Tag Archives: nick clegg

How the Daily Mirror works

There was a curious story in the Daily Mirror over the weekend. It incorrectly refers to Chevening as ‘Nick Clegg’s estate’, and ‘the Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister’s land’ when it is, of course, a property owned by the Government. It is usually made available to the Foreign Secretary so s/he can entertain Foreign ministers in some privacy.

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Three things you need to know about the new powers going to Scotland

There are some very interesting articles about the forthcoming Scotland Bill, the details of which were unveiled on Thursday, in today’s press.

The Tories were trying to back out and Clegg, Alexander and Carmichael wouldn’t let them

According to Michael Moore in Scotland on Sunday today.

 It is not a surprise to me that the Conservatives fought tooth and nail to remove some of the key elements of the Smith agreement.

We saw in the commission itself they adopted two or three different positions in the space of 48 hours on welfare and were clearly in touch with London colleagues at every stage.

We resisted it there and I am glad that my Liberal Democrat colleagues have resisted it in terms of the bill. There is no question in my mind that without Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg digging in on this over the last crucial 48 hours before the bill was published, we would have ended up with the whole Smith process unravelling.

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Nick Clegg takes questions on Men’s Health UK’s Facebook page

Nick Clegg's men's health q and aOn Thursday, Nick Clegg took part in a question and answer session on the Men’s Health UK Facebook page. The magazine has published some of the session here.

He talked quite movingly about the need to tackle the stigma attached to mental health to make it easier for particularly men to talk about their illness:

 One of the keys to changing this is to ensure that mental health trusts work with families and friends of patients just as much as with the patients themselves. When I visited the superb Mersey Care trust last week I met a patient who told me that when he was in hospital for a heart operation he received a constant and welcome stream of visiting friends and family. Yet when he was in a mental health ward for five months he received only three visits during his whole time there. That says all we need to know about the crippling effect of the stigma that still surrounds mental health. That’s why campaigns like Time to Change are so vital.

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Opinion: Some thoughts on preventing suicide

Nick Clegg has been quoted this week as calling for the NHS “to commit to a new ambition for zero suicides”. That is an aspiration that nobody could argue with, but it is unrealistic to believe that it can quite be achieved. Throughout human history and in every kind of society people have died by their own hand, and it would be naïve to believe that a government initiative can single-handedly change that. Nevertheless, he is right to identify suicide as a “massive taboo”. He is also right to raise awareness of the risk. He was speaking particularly in relation to mental health, but we should not infer from that that everybody who contemplates suicide is mentally ill, even though many people suffering from mental illness may indeed see suicide as an escape from an unbearable life.

He was also speaking in relation to the NHS’s role. To be fair, doctors and psychiatrists do routinely ask patients who are depressed or otherwise at risk whether they are suicidal, and many involved in the medical profession are trained to recognise indications of suicidal thought. And everybody who arrives in A&E departments after a suicide attempt is supposed to be seen by a psychiatrist before being discharged, but inevitably many people will simply be returning to the situation from which they were trying to get away. We should also recognise that, among all those in the care of a government-funded organisation, the risk of suicide is rather greater among people sentenced to prison or remanded in custody than it is among those cared for by the health services. Sadly, calling for better emotional support of prisoners does not have the same electoral appeal as concern about the NHS.

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Nick Clegg tells Chilcot: People will think your report is being “sexed down”

Following tonight’s news about the further delay in the publication of the Chilcot Report until after the election, Nick Clegg has written to Sir John Chilcott to ask him to get on with it.

Here’s his letter in full 

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16 and 17 year olds in England and Wales have every right to be disappointed

This week the Scottish Parliament and Westminster both pass a Section 30 Order. Section 30 is the bit of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows powers to be given from Westminster to Holyrood. Two years ago a Section 30 Order gave the Scottish Government the power to hold the referendum on independence. This week’s transfers the power to the Scottish Parliament to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote in the next Holyrood elections which take place in May 2016. It will have to be confirmed by the Privy Council in March but that’s just a formality.

This means that young people in Scotland will have a say on the way their health, education, transport, justice and housing systems are run. We know that giving young people the vote was a massive success in the referendum. My heart swelled up seeing them head into the polling station with real excitement and pride on 18th September. There is surely no excuse for denying them the say at any level. Scottish 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote at Holyrood and local elections – but when it comes to Westminster, they will have no say. Of course this could all change if the next Parliament legislates. They surely can have no excuse to delay.

