Nick Clegg was back on his regular Call Clegg radio show. The show had been nominated twice in the Radio Academy Awards to be presented next month.

The first caller, Caron from West Lothian, (who might she be, I wonder?) made the point that she was highly amused by David Cameron trying to pretend that he was the voice of reason on Europe when his plan was to sell all our employment rights down the river and then give us a referendum.  Her question to him was that although he’s a powerful advocate of the EU, he acknowledges that it’s not perfect,

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Call Clegg: Nick condemns morning after pill critics as misogynist, medieval and insulting to women

call cleggI do love it when Nick gets all cross about things. He’s always been pretty open about his views but at times can come across almost too careful. Those occasions when he just lets rip are so good.

This morning, he did not mince his words about those “experts” (sorry for the Daily Mail link, but who they count as experts is really funny) who think that giving women access to the morning after pill will fuel promiscuity. It took me about 4 tweets to get it all in – misogynist, …

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Call Clegg: Proud of Budget, help for parents, taking on Ed Balls and “silly” Shapps and keeping Scotland in the family

call cleggAnother good Call Clegg this morning with one question from Philadelphia on Scottish independence. The caller asked if David Cameron should resign if Scotland voted yes. Nick didn’t get into that, but he said he fervently hoped that Scotland would stay in the “UK family of nations” with more powers.

One criticism of the budget is that it only helps working parents, not those who choose to stay at home. Nick expressed his admiration for those who make that choice, but he said that so many had said to him that …

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Call Clegg: Ukraine, Europe, Boris’s mansion tax, Vince’s ‘gaffe’, collective responsibility and immigration

First up on this morning’s Call Clegg was, unsurprisingly, Ukraine. After discussing the situation generally Clegg was asked why he thought financial support for the country was a good idea. His response was clear:

It is in our interests to have a stable rather than unstable Ukraine.  It is in our interests to have a prosperous rather than an impoverished Ukraine.  Because if Ukraine is in a sense brought to its knees economically and socially never mind what the military incursions are from Russia, we’ll end up frankly paying a much higher cost in the years to come.

Next up he repeated …

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Call Clegg: On the Somerset floods and Sochi

Nick Clegg LBC squareOn his weekly phone-in today on LBC, Nick was asked what the Government was going to do to help gay people in Russia, in the light of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. This is what he said:

I am appalled as you are about this law in Russia. It’s just the most regressive law imaginable, it has a very chilling effect, intimidating effect, on many people in the lesbian, bi-sexual, gay community in Russia and elsewhere.

I’m not in favour of sports boycotts, in fact I’m  a big fan of winter sports. We’ll be cheering our athletes as much as anyone else when watching the Sochi games, but I am not going to go and I certainly wouldn’t want any Liberal Democrat minister to go there given the strength of feeling in my party, and I feel this very strongly as well, that what Russia has done, on that legislation, is just plain wrong.

Play
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Nick Clegg opposes banning smoking in cars with children present

Speaking on Call Clegg this morning, Nick Clegg said that he personally wan’t in favour of changing the law to ban smoking in cars where children are present. The question came about as a consequence of a vote in the Lords last night. MPs will now be given a free vote on whether to incorporate it into the Children and Families Bill.

Nick made it clear that he would be voting against:

Of course it’s a stupid thing to do to smoke when a child is in the back of a car but you don’t always have to have a law

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Today’s Call Clegg highlights: Mental health, Benefits Street, getting more women into politics and Rennard

Call Clegg took place today because Nick is heading off to Davos. He could have easily invented some reason to get out of it but you have to respect his courage in going ahead given the furore over the past week. We’re going to start with the most important thing he talked about and work back from that

Improving mental health care for young people

He was asked about whether it was surprising that young people’s mental health was suffering when they faced low wages and not being able to find affordable housing and about mental health provision itself.

He replied:

 I announced on Monday that we’re seeking to remedy,it’s actually almost a form of institutionalised cruelty, the way that if you turn 18, if you’re a child with mental health problems…you might be given good care, good help, develop important relationships with people who are giving them support and treatment in the children’s mental health system.  And then, the moment they have their 18th birthday all of that falls away, and they’re suddenly having to deal with other people in different institutions, travel to different hospitals or clinics.

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What’s with the Nick Clegg/Ed Balls love-in?

This is an article I didn’t expect to be writing.

Ed Balls is not a man known for his particular liking of Liberal Democrats in general and most especially not Nick Clegg. You could generally have assumed that there was not a lot of love lost. In fact “Ed Balls’ prawn cocktail charm offensive” is a fairly standard Clegg bingo drinking game item. Both had insinuated that the other would not be welcome in any future coalition cabinet.

But strange things have been happening over the past wee while.

