Tag Archives: nick clegg

Nick Clegg’s message for Diwali 2014

Here is Nick Clegg’s message for Diwali. The full transcript is below for those who have difficulty with hearing.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Teacher workload – a concern north and south of the border

Yesterday, Nick Clegg gave a speech to public sector workers. His specific focus was on teacher workload. Everyone thinks that teachers work short hours and have long holidays. Yet everyone who has a child actually at school will know how much effort goes in to preparing lessons. And everyone who knows a teacher knows that they spend a lot of their supposed “off-duty” time thinking of interesting lessons or, more likely these days, filling in interminable paperwork. We know that children need to be kept safe and their progress checked, but I get the feeling that the bureaucracy is overbearing and unnecessary. Let’s just give you a small example from my own experience. Every time my child sets foot outside the school we have to fill in a consent form. It’s A4. It has all sorts of medical info on it. It even asks how far they can swim unaided, a skill which is unlikely to be needed when representing the school in a maths competition or reading stories to 6 year olds in the local primary school. We can be filling in one of these forms twice a month. If it’s a mild inconvenience for us as parents, what’s it like for teachers who have maybe 30 of them to collect for each class? Why can parents not fill in a standing consent with all the info which covers the whole year?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Nick Clegg, want to win the women’s vote? Try working with one.

Lib Dems celebrate 100 years of women councillors - Photo by Martin TodThis week, Lib Dem Women went public with our campaign to lobby Nick Clegg to promote more of our brilliant women, and especially to ask one of them to join the Cabinet. This weekend, it was announced that he has no intention of another reshuffle before the General Election.

Here’s why that’s a really bad idea. It’s not just because the Liberal Democrats have plenty of exceptional and capable women who deserve more senior positions. We do, of course, but if we were talking about experience and ability alone we should have done this in 2010. Annette Brook taught economics for nearly two decades before she became a councillor, mayor and then MP; Susan Kramer had a long and successful career in infrastructure and transport finance; Lorely Burt ran her own award-winning training and development business; I could go on. Nothing about these women suggests they are less capable than, say, Jeremy Browne or Danny Alexander.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 24 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg: Why we must reduce teachers’ workloads

Nick Clegg has been writing for the Times Educational Supplement on the need to make sure teachers’ workloads were more manageable. He recognised that most teachers put in much more effort than they get credit for:

There’s an outdated preconception, which hasn’t quite died out, that a teacher’s working day starts at 9am and finishes at 3pm, with 12 weeks off a year to recuperate. Yet, ask anyone who actually spends their days trying to inspire and educate a classroom of children and they’ll tell you a very different story.

They’ll talk about 50 hour working weeks, the unnecessary bureaucracy they have to deal with every day, the challenges of helping children, from all different backgrounds, get the skills they need and also the rewards, like that moment when you see a young boy or girl in your care thrive.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Mental health – an issue whose time came at Glasgow

Nick clegg and norman lamb at scottish action mental health photo by dave radcliffe from the liberal democrats flickr streamBased on my circumambulation of the Glasgow conference corridors, there were three highlights concerning mental health:

1. Oxford West and Abingdon conference representative, Matthew Sumption made his maiden speech in the pre-manifesto debate. He’s currently taking time out from university study. But, my goodness me, what a brave young man he is. He basically stood up and said that he is undergoing treatment for mental illness.

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Norman Lamb MP writes… Thank you, Nick, for your commitment to mental health

No major British political party has ever had a leader more committed to the cause of tackling mental health discrimination than Nick Clegg.

Nick’s first ever question in Prime Minister’s Questions as party leader was about mental health services. And throughout my time as heath minister, I have always been able to rely on Nick’s unwavering support for my work: on promoting parity of esteem for mental health; on tackling unacceptable standards of crisis care and support for children and young people; and in general raising the profile of an area of health that for far too long has been …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech: 5 initial thoughts from me – and reaction from members and pundits

Nick Clegg has just delivered his seventh conference speech – you can read it here. Five quick thoughts from me:

1. It’s rare to remember party leaders’ speeches. However, I’ve a feeling this one will be remembered. Not necessarily stylistically — its rhetoric or his delivery — but for a government policy announcement: the emphasis on mental health-care which Nick made a centre-piece and which he has said will be on the front page of the party’s manifesto. Yes, there were plenty of positioning soundbites. But, more importantly, this announcement demonstrated, better than any finely crafted words, the point …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , and | 78 Comments

BBC: “Nick Clegg not executed on stage until 1320″

That was the rather startling tweet from BBC South-East reporter Louise Stewart:

But it turned out to be a typo rather than a stay of execution:

Posted in Conference | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg on the “great liberal cause” to boost mental health care: “I want this smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”

Nick clegg rally glasgow 2014Nick Clegg will announce a new Coalition Government policy in his leader’s speech to the Glasgow conference today – putting mental health provision on a par with physical health by announcing waiting time targets for people with mental health problems in England for the first time.

