Leadership Platform 3: Nick Clegg – Richard Allan writes…

We all know from experience that election campaigns are 90% perspiration and 10% Riso ink, and this one is no exception. Bu there are always things that keep you going during these marathon efforts.

In Nick’s campaign this has been the endorsements that people have been pouring in on the website. So for today’s campaign update, I thought I’d share what people are saying about Nick – you can add your own endorsement here!

As for what I think about Nick – and why his nickname used to be Grizzly Fish – you can find out in this video by Guardian films.

Richard Allan

Now, over to you:

“He will give our party some fizz and excitement.” Jenny Pennell, Sheffield Hallam

“He can make us a party of government and much, much more.” Adam Evans and Gareth Thomas, Coleg Gwent

“He helped us in our ward during the 2003 elections and he seemed at home on the council estates as well as the leafy suburbs and that’s what we need.” Paul Mann, Chesterfield

“He’s got Charles Kennedy’s ability to sound like a human being. Jo Grimond’s passion and ambition for liberalism. Ming Campbell’s intelligence and gravitas. And Paddy Ashdown’s risk-taker attitude. What more could we want?” Ian Mackenzie, Brecon and Radnor

“He is the candidate that Cameron and Brown fear the most so the decision for me was clear.” Grahame Hudson, Rutland & Melton

“The thing I am most impressed about is his passion to help the weakest, the poorest and the most vulnerable in society. I grew up in poverty and know what it’s like.” James Keeley, Skipton and Ripon

“It might be Labour votes that Nick Clegg takes. He’s the sort of nice guy the Labour-voting public might decide to back”. Frank Field, Labour MP

“Nick Clegg adds that rare quality – the ability to inspire his fellow citizens to build a more just Britain and to contribute to a more peaceful world”. Baroness Shirley Williams, North East Hertfordshire

“When I met Nick I was immediately struck by how down to earth he was. He sees the world as voters do”. Jon Underwood, Tiverton and Honiton

“Here in Cheshire the local Tories are terrified of him”. Malcolm Gaskill, Eddisbury

“From comfort zones to civil disobedience I think Nick Clegg has the firepower”. John Abrams, Stockport

“Nick Clegg has demonstrated that he has the intellect, the ability but above the commitment to enduring liberal principles, that will help make the Liberal Democrats the most influential force for social justice in the 21st Century.” Phil Willis MP, Harrogate and Knaresborough

“Nick has that well known Heineken factor in that he will reach out”. Martin Lury, PPC for Chichester

“I met Nick on the regional Lib Dem conference in Leeds. I heard his speech and I was absolutely mesmerised by it!” Kasha Kaczynska De Verny, Bradford East

“Nick is the best placed candidate to communicate our message to people who have never voted Lib Dem before.” Ross Chmiel, Edinburgh North & Leith

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18 Comments

  • Hywel Morgan 17th Nov '07 - 9:19pm

    Well that’s a good use of the communication medium! A pointless piece of trivia followed by some rather bland random endorsements.

    I’m not saying Chris’s was much better but at least it was telling us what he stood for (even if I had heard it all before)

    Will Nick’s campaign ever become anything more than trotting out random gimmicks and actually develop some substance. Today’s seemed to be calling for an MP to sit on the management committee of ALDC – which has actually been the case for the last 5 years!

  • A bit misleading Hywel. Andrew Stunnell has served as President of ALDC and was also an MP. No MP however sits on ALDC Management Committee as a rep or nominee of the Leader (and none currently sit on it at all) – in fact one of the issues I recollect staff and management committee making was the lack of interest in the proceedings of ALDC et al from the Leadership. Or have you changed your tune or clarifying that it wasn’t a view you held?

    We are supposed to be the party of local government – I have argued that oddly the party seems to have let that slip and I’m pleased that Nick wants to take some steps that starts to reclaim the title.

  • Yeah Hywel and Ed, because there’s nothing more important for a leadership candidate to be doing than writing a message read by a few hundred lib dem activists who’ve mostly already made up their minds . . .