During the Call Clegg Christmas Special, Nick was asked how he persuaded people. …

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Call Clegg Christmas Special – Kickboxing and an embarrassing moment

On Christmas Day at 1pm, LBC broadcast a 2 hour Call Clegg Christmas Special which had been recorded at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He spent time visiting patients and then took questions from staff and patients in the hospital’s education centre.

I had it on in the background while I was cooking, so my coverage was a little bit patchy. I love Twitter, but even I can’t manage to tweet while basting the turkey and getting the roast potatoes sorted.

It had absolutely the right tone for a Christmas Day episode. Nick was his usual, relaxed, normal self. There were lots of fun moments. My favourite was when he referred to Nick Ferrari as Old Nick, one of Satan’s alter egos. When asked about which languages he spoke, he told a story of how he and his siblings were in a lift slagging off one of their fellow passengers in Dutch – only to have him turn round and tell them, in Dutch, that he understood every word.

The bit that was trailed in the media was his passion for kickboxing and how he’d asked Miriam to get him boxing gloves for Christmas. He said that he sometimes imagined people while kickboxing, but that they would remain nameless.

He was asked some policy questions too and took a pretty consensual approach. He said that it was up to all parties to work out a solution to housing because we needed more houses to be built.

He was asked how he persuaded people round to his point of view. After a bit of self-deprecating “do I?” jokey stuff, he gave an answer that was very much in keeping with the spirit of Mark Valladares’ article from yesterday. He said that he tried to use humour to illustrate his point and to stick to the facts rather than attack the person. He did admit, though that he sometimes made an exception for Ed Balls.

I found the part  where he was talking to the Intensive Care nurses particularly moving. I have had to spend time visiting in an ICU in my life and I was so impressed with the nurses. Their nursing skills had to be top notch to understand all the complexities of any given situation, but they were also so compassionate and understanding towards the visitors who were going through all manner of hell. He asked how they coped with their job and they said that they tended to get the emotions out on some everyday event at home, like losing hair straighteners.

Sadly, LBC don’t seem to have put this episode up on their website, so all I can offer you is my very brief collection of tweets. Feel free to pile in with some more snippets from the show if you listened to it.

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Actually, Nick, there might be something in the vouchers for breastfeeding idea…

Nick Clegg was asked yesterday, on his LBC phone in, what he thought about the plan to give women in deprived areas £200 in High Street shopping vouchers. This was one of these questions which he had to answer by instinct because he didn’t know the detail and to give him credit, he said a lot of the right things. He talked about how no mum should feel pressured to breastfeed, but those who do should get the support they need. Whether he knows on a practical level what that actually means, though, is not clear.

He was unambiguous about …

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Clegg: Guardian’s leaked Snowden secrets of “immense interest to people who want to do us harm”

Clegg HeadMI5 chief Andrew Parker spoke out yesterday against the leaking of intelligence secrets by Edward Snowden to The Guardian, claiming it seriously endangered national security and had given terrorist groups like al-Qa’ida “the gift they need to evade us and strike at will”. Nick Clegg was asked if he agreed on his LBC radio phone-in show, Call Clegg. Here’s what he said:

Nick Ferrari: Deputy Prime Minister, do you agree with the Prime Minister, who says that Andrew Parker, the Security Chief’s warning to the Guardian’s publication of those files handed

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Clegg on the Daily Mail: “Overflowing with bile about modern Britain”

call cleggI noted earlier this week that the Daily Mail’s attacks on Ed Miliband’s father have echoes of the smears the paper has peddled about Nick Clegg and his family over the years.

And on his ‘Call Clegg’ radio phone-in today the Lib Dem leader didn’t shy away from mounting a full-frontal assault on the Mail pointing out that what it represents is utterly opposed to the British values of decency, tolerance and fair play. Here’s how the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow reports it:

Wow. That was striking. Nick Clegg has got

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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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Nick Clegg: All teens should have access to modern sex/relationship education, wherever they go to school

When I was 17 years old, even if I’d had the nerve to ask a middle aged male politician about sex education, they’d probably have mumbled an excuse, blushed and scurried off into the distance.

So, my hero of the week is 17 year old Yas,  who phoned into Call Clegg today and asked Nick if he couldn’t do something about updating the guidance on sex education. She said that the material they were being taught was so old that it came on VHS videos. Yas is working on the Telegraph’s campaign for better sex education and has started a

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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Behind the scenes of ‘Call Clegg'”

‘Nick Clegg effect helps LBC to record 1m listeners’ noted The Guardian last week — yes, the Lib Dem leader’s risky decision last January to host a weekly radio phone-in has proved a hit with the public. (“Imagine if we could do it with a politician who was popular,” side-swiped Nick’s co-host Nick Ferrari.) In this week’s letter Nick offers a behind-the-scenes video glimpse of the show…

libdem letter from nick clegg

I hope you’re having an enjoyable summer so far and getting some time to relax, enjoy the sunshine and enjoy time with family and friends.

