Clegg does human again

agenda
Nick Clegg appeared on Tom Bradby’s The Agenda on ITV last night. He was on a panel made up of satirist Rory Bremner, broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and Times journalist Rachel Sylvester from the Times.

The discussion is informal and animated. Within the panel format, Nick Clegg comes across as remarkably relaxed and, dare I say it, “human”.

He was particularly pithy on the subject of George Osborne’s £12 billion cuts.

You can watch the programme for the next 29 days on ITV Player here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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20 Comments

  • Sorry to go off topic but I just noticed that 6 of the last 7 polls give us 9%.

  • Malcolm Todd 28th Apr '15 - 12:12pm

    Wow, paul. The surge is coming. What was your date for Lib Dems being bigger than Labour, again?

  • @Malcolm Todd the dead Frenchman (the Late Serge)

  • Malcolm Todd 28th Apr '15 - 12:29pm

    😀

  • Stephen Hesketh 28th Apr '15 - 12:40pm

    Malcolm Todd28th Apr ’15 – 12:12pm
    “Wow, paul. The surge is coming. What was your date for Lib Dems being bigger than Labour, again?”

    Very genuine laugh out loud moment. Thank you Malcolm.

  • Paul In Wokingham 28th Apr '15 - 1:26pm

    of the last 7 polls give us 9%

    In detail (changes are relative to previous poll by same pollster):

    28/04: TNS 7% (-1%)
    28/04: YouGov 9% (+1%)
    27/04: Ashcroft 9% (-1%)
    27/04: ICM 9% (-1%)
    27/04: Populus 8% (0%)
    27/04: YouGov 8% (-1%)
    26/04: Survation 9% (-1%)

    The direction of travel is down in 5, flat in 1, up in 1.

  • Matt (Bristol) 28th Apr '15 - 2:26pm

    Malcolm, I think Mr TCO was making a wry pun referring to Serge Gainsbourg.

  • I’d prefer people to be human than to do human. (Not that I don’t think Nick is human — he is, very much so — but in general human isn’t a thing one can or should turn off and on.

  • Charles Rothwell 29th Apr '15 - 9:20am

    I thought Nick did well, as he usually does in such settings where the call is for participants to be relaxed and “speak human”. The problem is that he can perform brilliantly in untold numbers of such events until Hell freezes over but (as the polls being consistently stuck at 8-10% show) it really does not matter. His name is just simply so synonymous with “betrayal”, “broken promises” and “politics as usual” for millions of voters that the harm has been done irrevocably and the Party is going to win the seats it will at local and national levels due to the exertions and Herculean work of its activists and candidates on the spot and, to put it bluntly, despite Nick. I thought it interesting that he was asked on the programme about what he would do if the Party got 30 MPs as I believe that is the unspoken target which he (and presumably other Party grandees) have set for his remaining as Leader. I can understand all the arguments for his having stayed on after the disastrous European and local elections, but, having watched the interview with Farron on “Newsnight” yesterday evening, I really cannot believe the Party would be doing worse/continually failing to break out of the 10% range with someone like Farron (idealistic, non-Oxbridge/public school and with a passionate vision) at the top instead.

  • Charles Rothwell 29th Apr ’15 – 9:20am

    Charles, I agree. You put the facts very well and the obvious choice for the future. It is the future of the party that is important.

    As to unspoken targets of numbers of Liberal Democrat MPs, we should not forget the spoken target of124 MPs.

    It was Nick Clegg who said as leader he would double the number of MPs we had got elected in 2005. So anything less than 124 Liberal Democrat MPs next week and he will have missed his own target.

  • Simon McGrath 29th Apr '15 - 10:02am

    @John Tilley – did Nick give a target for the number of Cabinet Ministers or number of LD policies enacted?

  • @John Tilley “[Farron is] the obvious choice for the future”

    And there was me thinking we were a party that believed in member democracy rather than anointed successors.

  • Stephen Hesketh 29th Apr '15 - 11:33am

    Charles Rothwell29th Apr ’15 – 9:20am

    Hi Charles, as John Tilley has already stated, you do indeed sum up the facts very well. I am virtually certain to back Tim Farron in the forthcoming leadership election but anyone who passionately believes in ALL the values of this party and will be listened to by our traditional supporters must be a major advance from the position we are in today.

    Without mentioning names, my fear is that your views will be deemed irrelevent though due to you possessing some degree of greying hair. Stand by for the question, “Were you born before 1965” accompanied by the accusation of you being a ‘baby boomer’.

  • Simon McGrath 29th Apr ’15 – 10:02am
    @John Tilley – did Nick give a target for the number of Cabinet Ministers?

    I suggest you ask women members of the party about Nick Clegg’s record on appointing Cabinet Ministers.

    As for the total number of Liberal Democrat Cabinet Ministers, I refer you to Nick Harvey’s recently published article.

  • JohnTilley 29th Apr ’15 – 9:44am
    Charles Rothwell 29th Apr ’15 – 9:20am
    “…Charles, I agree. You put the facts very well and the obvious choice for the future. It is the future of the party that is important.”

    Above is what I actually said in my comment.
    Anyone reading this thread can compare what I said to the words that were put into my mouth by TCO.

  • Stephen Hesketh 29th Apr '15 - 12:48pm

    JohnTilley29th Apr ’15 – 9:44am
    “It was Nick Clegg who said as leader he would double the number of MPs we had got elected in 2005. So anything less than 124 Liberal Democrat MPs next week and he will have missed his own target.”

    So no mention of 124 MP’s “give or take 100” ?

  • @John Tilley and they can also read the comment from Charles that you were responding to which said (and I quote):

    “having watched the interview with Farron on “Newsnight” yesterday evening, I really cannot believe the Party would be doing worse/continually failing to break out of the 10% range with someone like Farronat the top instead.”

    This is followed immediately by your comment “Charles, I agree”.

    I think most observers will draw their own conclusions as to where your sympathies lie.

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr '15 - 1:24pm

    I think sane LibDems – of all kinds – should consider whether to reconsider the leadership after the election, not before.

    It is pointless doing so beforehand as the proportion of MPs we have in marginal seats is so huge. Even if we were hypothetically to decide that who ever is MP for Orkney and Shetland is always leader as that is the only really safe seat we have, we should restrain ourselves at this time – the group of MPs around the leader within the parliamentary party is as key for the direciton of travel as the leader themselves; whoever the membership want the leader will need parliamentary support.

    Wait to see what the balance is within the party in parliament, and where any negotiative process leaves us – and how poinsoned that chalice is – before playing fantasy football.

  • Samuel Griffiths 29th Apr '15 - 1:40pm

    Very much in agreement with you, Matt. Whatever positive light we wish to spin on it, LibDem seats are very much at risk in this election. Fighting those seats should be the first priority and considering the future of the party second. This parliament is now over and like it or not a change in leadership is not going to change people’s minds on how they view the coalitions legacy.

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr '15 - 5:09pm

    Samuel, I agree with you but I was also making the (marginally more cynical) point that who our MPs will be on 8May will have a direct effect on any leadership contest. Throwing names of hypothetical leaders into the air before the shape and political leanings is known of the parliamentary party from whom that leader must come and whose support for any leader will be key (pause) … is totally daft.

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