Tag Archives: christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours


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Call Clegg Christmas Special – bullying, learning support for children in hospital, jungles and jumpers

I think it must have been about 12:05 yesterday when I realised that there actually was no hope for me. I mean, it was Christmas Day and there I was not only listening to the Call Clegg Christmas Special, but tweeting about it as well. In my defence, the people who were re-tweeting what I was saying were probably worse.

My intention was to listen to the show while peeling the turnips and tatties (the latter being auto-corrected to tattoos on Twitter, to much hilarity) for dinner. I did get them done, eventually, but I guess my tweets were making notes for this post.

The show was recorded a couple of weeks ago in a Sheffield hospital’s Children’s Ward. Nick Ferrari actually went Up North. He didn’t wear a Christmas jumper, though. Our Nick did, and mighty garish it was too. He’d early tweeted a picture of himself wearing it.

Nick took questions from the children in the ward on some pretty serious and hard-hitting subjects. One girl asked him what could be done to make education provision better for children with Cancer. She now had the all-clear, thankfully, but when she was having her treatment, she’s found it very difficult to get the school and health professionals to work together. Nick was pretty horrified by what she told him, saying that it was “basic common sense and decency” that people should work together to make sure sick children and young people have their education disrupted as little as possible.

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Happy Christmas from the Cleggs: here’s Nick and Miriam’s festive photobooth card

Nick Clegg’s Christmas card has been unveiled today – a photobooth set of four shots depicting he and Miriam as Nick pulls on a red Santa hat.

clegg famil xmas card

The insta-reaction from the Twitterati has been positive:

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My grumpy Christmas

Clegg family Xmas card 2013I really do not like the practice adopted by most party leaders of sending out Christmas cards adorned with portraits of themselves and their families.   Having caught a glimpse of the card sent by Charles and Camilla this year, it seems this is not limited to politicians, but it is certainly not widespread amongst the rest of us.

Most of us send cards that illustrate the significance of the season, drawing on religious or mid-winter symbolism.  So why do politicians usurp the underlying message of peace and hope with their blatant  acts of self-promotion? Even Nick Clegg’s ironic take this year, which was charming and playful – and yes, I did receive one of those through the post – was still saying ‘look at me’.

There are subtler ways of harnessing the power of the Christmas card. Many MPs invite children in local schools to submit Christmas card designs, and the winner has the pleasure of seeing their card in print and sent to hundreds, if not thousands, of local people.  This gives a great message to constituents – the self-effacing MP supports local schools, likes to encourage young people, and endorses the true meaning of Christmas.

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The Clegg Family Christmas Card, with a little help from their sons

Here is the Christmas card Nick Clegg and Miriam González Durántez will be sending out this year:

Clegg family Xmas card 2013

The London Evening Standard explains:

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LibLink: Richard Reeves – Have yourself a merry liberal Christmas

Over at the CentreForum blog, the liberal think-tank’s associate director, Richard Reeves, takes a look at the “communitarian dream” that is Christmas through a liberal lens:

Christmas combines in one package a number of elements that make us bristle. Religion, especially of an organised variety. Tradition for the sake of itself. The insanity of present buying. And semi-tyrannical familial expectations. … One liberal reaction to all this is to simply grin and bear it. … But bristling and bearing won’t really do. Liberal hostility to faith, family, community and tradition is well founded; they can all inhibit individual freedom. But the

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Happy Christmas!


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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 26th Oct - 12:34am
    You need someone experienced - perhaps one of those who were unseated in 2015. Ed Davey? Jo Swinson?
  • User AvatarMichael BG 26th Oct - 12:26am
    On my first reading of the RSA scheme, they have kept disability benefits out of it and suggested a way to ensure that the poorest...
  • User AvatarJoebourke 25th Oct - 11:21pm
    Excellent article Helen around an increasingly important issue. This policy needs to be dovetailed with a long overdue reform of the tax and national insurance...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 11:19pm
    We should at least be exploring this as radical Liberals.
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th Oct - 11:17pm
    This is an election the prospects for which , by our party should not be talked up. Goldsmith is going to stand unopposed and win...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 11:16pm
    We're the progressive voice predominantly in the south just as Labour's the voice predominantly in the north. We need to be consistent, liberal, democratic and...