  • Hywel Morgan 18th Nov '07 - 12:24am

    Well I haven’t made up my mind…

    Stephen estimates that 10-15% of people voting in the election will read this site so I’d pitch it more than a few hundred.

    Even if people have made their minds up there isn’t anything wrong with reinforcing their views – a bit like letters to D’s & P’s

    And Ed – for several of the years Andrew was on ALDC Man Committee he was Chief Whip. IIRC for the remainder he was the Local Gov spokesman and in the Shadow Cabinet. That sounds pretty close to the leadership to me.

    What was an issue is how much notice the leadership may have taken of any information passed on to them. Why will having a token representative alter that.

    Plus as we both know a substantial proportion of the business of management committee meetings is of it’s very nature inward looking – I know you always read all the reports on membership promotions, conference feedback and proposals for new publications in great detail. I’m not certain it’s an issue the leader needs briefing on in detail.

  • Nick likes kittens and puppies!!!!

  • To be fair, some people will be interested in pronouncements on policy (one which the leader has influence but doesn’t set in isolation); others will be more interested in strategy and others still will want to know about their wider appeal within the party amongst those whose opinions they respect and outside the party.

    Things which got my interest on reading Richard Allan’s post were:

    * The Guardian endorsement (if the last leadership has shown us anything, it’s how hard it is to row against the tide of the media’s pre-determined narrative)

    * the Frank Field comments – interestingly balanced by Patrick Mercer elsewhere, I think. Having both Labour and Tory MPs worried must mean Clegg is doing something right

    * seeing endorsements from people as diverse as Phil Willis and Jon Underwood, whom I wouldn’t necessarily have expected to be backing Nick. It’s encouraging that Clegg seems to be getting support from across the party rather than pitching for sectional interests.

    Now, you may disagree with some or even all of that, but I do think it’s a relevant and interesting posting on here 🙂

  • Martin Land 18th Nov '07 - 7:32am

    Difficult to know how many people will see all this. But I know many of the people who do and they are all opinion leaders. I visited 3 constituencies yeaterday, taking photos with my CC Group leader. Everybody asked me how I thought they should be voting and who I was voting for. I’m sure it’s the same for many of us.

  • Richard Huzzey 18th Nov '07 - 9:29am

    9 – I agree that recent events show us it’s difficult to row against a media narrative once it’s established. But of course Ming was endorsed by the Guardian and practically every other newspaper and they still went for him after he’d been elected leader.

    There are lots of good reasons to like Nick Clegg; the idea that the press will be nicer to the Lib Dems if any one individual is our leader is not one of them. No Lib Dem leader will ‘inherit’ a friendly media; he or she will have to fight hard for oxygen and life, like our leaders have always had to.

    All the best,

    Richard.

  • Richard Church 18th Nov '07 - 10:23am

    1 & 2 Hywel & Ed. Just look back a few threads on this site and you will see that Nick used his second ‘leadership platform’ here to talk about diversity, so you did hear from him ‘personally’ on a key topic.

    Chris didn’t his ‘second platform at all!

    Endorsements are important. We all judge people by what others might say about them. It is perfectly proper for Nick to demonstrate the breadth of his support from all strands within the party.

  • I was talking to a friend last night who is very much an armchair member. He was actually very interested in endorsements on the grounds that MPs and other people who’ve met and worked with a leadership contender are in a good position to judge their suitability as a leader.

    Incidentally the running total for the Clegg Facebook groups by his supporters is about 1300 while the running total for the Huhne Facebook groups is about half that. And as time goes on the list of Nick’s supporters is growing at about double the rate of Chris’s.

  • Anonylibdem 19th Nov '07 - 9:48am

    Sorry Hywel, I was just venting. I’m just getting increasingly fed up with Lib Dem bloggers and comentators* who just seem to have nothing positive to say, but seem to think that no one else within the Party knows anything about anything.

    *I include myself in this group

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