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Lord Paul Tyler writes…Devolution Dialogue on Democracy Day

Today is “Democracy Day”, a project running across BBC TV and Radio.  It’s fitting that in this same week, Nick Harvey and I have published proposals to bring decisions closer to those whom they affect: a prerequisite for real democracy in Britain.

Here on Liberal Democrat Voice, we have already had considerable debate over the merit of “devolution on demand” as compared to a big-bang, devolution-everywhere-now solution.  My views are well rehearsed!

However, the benefit of the CentreForum Devolution Dialogue in which Nick and I set out our alternative positions is that it brought us together in a greater measure of consensus than we …

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Nick Clegg’s speech today on mental health

Nick clegg by dave radcliffe, liberal democratsThis is the full text of the speech Nick Clegg gave today at the Mental Health Conference that he co-hosted with Norman Lamb. You can see a video of part of the speech here.

Imagine breaking your leg, only to be told that your nearest care facility was half way across the country, with a long waiting list and no guarantees about when you’ll actually get the help you need. Or developing diabetes but being too scared to tell your family, friends and your boss about what’s happening, because you’re worried about how they might react and possibly losing your job.

If any of these things happened to someone with a serious physical health condition in our country, there would quite rightly be outrage. It would be on the front page of every national newspaper and dominate Prime Minister’s Questions every week. People would be out on the streets calling for reform. But this is exactly the kind of second-class treatment that people with mental health issues have had to endure for decades.

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Clegg: “Suicide is preventable, it is not inevitable”

Liberal Democrats are making sure that mental health stays in the headlines, and that our policies are linked in people’s minds with the issues. Today the focus has been on preventing suicide. Here was Nick Clegg speaking this morning:

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Clegg: “Liberalism youthful, optimistic philosophy”, Ashdown threatens to eat Murnaghan & Grender reminds us of Labour’s NHS deals with private sector

It’s been a marathon this morning. Nick Clegg has been on the Andrew Marr Show and Pienaar’s Politics, Paddy Ashdown has been on Murnaghan talking about the debates and the Counter Terrorism Bill and Olly Grender took part in a panel on Pienaar’s Politics.

I have done a Storify thingy of all my tweets from all the interviews here but I shall outline the key themes in this post.

This was a morning when, as we’ve seen, there have been two powerful initiatives from the party on ending illiteracy by 2025 and improving mental health crisis care so that people don’t end up in police cells. These weren’t mentioned very much in any of the interviews.

Clegg – Lib Dems in Government have been obsessed with ensuring kids get best start in life

Clegg really came into his own in the Pienaar interview where he had more opportunity to talk about Lib Dem values and priorities than on the Marr Show. He outlined how initiatives like protecting the schools budget and giving extra money to disadvantaged kids in school had started to close the attainment gap. He talked about liberalism being a “youthful, optimistic philosophy which seeks to create a society where everybody can get ahead.

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Nick Clegg pledges to end illiteracy by 2025 by ensuring every child leaves Primary School able to read

Nick Clegg has unveiled a key manifesto commitment for the Liberal Democrats this morning:

The plans mean that every child born in 2014, who will leave primary school in 2025 will be able to read and write at a standard identified to lead to success in secondary school and beyond.

Nick Clegg explained why this is so important to Liberal Democrats:

I am proud of the scale of our ambition. We are raising the bar on what children should be able to achieve by the age of eleven and want all children to get over the bar by 2025.

The Coalition Government has

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Nick Clegg to be pelted with space hoppers?

Nick Clegg has set himself up for a potential pounding with space hoppers by agreeing to appear on Channel 4’s The Last Leg programme to convince presenter Alex Brooker that it’s worth voting.

From the Independent:

Nick Clegg has accepted a challenge to appear on television show The Last Leg as part of a quest to convince one of its presenters to vote.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he would happily face being pelted with space hoppers as part of the Channel 4 comedy show.

He was the only politician to respond to a challenge to poll presenter Alex Brooker but the video he initially sent in was not enough.

Mr Clegg appealed to the presenter to vote in May’s general election to “celebrate democracy” and hold politicians to account.

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Nick Clegg – hero or villain?

This post is reserved for new and infrequent commenters. “Infrequent” is defined as having post less than five comments in the last month

Nick Clegg is someone who evokes strong opinions – for and against. Last week we wished Happy Birthday to him and listed 48 (to match his age) good things he has done.

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Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg oppose Cameron’s Snoopers’ Charter plans – or do they?

Last night, Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes expressed his opposition to David Cameron’s plans to legislate to give security services the right to intercept the internet communications of suspected terrorists.