He’s expected to say later that “Mental health conditions are one of the last remaining taboos in our society, and yet they will affect one in four people” and to make three commitments:

  • “if you are waiting for talking therapies to help
  • Posted in Conference | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

    Nick Clegg’s conference rally speech: “We may be the underdogs but we have the values, beliefs and resilience to win”

    “This is the fight of our lives” – that was the message from Nick Clegg at last night’s conference rally. You can watch it here:

    Posted in Conference and YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 30 Comments

    Nick Clegg arrives at conference

    Nick Clegg Glasgow conference by Paul Walter 2014

    My photo here shows Nick Clegg arriving at the conference in Glasgow at noon today. He chats briefly with the four Presidential candidates, from left to right: Sal Brinton, Linda Jack, Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper. The four candidates were hot foot from the first Presidential hustings of the conference, which was packed.

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

    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.

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

    Cameron and the Tories show us what Government by Daily Mail would look like

    It seems very strange to have watched three leaders’ speeches before our own Conference has started. We normally go first in the Conference season but thanks to Mr Alex Salmond and his choice of referendum date, we are bringing this conference season to an end. For once, Nick Clegg gets the chance to have the last word.

    Farage, with his dodgy wireless microphone, was as full of himself as ever, even more so when he had a defecting Tory MP to brandish. This was in sharp contrast to Ed Miliband’s clumsy performance. And then we had Cameron. Standing in front of a dark backdrop, looking at his most charming, delivering a speech that had passion and promise. It didn’t just have a melody. It had the whole darned symphony. But he and his ministers have this week painted a picture of a Britain that I really don’t fancy living in, a country where government by Daily Mail values is the norm.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

    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.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

    Nick Clegg explains Liberal Democrat ministers’ decision to support air strikes on ISIL

    RAF lightning II aircraft photo by defence imagesNick Clegg has sent an email to all party members this evening to explain why the parliamentary party will be supporting air strikes on ISIL in Iraq.

    It contains the entire broadcast interview which he did this afternoon. He talks about what a”vile and murderous” outfit ISIL is, about how the action is legal and how this isn’t being done by “the west” to “the rest”. It comes as part of a coalition of countries acting on a formal request from the legitimate government of Iraq.

    Posted in Europe / International, News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments

    Nick Clegg’s message for Rosh Hashanah 2014

    Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Strong language from Nick Clegg on more powers for Scotland: This opportunity cannot be hijacked

    I had a sneak preview of an article Nick Clegg wrote for today’s Sunday Post. I was a bit disappointed in its blandness. We needed more robust language, I felt. Why? Well, when Cameron had just had almost half of Scots who voted tell him they wanted out of the Union, his main message in response was to pick a fight with Labour on the so-called “West Lothian Question.” Really, Dave, is that what you take from all of this? By making more powers for Scotland seem contingent on resolving the English votes for English laws issues, he exacerbated tensions up here.

    Yes supporters were already, entirely understandably, devastated. I only need to think of the anxiety I’ve felt over the last couple of weeks to understand entirely how it feels for them. The last thing these people needed to do was to find themselves in the middle of a scrap between the Tories and Labour over something that was irrelevant to them. There needed to be a very clear message that the powers would be delivered on time. If they aren’t, then, frankly, the three pro-UK parties are completely stuffed. As Ming Campbell memorably put it on the BBC News Channel on Friday night, you might as well hand out free membership of the SNP.

