Clegg’s #asktheleader session

Sky News have put all their Stand up and be Counted #AsktheLeaders sessions on their website. Nick Clegg’s is here.

I felt he was best at making it more like a conversation with the young people, listening to what she had to say. He was also much more confident on the facts and details on all the issues, particularly housing and the NHS.

As for the others, Natalie Bennett’s heart is in the right place but her party’s policies are not well thought through and I didn’t need to listen to her for half an hour to find out that she’d push for action on the environment and climate change in a hung parliament. I suspect every woman in the country was briefly on her side when she described how being denied a bike at the age of 5 because she was a girl made her a feminist.

David Cameron looked like he would rather be anywhere else than being questioned by a crowd of young people. There was a young Scottish woman who asked him about drugs policy and why we flew the flag at half mast when the Saudi King died who is my hero of the day. Listening to him go on about these masses of young people who are so desperate to leave school and end up on housing benefit gave us a horrible insight into what life would be like if that lot got to govern on their own. Oh and he said he had 50 female MPs. Err, not so much. Even Isabel Hardman of the Spectator couldn’t find much to praise him for and that’s saying something.

Ed Miliband annoyed me in the first five minutes because he kept going on about default settings to stop kids accessing online porn as if that’s the way to deal with sexualisation. I am very worried about the sexualisation of young people but the way to deal with it is in my view more to do with talking and education, not technology.

And where was Mr Farage? Did he take the opportunity to speak to this important group of voters. Oh no. He was, wait for it, in Strasbourg, on EU duty. He keeps going on about what a waste of space the place is – at least until it gives him an excuse to get out of something where he’d come off badly.

Here are some of my tweets from Nick’s 30 minute session:

And then he outed himself:

Mathew was particularly happy about what Nick was saying about youth services because that’s one of his key interests:

We know that we as a party have a hell of a fight on our hands over the next few months. It’s good, then, that the Skipper is in the form of his life as we’ve seen from both the is event and his appearance on The Last Leg which seems to have won him so many plaudits.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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23 Comments

  • stuart moran 2nd Feb '15 - 11:07pm

    dear oh dear

    what is the point of thise

    ‘Clegg was brill everyone else was rubbish, apart from Natalie Bennet who I shall patronise’

    Almost all the other comments were that Miliband was the best, Clegg a bit meh but okay and Cameron appalling

    Is it impossible for you to at least try to be objective?

  • peter tyzack 3rd Feb '15 - 8:11am

    it is surely impossible for anyone to be truly ‘objective’.. but I agree with Caron, Nick was really on top form. By the way Stuart, reading your comments I wondered if you had mis-spelt your surname.. but ‘almost all the other comments.. ‘ you refer to will have come from well-known political commentators I guess, most of whom very definitely have an agenda which isn’t ours. The crime is that they have free-press publicity to skew the understanding of the British public..

  • @ Stuart Moran

    Just a simple question: why do you continue to pursue your anti-Lib Dem agenda on this site?

  • “….It’s good, then, that the Skipper is in the form of his life….”

    The Skipper ???

    Are you saying he is only one ‘S’ away from being a kipper ?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 3rd Feb '15 - 10:05am

    LOL, John Tilley – he said on The Last Leg that he’d been kippered:-).

  • David Allen 3rd Feb '15 - 10:18am

    Peter Tyzack said,

    “By the way Stuart, reading your comments I wondered if you had mis-spelt your surname”

    Charming.

    Would anyone like to apologise for Mr Tyzack? Or is that just what the Lib Dems have come to these days?

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb '15 - 10:20am

    RC

    Depends what your definition of ‘Lib Dem’ is doesn’t it?

    There are quite a few Lib Dems I agree with on this site – you are not one of them by the way! Is a true LD only one that agrees with you? There are quite a few times when I have seen your posts being attacked by other people so why don’t you go away as well?

    I have voted LD in all elections since 87 but to be honest I have no longer any idea what you believe in as a party and ev n if I did I wouldn’t know if you meant it

    Peter, did you see the debates? Clegg was okay but came across a bit whiny. Cameron was rubbish. The reason I reacted to Caron’s post is that not one of the editorial team on here seem to bring themselves to say anything at all positive about Labour or the Greens despite losing lots of voters to them. I just assume the team are going to love Clegg so why bother writing it

    Very witty comment about my name- haven’t heard it since I was at school though! Says more about you than me I think. I thought ad hominems and personal insults led to post removal though. Seems not to only be the case for certain of us though!

  • Phil Rimmer 3rd Feb '15 - 10:55am

    John Tilley & Caron Lindsay – careful, on a trip to the Isle of Man some years ago I learned that the only difference between a Kipper and a Red Herring was some smoke.

    Let’s be perfectly frank, out side of his awful showing against Farrago (sic), Clegg is a decent public speaker. The problem remains though that very few people outside the party believe him any more. Now, that may simply be the sad result of an electorate with zero experience of Coalition Government judging the leader of the smaller party harshly. Or, it might be because Clegg has simply got too many things wrong and appeared dishonest over policy once too often. The reason is for history, yet, given Clegg wont go, it remains a fact which the party appears unwilling to try to deal with by adjusting it’s media and campaign strategies for the election.

    Surely there are some people running the party machine who have the backbone to get Clegg to accept the truth?