He said:

It is vital that the police and intelligence agencies are able to investigate and prosecute terrorists, including surveillance of communications. The Liberal Democrats have moved quickly in Government to plug the gaps in existing legislation to bolster these abilities.

Future security measures must be proportionate, justified and necessary – and not trample on our civil liberties. The so-called Snoopers’ Charter, which would see the internet browsing of every single citizen stored for a year, fails these very reasonable precautions.

The idea that you protect free speech by spying on every law-abiding person in this country is a contradiction in terms. You can’t have an open society if you are constantly worried that the state is prying into your daily life.

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Opinion: could we have a better leader?

Some people will take this question to mean that we really should find a better leader, others that we have a good one already.

Perhaps unlike some of those who contribute to this website, I do not know Nick Clegg personally and can therefore only judge him from his television appearances, writings and what is written about him in the press.

He appears to come in for considerable criticism largely, as far as I can see, for being in coalition with the Conservatives, although some threads on this website also seem to have other reservations about his leadership.

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Ruwan Kodikara becomes Nick Clegg’s “Head of Media and Brand”

I have to say that “Head of Media and Brand” is a job title that makes me want to cry. A human being is not some corporate monolith that makes tins of soup or handbags.

PR Week has more information:

Kodikara, who is based in Number 10 and becomes a special adviser to Clegg, was previously a senior consultant at Quiller. Prior to that he was associate director at MHP Communications. Kodikara is also chairman of Kingston & Surbiton Liberal Democrats and treasurer of the body Lib Dems in Communications.

Kodikara has an impressive Liberal Democrat pedigree. Often unfairly, Nick’s inner circle is criticised for not having enough of a party pedigree. Matt Hanney cops this one most, but he was delivering Focus before he was out of nappies. Kodikara has a long association with the Liberal Democrats both at HQ and in Kingston.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg We must always be free to criticise ideas, even religious ones

A powerful article in today’s Telegraph passionately defending the right to free speech by Nick Clegg:

Every so often we are confronted by events that force each of us to take a clear stand – and a side. The attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo was just such a moment, demanding a straight answer to a simple question: “are you Charlie?” You don’t have to agree with everything, or even anything, that Charlie Hebdo published to “be Charlie” – you only have to wish to protect the freedoms and rights that define liberal societies like ours.

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Nick Clegg on the Charlie Hebdo horror: “barbaric attack on freedom of speech”

Nick Clegg has responded to the news of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris:

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Offering “heart and spine” – should we be mentioning the “c” word in the election campaign?

 

As an experiment, comments for this post will be moderated and confined to new and infrequent commenters on this site. “Infrequent” is defined as having posted less than five comments in the last month. We have 40 posts a week where our frequent commenters have more than enough space to express their views. This post is reserved for new and not-so-frequent commenters.

We carried Nick Clegg’s Monday press conference speech in full. It was a very well-written and compelling narrative.

He said that the 2015 election will be about:

Who is best placed to finish the (recovery) job and do so fairly?

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48 good things Nick Clegg has done

 

It’s Nick Clegg’s 48th birthday today and we at Liberal Democrat Voice obviously wish him a happy day and successful year ahead.

I thought it might be a good idea (with a little help from LDV colleagues) to take a look at some of the good things he’s done, 48 of them to be precise, and encourage party supporters to make 48 calls to voters in our key seats to tell them about them this week. Not all of them in each call, of course, but there’s plenty to be going on with.

So, here we go:

1.  From his very first major speech as leader, championing mental health and in government improving treatment and services.

2.  Investing money in disadvantaged kids in school which is already helping to improve attainment figures in that group.

3.  Defying both Labour and the Conservatives to cut income tax for people on low and middle incomes.

4.  Having the guts to take questions for half an hour every week from members of the public on live radio.

5.  Not just voting for same sex marriage but actively and enthusiastically being comfortable with it.

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Clegg says Lib Dems would spend extra £8bn on NHS

nhs sign lrgNick Clegg has set out how the Liberal Democrats would invest in the NHS in government for the next five years.

From the Guardian:

Fleshing out the figure released by the deputy prime minister at a press conference, the Lib Dems said they would increase the NHS’s funding by £8bn a year by 2020-21 in three stages. They would make permanent the coalition government’s extra £2bn a year – which was announced in the autumn statement – by 2015-16.

In addition, Clegg said the party would find another £1bn a year in real terms in 2016-17 by capping pension tax relief for the wealthiest (which the Lib Dems said would save £500m), aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 (saving £400m) and scrapping the shares for rights scheme, which allows employees to forfeit certain employment rights in return for company shares (saving £100m).