    Rather than use his resignation statement to bring people together and soothe people’s emotions, Alex Salmond sought to raise tensions by suggesting that David Cameron had reneged on a commitment to have the Second Reading of the new Scotland Bill by 27th March. That was never part of the deal. As an MP of 20 years’ standing, Salmond should know that even if it had had its second reading by then, it would have fallen as Parliament is due to be dissolved days later. The commitment was to have a Bill ready to be debated by the next Parliament immediately after the election. That’s what the Better Together election poster explicitly said:

    Better Together election poster

     

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 39 Comments

    Senior Liberal Democrats react as Scots vote to stay in UK

    The sovereign will of the Scottish people, by a margin of, give or take a bit, 55%-45 %, is to stay in the UK. In voting No, they put their trust in David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

    Here’s how senior Liberal Democrats reacted. First,  Nick Clegg:

    I’m absolutely delighted the Scottish people have taken this momentous decision to safeguard our family of nations for future generations.

    In a dangerous and uncertain world I have no doubt we are stronger, safer, and more prosperous together than we ever could be apart.

    But a vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change and we must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland.

    At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to a demand for constitutional reform across the United Kingdom as people south of the border also want more control and freedom in their own hands rather than power being hoarded in Westminster.

    So this referendum marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also a new chapter of constitutional renewal across the UK.

    Willie Rennie:

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

    Decentralisation decade – Nick Clegg responds

    Last Friday Nick Clegg was speaking about devolution at an event organisation by the Institute for Public Policy Research. It marked the launch of their publication entitled ‘Decentralisation decade: A plan for economic prosperity, public service transformation and democratic renewal in England‘.

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

    Nick Clegg’s statement on David Haines’ murder: Islamic State an affront to every peace loving Muslim in the world

    Nick Clegg has made the following statement about David Haines’ murder:

    The barbaric murder of David Haines is a crime of the most horrendous kind.

    My thoughts at this time are with the family of David Haines who have experienced something no family should ever have to go through.

    This murderous organisation calls itself Islamic State.

    But it is not a state, it is a brutal terrorist outfit whose actions are an affront to every peace loving Muslim around the world.

    No religion could possibly justify such grotesque acts.

    The British Government will not rest until these killers face justice.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 41 Comments

    Catch-up LDVideo: Nick Clegg hails “a manifesto for the next generation”

    It ended up being buried by this week’s news from Scotland and the Royal Baby – but the Lib Dem pre-manifesto was launched this week. You can read Stephen Tall’s initial take on it here and watch Nick Clegg hail it as “a manifesto for the next generation” in this video:

    Posted in YouTube | Also tagged | 4 Comments

    David Laws on Lib Dem plans for the General Election

    Yesterday Nick Clegg officially launched our pre-Manifesto, which will be debated at Federal Conference next month. David Laws was asked by the BBC about the costings, and he said:

    We will publish the figures before the next election, but what Nick Clegg did say today is that the proposals that are in our pre-manifesto that we published today are considerably less expensive than the manifesto that we stood on in 2010. I personally am confident that if we were a Liberal Democrat government by ourselves, and we didn’t have to negotiate with other parties, then all that we’ve put in our pre-manifesto is actually deliverable.

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

    Clegg’s pitch to Scotland to say No to independence: “Change is on its way.”

    nick clegg euThe weekend news of the first poll pointing to a possible Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum has dominated the headlines – and it may prompt those parties campaigning for Scotland to remain within the UK to commit irrevocably to further devolved powers to the Scottish Assembly. That was the strong message today from Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, speaking at a press conference this morning:

    For the first time in my political lifetime, there is clear, unwavering unity on this question. Finally, everyone who believes in the United Kingdom believes in more power – more control for Scotland, in Scotland.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 41 Comments

    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.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

    Nicola Sturgeon challenges Nick Clegg to do the Ice Bucket Challenge

    ice bucket challenge photo by University of Central ArkansasWe can’t look at our social media at the moment without coming across an avalanche of videos of our own friends or celebrities doing the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and raise money for its charities across the world.

    I have to say that I have actually refused to do the challenge. I am too much of a free spirit, I suppose. I don’t think I have the right to tell someone which charity to donate to or publicise, nor do I like being so told myself. This doesn’t make me a wimp (although I do not deny that I am about most things), or lacking in a sense of humour or heartless. I just don’t like the peer pressure element of it and I think it’s ok to say that you’re not going to conform. I felt particularly strongly about this after seeing one person say in their video that if those nominated didn’t do it, they didn’t care  and were basically evil.

    I also have a bit of a worry about so much water being wasted. In so much of the world it’s such a precious commodity. I wonder what people in parts of the world where it is so scarce think of the waste.

