Tag Archives: call clegg

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.

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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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Call Clegg highlights 30 May 2013 – the best one so far

Nick Clegg on the BBCToday’s Call Clegg was quite extraordinary. We know that there’s been a big push by some of the more authoritarian figures in the country to try to build a case for the so called Snoopers’ Charter over the past few days. It was obvious Nick was going to be asked about it. The caller, Vince (no, not that one) from Kingston was very supportive of Nick’s position. What happened next was that Nick Ferrari played recorded messages from former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair and the Secretary …

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No Liberal Democrat on Question Time again – who will speak up against the Snoopers’ Charter?

Question TimeAnother week, another Question Time with no Liberal Democrat on the panel. Tonight’s episode, from London, will feature Conservative health minister Anna Soubry, former Labour  Home Secretary Alan Johnson, the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hassan, Downton Abbey author Julian Fellowes and UKIP’s Diane James.

This is the second week running that there hasn’t been a Liberal Democrat on the panel. The reason it’s serious is because ever since last week’s horrific murder in Woolwich, there has been a clamour of voices in the media, one of the loudest being Alan Johnson’s, saying …

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Call Clegg 25 April 2013: the highlights

Our reports from this week’s Call Clegg have concentrated on Nick’s unequivocal announcement that the so called Snoopers’ Charter, which would have obliged companies to store details of websites visited and social media contacts, will not be enacted while the Liberal Democrats are in Government. However, that only took up a small part of his half hour session. Here are some of the other highlights:

Abu Qatada

Nick was asked several times about the idea that Britain should temporarily pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights. While he did not explicitly rule the idea out, I do not think …

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Nick Clegg: Snoopers’ charter is not going to happen with Liberal Democrats in Government

Julian Huppert has already joyfully welcomed Nick Clegg’s decision to veto Tory plans on web snooping. However, I thought I’d give you the chance to hear Nick Clegg’s words from Call Clegg this morning. I certainly wasn’t expecting such an unequivocal statement. He has given himself no wiggle room at all. This is what he said:

What people have dubbed the snoopers’ charter, I just have to be clear with you, that’s not going to happen. In other words, the idea that the Government will pass a law which means there would be a record kept of every website you visit,

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Call Clegg highlights: Housing, Bond, the Lords, errant MPs and the Rolling Stones…

Nick Clegg sounded very cheery as he introduced his weekly LBC phone-in today. Maybe it’s the thought of two weeks away from the rough and tumble of Parliament, or waking up to a basketful of chocolate eggs on Sunday, but he certainly seemed in good form.

I have a long held obsession that if politicians concentrated their minds and sorted out housing, we’d all be a lot happier. It’s one of the things people care most about, unsurprisingly. Imagine how you’d feel if the roof over your head was threatened. Imagine the uncertainty, being forced to rely on the homelessness provision …

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Nick on ‘Call Clegg’: “Without doubt one week I will regret something I said”

An interesting couple of snippets from an interview with Nick Ferrari – Nick Clegg’s interlocutor on LBC’s weekly ‘Call Clegg’ phone-in – in this week’s Media Guardian. First, that all three party leaders were approached with the idea, and only Nick bit. And here’s Nick on why he agreed:

On his way out of the studio a few weeks ago, I asked Clegg the same question. “I enjoy it. There’s something spontaneous and authentic about it, which is good in a political world which is in many ways becoming increasingly pasteurised by too much spin and pre-preparation.”

Clegg said he received

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Call Clegg: “There were serious mistakes and the women were let down”

We might not have blamed Nick Clegg if he’d stayed under the duvet with a detective novel rather than turn up for his weekly Call Clegg session on LBC. Our leader is not one to duck out of things, though, and deserves respect for not hiding away and allowing himself to be quizzed on live radio. Clearly he was going to be asked  about the allegations surrounding Lord Rennard (which the peer strenuously denies) and what he had done about them.

For the first time he acknowledged that although the main reason for the former Chief Executive’s resignation was health, this …

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Call Clegg 20 February: E-cigarettes, London NHS, taxes, special needs and Arsene Wenger

This week and next, Call Clegg, Nick Clegg’s weekly phone-in is happening on Wednesday rather than Thursday. Today’s questions ranged from a new EU directive on e-cigarettes which Nick had never heard of to special needs to fair  tax to the problems of the NHS in London. Today, a few of the questions  were so long that it didn’t flow as well as usual. However, when Nick got the chance, he really chatted properly with people as if there weren’t millions of people listening.

Mansion Tax

The first question was from a man who bought his house in fashionable St John’s Wood …

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Call Clegg: The one where Boris agrees with Nick

I wondered if the Tories might try and turn up the heat on Nick on today’s LBC Call Clegg now that the starting gun has been fired for the Eastleigh by-election just 3 weeks from today.

I wasn’t expecting the unmistakeable tones of “Boris from Islington” telling Nick to get ministers out of their cars and onto bikes, and get some investment into infrastructure.

Sadly, the London Mayor (for it was he) didn’t quite have the guts to actually talk to Nick live. He’d pre-recorded his question. Nick lobbed the ball firmly back into Boris’ gob by asking him if he were …

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Call Clegg 4: the return of #iagreewithnick

Nick Clegg’s fourth half hour phone-in this morning was the first I had actually managed to listen to all the way through. It takes some guts for a senior member of the Government to take unvetted calls from members of the public every week. In just 30 minutes, he answered questions on subjects like youth unemployment, the threatened Lewisham hospital, childcare, stay at home parents, David Ward’s comments and HS2 and its role in providing prosperity for the whole country.

One man was very angry about the comments made by David Ward for which he apologised and was subsequently censured by …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 17th Apr - 4:25pm
    Denis This is far from the “divisive schooling, segregating children along religious grounds” feared by Graham Martin-Royle above. If tempted by the quite different approach...
  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 17th Apr - 4:01pm
    Hmm, maybe we could learn from this, start a separatist movement for SouthWest England and threaten to secede from the UK, we too will get...
  • User AvatarPaul in Twickenham 17th Apr - 3:52pm
    I always liked the story about how Clement Attlee was approached by a BBC reporter who said "Prime minister, do you have anything to say...
  • User AvatarChris Manners 17th Apr - 3:36pm
    ", why should I tell people what they can spend their money on? That’s an important issue that’s been highlighted" Right, so no other economic...
  • User AvatarChris Manners 17th Apr - 3:28pm
    This clown is on the left of your party?
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 17th Apr - 3:18pm
    @John Leech I stalled at the first sentence. What exactly do you mean by "the rebirth of localism in 2010"?