Once it had reduced the deficit in 2017-18, Clegg said that the party would increase health spending in line with growth in the economy. He said: “It’s a combination of change plus more money and the reason we can do that, and no other party will be able to do that, is firstly, as we explained at our party conference, is we are going to introduce some tax changes which only affect the very wealthiest, to put in an extra billion pounds into the NHS, and next year and the year after that.”

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++Breaking: Clegg gets tough with Theresa on terror measures

I have been uneasy about some of the measures in the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill which will be debated in the Commons in the next two days. It will clear its Commons stages, but once the Lords get their hands on it, they could quite easily defeat some of its key provisions. Nick Clegg has signalled that Liberal Democrats may withdraw support if more judicial oversight isn’t guaranteed. The Guardian has the story:

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg on buoyant form, saying: Liberal Democrats needed to govern responsibly and fairly

Nick Clegg looked not just ready for but enthusiastic about the 122 day long election campaign to come this morning. He was in great form at his monthly press conference and in a short video afterwards made 3 key points:

1. “The simple question is who can finish the job of sorting the economy but do so fairly.”

2. It’s not lefty Labour or never-ending austerity with the Tories. He also called the SNP, UKIP and Plaid a “rag bag” of factional and sectional interests who would make a mess of the next Parliament.

3. Liberal Democrats offer compassionate, fair government and economic competence.

Watch the whole thing here.

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When Molly from Sherlock met Miriam

In the bar on the Monday of the Glasgow Conference hotel last October, a smiling party press officer told me that Louise Brealey, Sherlock actor and writer, had been following Miriam Gonzalez Durantez around all day in order to write a profile for Red magazine. I’ve been looking out for it ever since and it’s now appeared. It’s a delight to read, so sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit and enjoy it.

The two women seem to have developed quite a rapport during the day, and that comes across in the article.

I met Louise at a Sherlock Convention (I could pretend I was there because of the Teenager, but I did get more involved than I anticipated because Louise and Benedict Cumberbatch were on the guest list) last February and was very impressed by the fact that she insisted on staying until every single fan who wanted one had her autograph. She spent time talking to each person and didn’t even take a proper meal break.  Having seen her in action, I can imagine her and Miriam getting on very well.

She picked up that the atmosphere of Conference was not quite the gloomy and doom affair the press made it out to be:

The newspapers have decided the Liberal Democrat conference is a bleak affair, but this morning the lobby of Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza thrums with cheerful party members necking coffee, shouting shop and forking sausages. ‘Are you thinking beyond May?’ a councillor from Wells asks a co-forker over his congealed fried eggs. The latter’s reply is inaudible.

This was the first time that Nick and Miriam had been interviewed together, too. Louise was sitting in the very seat I sat in when I went to a meeting with Clegg in that very room so I found her description of its corporate opulence quite amusing.  She, like many others who have met him, found Clegg “nice, friendly, bright, normal.” It’s just a pity we can’t get him on a one to one with 60 million people by May.

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Vince Cable must be doing something right.

 

He’s been getting up the noses of some Tories. Apparently he’s their “Yellow B**tard of the Year” over at Conservative Home.

It’s pretty overwhelming: Vince Cable has dominated the stakes this year to be voted the Yellow B**tard of the Year, with a stonking 56 per cent of the vote. That’s a staggering rise on last year, when he seized the crown from Nick Clegg with 31 per cent.

The Lib Dem leader may be disappointed to learn that his share of the vote among Conservative party members fell to a mere 18 per cent. Meanwhile, Norman Baker’s flounce out and denunciation of the Tories only secured him 14 per cent of your votes.

Tim Farron (9 per cent) and Simon Hughes (a meagre 3.5 per cent) brought up the rear, and both will no doubt be hoping that 2015 offers them a greater opportunity to be a thorn in the Conservatives’ collective side.

They even did a bar chart:

Con Home Yellow Bastard Bar Chart

It’s a one horse race.

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First same-sex marriages take place in Scotland

 

At just after midnight last night, the first same-sex marriages took place in Scotland.

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Nick Clegg’s New Year Message: 2015: a year of hope and optimism for all

Nick Clegg has published his New Year message for 2015. Here it is in full:

The text appears below.

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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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Nick Clegg’s Christmas message 2014

It has cute children, Nick doing what for him is fairly sophisticated cookery and a message of Christmas that unites everyone.

The text in full follows:

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Nick Clegg’s message for Hanukkah 2014

Hanukkah 2014 ends tomorrow Here’s Nick Clegg’s message, in video and text, to mark the 8 day festival:

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