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

    Vince to quit? The party’s “senior sources” have been out and about stirring again…

    It’s not even six months since my co-editor Caron Lindsay urged fellow Lib Dems to make nice and drop the internal briefing against colleagues. This followed a spate of whisperings against Vince Cable and Tim Farron among others. The voices off against Vince even prompted Nick to start an internal inquiry, though, as Jonathan Calder observed here, nothing more was heard of it.

    Today, though, the Mail on Sunday reports:

    Allies of Vince Cable reacted furiously last night over a Liberal Democrat ‘whispering campaign’ suggesting that he is on the brink of walking out of the Coalition. The Mail on Sunday has been told by two well-placed sources within the party that the 71-year-old Business Secretary is considering leaving the Cabinet immediately after the party’s autumn conference.

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 33 Comments

    Clegg: “I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough in mental health research”

    lib dem mental illness posterThe Lib Dems have unveiled plans to increase funding spent on mental health research by £50m, by 2020, as the party seeks to ensure it’s are treated as seriously as physical illnesses are. Here’s Nick Clegg:

    “Mental health issues have been treated as a sort of Cinderella service compared to physical health issues. I want people who are dealing with depression to be as effectively treated as if they had diabetes. That is why I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

    The Sun: “Nick Clegg makes a powerful case for reform of our drugs laws”

    The Lib Dem website says this: “Nick Clegg has announced that the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a commitment to end imprisonment for possessing drugs for personal use, so that no one is sent to prison, where their only offence is one of possession. Under the proposals, users would instead receive non-custodial sentences and appropriate medical treatment.”

    That’s not so surprising. The Lib Dems have long argued for a more rational approach to our drugs laws, with Nick making the point before that “If you are anti-drugs, you should be pro-reform.”

    More surprising is that The Sun newspaper says this:

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

    Opinion: Pressing Clegg on an arms embargo to Israel

    In the wake of Baroness Warsi’s resignation Nick Clegg has reportedly said that he will be pushing for an embargo on arms sales to Israel. I hope this actually happens rather than what I suspect will more likely be a more diluted ‘review’. Without a robust response, and without outside pressure being put on it, it’s likely that Israel will continue to act disproportionately in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. If the government goes for a review, then it will have no more effect than a modest ticking off.

    Doubtless there will be Liberal Democrats who will apportion blame jointly to both sides. They will criticise an embargo and claim that Israel has the right to defend itself from the missiles being fired from the territory. They will no doubt claim that civilian deaths is an unfortunate side effect associated with that action.

    On the Palestinian side they will condemn Hamas for using civilians as human shields, by firing missiles next to schools, hospitals and residences. They will demand that Hamas stop the rocket fire and, along with the rest of the Palestinian population, adopt a policy of non-violence instead. The assumption is that being ‘reasonable’ will encourage Israel to act similarly.

    Let’s put this into context then.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

    Opinion: On immigration, let’s keep out of this race to the bottom

    If there’s one area of political debate where perception triumphs over reality, it’s immigration. While the public rate it as the number one issue facing Britain, it tumbles to 12th place when they’re asked what concerns them most at a personal level, behind the more pressing issues of pensions, health and household finances.

    This is the ‘disconnect’ between what people hear about in our debate on immigration – fanned by political opportunists and their media allies – and the reality they experience in their daily lives. It’s the doorstep charge of “well there are just too many of them,

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 66 Comments



    Recent Comments

    • User AvatarPaul In Wokingham 26th Oct - 9:14am
      @Paul Barker - Overwhelming evidence requires us to reverse the order of your statements. It is much more logical to say that the "Anti-Clegg/We are...
    • User AvatarJohnTilley 26th Oct - 8:51am
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/04/young-politicised-jobless-jarrow-march Not all protesters are media luvvies.
    • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 26th Oct - 8:38am
      the tory press is already conducting its sacking of left-leaning collective-action bastions in advance of the GE next year: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11187602/The-wealth-tax-a-tax-on-the-rich-that-cripples-the-poor.html
    • User AvatarJohnTilley 26th Oct - 8:37am
      Matthew Huntbach 25th Oct '14 - 5:25pm Helen and others – could you try reading what Giles Fraser is saying in today’s Guardian Matthew, I...
    • User AvatarPeter Watson 26th Oct - 8:33am
      @paul barker "One obvious possible reason is that the Anti-Clegg/We are all doomed campaign has been so succsessfull that no-one believes we can win anything...
    • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 26th Oct - 8:11am
      fully behind charlie on this one.