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb ’15 – 10:20am

    “…not one of the editorial team on here seem to bring themselves to say anything at all positive about Labour or the Greens.”

    stuart moran, I too find this disturbing.
    An objective reading of the political realities in the UK is that Liberal Democrat beliefs and policies have their home on the Left of the political divide. There is considerable overlap between what The Greens, some in the Labour Party and most in the Liberal Democrats. For example on what we would like to see happen on constitutional reform, Trident and renewable energy.
    Despite this we see from LDV Towers the regular jibes and slurs about our natural allies that we might normally expect to see in the Daily Mail or Express.

    All this guff about being ‘anchored in the centre’ is called into question when 90% of attacks are aimed at Mliband and Bennett.
    The Conservative and Unionist Party is the enemy of Liberalism and the enemy of Democracy. Over the last five years some people seem to have forgotten that basic fact of political life.

    I know that a comment lke this makes some froth at the mouth

  • Phil Rimmer 3rd Feb ’15 – 10:55am

    Well Phil, you know my views on smoke. 🙂

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb '15 - 11:28am

    John

    Careful, if you show any signs of agreeing with me then RC will be on accusing you of an ‘anti LD agenda’

    I find the same thing as you and it is perplexing….

    I don’t know if it bothers me any more if I am no longer a LD if being an apologist for another right wing ‘me too’ party is required

    Such a shame as I thought we had the chance of a liberal left party being the natural successor to the Labour Party a few years ago. With people like TC, Joe Otten and their ilk coming to be seen as thesis stream perhaps it is time to look elsewhere

    In the end you need people liked, voters, but it seems you treat us with the same contempt as the other parties are accused of doing

    Good luck on your 8% or so vote. Paul Barker used to tell me it was going to be close to 30% with Labour in 3rd!

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb '15 - 11:30am

    Sorry some autocorrects in there. You will hopefully get my meaning

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb '15 - 11:53am

    Paul Walter

    Fine with that although I am relaxed about it to be honest.

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb ’15 – 11:28am

    “…Such a shame as I thought we had the chance of a liberal left party…”

    Still possible — although maybe not by the route originally anticipated.

    For example we might get to the stage where there are more Liberal Democrat activists in the Green Party than there in the party of shallow anchors in the centre.

    Or the electoral fruit machine on 7th May might deliver a result which requires something other than the dear leader staying on as ‘Deputy Prime Minister For Life’.

  • stuart moran 3rd Feb '15 - 12:11pm

    John

    Fingers crossed then

    I may also want to become a member of such a party and leave RC, Joe Otten and the rest to become the poor imitation of the Tory party that they seem to want to be

  • Stephen Hesketh 3rd Feb '15 - 1:14pm

    Clegg: I’d love to be Prime Minister and implement my whole manifesto.

    Precisely … “my manifesto”. It may be a figure of speech but it is also the defining problem of the Clegg leadership. Following being narrowly elected as leader, NC and those to his economic right took it upon themselves to redefine OUR collective party and its policies.

    I am perfectly happy to say that he generally comes across quite well on television – especially now that his rose garden/DPM head has been replaced by a campaigning one. I also believe he is a genuine Liberal, albeit ‘anchored firmly to the centre’. What he is not is a mainstream preamble Liberal Democrat. The next leader of the Liberal Democrats must come from that traditional radical reforming Liberal territory.

    My fear is that all us internally disenfranchised footsoldiers will get enough Lib Dem MP’s elected for Clegg to claim that he has the authority and mandate to form another coalition with the Tories.

    Stuart Moran – Odd that all the clearly non-Liberal and ilLiberal right wingers that also post here seem to be more welcome in certain quarters than are fellow progressives who have felt excluded from our party due to its leadership and their policies. I for one welcome your continued and valued input.

  • @JohnTilley

    “For example we might get to the stage where there are more Liberal Democrat activists in the Green Party than there in the party of shallow anchors in the centre.”

    Given there is nothing Liberal about the Green Party I have to wonder why they were LibDems in the first place. They see the individual as an after thought and free trade as harmful – given their preference for tariffs perhaps they should start a Joe Chamberlain Party? The more I see of the Greens, the more I see the need for a radical Liberal party. The LibDems remain by far remain the best chance of that happening.

  • David Allen 3rd Feb '15 - 1:40pm

    stuart moran 3rd Feb ’15 – 10:20am

    “…not one of the editorial team on here seem to bring themselves to say anything at all positive about Labour or the Greens.”

    It’s relevant that Caron did say:

    “Listening to him (Cameron) go on about these masses of young people who are so desperate to leave school and end up on housing benefit gave us a horrible insight into what life would be like if that lot got to govern on their own.”

    However, I fear that this is an officially approved line to take about the Tories. That is, don’t just criticise them. Always indicate that a Conservative government with Lib Dem partners is entirely different and much better.

    I’m waiting for an LDV editorial team member to post something which just criticises the Tories and leaves it at that. I’ll be waiting a long time, I fear.

  • David Allen 3rd Feb '15 - 3:37pm

    Then they should do!

  • AC Trussell 3rd Feb '15 - 7:09pm

    A pity Nick didn’t mention the cheaper travel for young when the chap asked about his friend could not afford to get to his low paid job/apprenticeship?
    And he should have said to the other chap that said it was not worth earning more; that he would only pay £7.50 a month for every £1000!

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