This week I was back on LBC for my regular radio phone in show ‘Call Clegg’. I really enjoy doing it, and like the many town hall meetings I also do, it’s a great way to speak directly to the public.

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Call Clegg highlights – 11 July 2013: In which the osmosis isn’t working

MPs’ pay

Jim from Tunbridge Wells, a public sector worker was none too impressed with the idea of MPs getting a whacking pay rise. Nick agrees:

We’re trying to keep everybody together if you like and I just don’t think it helps at all in doing that by taking one very, very small but very prominent part of the public, people on the public sector payroll, MPs, and say, look you’re going to be treated completely differently to nurses, doctors, fireman, firewomen, everybody working in the public sector.  I really do think if we’re going to have an approach towards the public

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Call Clegg highlights 4 July 2013: #iagreewiththecheckoutgirl and tackling the Tories on marriage tax breaks

It’s never the major issues of the day that make the headlines from the Call Clegg show. This week, despite robust questioning on Egypt, immigration, it was all about that incident in Sainsburys where a member of staff refused to serve a customer while they were talking on their phone.

So, has he ever spoken on the phone while in a queue?

Firstly, yes I have spoken on the phone in the queue.  I kind of like to think that I probably wouldn’t do that if I was right at the top, at the sort of the front of the check in

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Ah, maybe this explains Nick Clegg’s awkwardness over Nigella yesterday…

Nick Clegg has taken a mostly unjustified pasting in the media over the past couple of days for his answer to the question:

If you had been in the restaurant eating close by to Nigella and Saatchi when he disturbingly put her hands around her neck, what would your reaction had been?

Stephen Tall was right to say yesterday that his response was a bit ill thought out and incoherent. I preferred to think of it as him taking the pony to get to the point rather than the helicopter, something that he does quite a bit. Nick did get there in the end and made it clear that if he saw someone being violent to their partner, he hoped he’d intervene to protect the weaker person.

Nobody could be justified in thinking for a second that Nick would ever condone domestic violence. Yes, Yvette Cooper, that would be you I’m talking about. Dr Sarah Wollaston MP was as bad.

There’s another dimension to this, though, that I’ve become aware of today: Nick’s wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and Nigella are friends. They knew each other before they did a video for The Stylist way back in 2011. Nigella had taken over the site as editor for that issue and she and Miriam cooked croquetas together. There’s even a You Tube video.

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Nick Clegg: “I completely condemn all forms of domestic violence”

Stephen Tall has just written a post on Nick Clegg’s LBC comments about Charles Saatchi grabbing Nigella Lawson’s throat while they were having dinner, an incident  for which Saatchi accepted a Police caution.

Nick Clegg has now issued a statement clarifying his remarks:

I completely condemn all forms of domestic violence.

As I said on the radio, my instinct would always be to try and protect the weaker person, to try and protect the person who otherwise would be hurt.

But I was asked a very specific question about how I would have reacted to a specific incident which I did not see.

I

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Call Clegg highlights 6 June – “I was lucky, but it’s not about luck, is it?”

call clegg

So, if you haven’t got time to sit through the half hour of Call Clegg, here are my highlights of today’s session.

On his Opening Doors initiative

But to be honest I think what this is about is what about those kids who aren’t lucky enough to have, I don’t know, families or parents who can help or can try and help them, who just don’t have the contacts, who don’t have the support they need to live out their dreams….

…I actually do think there are so many young children today …

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  • User AvatarTim13 18th Dec - 9:02pm
    Thanks, refitman, I understand now. Certainly Michael Green's inventions and porkies are pretty legendary these days! Caron - you have not returned to answer virtually...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Dec - 8:51pm
    Peter - You are right the review was gave the answer Vince wanted, it only looked at the way the government owned shares were sold...
  • User AvatarErnstRemarx 18th Dec - 8:49pm
    Nice one Caron, nothing like putting lipstick on a pig to make it look, er, like a pig wearing lipstck. If you've read - and...
  • User Avatarrefitman 18th Dec - 8:48pm
    @JohnTilley they spend the first 4 years blaming everything on their predecessors and thereby get away with it. "The mess Labour left" - yep, gotten...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Dec - 8:43pm
    It is clear in his article, William Wallace is confusing 'Europe' and the 'EU', they are different. Like many, I'm for the UK being part...
  • User AvatarHelen Dudden 18th Dec - 8:16pm
    I noticed this bit. Nevertheless embracing forgiveness can free and empower us, helping us attain peace ,and even feel compassion towards the person who caused...