Leadership Platform 4: Nick Clegg writes…

Dear all,

Over the last few weeks, Chris and I have been travelling around the country, speaking at hustings meetings of every shape and size. It’s been a pleasure and honour to meet so many members. But sadly, only a small proportion of members get to a hustings. So today I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a video from the latest – held in Plymouth on Saturday.

As I say in the video, it may be you who have the votes, but it’s Britain that’s watching. So I’ve tried to be positive and outward facing in this campaign – I’ve even been accused by Stephen Tall of being too outward facing! But if we’re to reach out beyond our base, we have to talk about the issues that face Britain, and focus our attacks on our political opponents.

So I’ve written to both Gordon Brown and David Cameron on big issues this week. I challenged Gordon Brown on Iran, warning him that we risk sleepwalking into another war. I challenged David Cameron on grammar schools, writing to him to ask him to rule out support for Buckinghamshire Council, which is trying to build the first new grammar in 50 years. Selection just isn’t the way to tackle entrenched disadvantage.

And I’ve championed an issue that far too few people are worrying about – George Bush’s Son of Star Wars programme, to which Britain has been signed up by the government. It’s now prompted the Russians to threaten moving short range nuclear weapons into Belarus. Make no mistake: this is the arms control challenge of our generation.

So here’s the video – there’s a link to the second half on the right.

It was a really good day. I went first down to Cornwall, to the Truro Christmas Fair in Matthew Taylor’s constituency. It was a seriously impressive fundraising event. Councillor Rob Nolan’s written about it on his blog – he was a great guide, steering me through the heaving crowds to Matthew’s “famous” bottle stall. I bought a sheaf of raffle tickets – any Lib Dem’s duty – and somehow managed to win two prizes. I hope that’s a good omen!

Then it was on to Plymouth for the hustings, in the care of Julia Goldsworthy’s able organiser, Colin Martin, who told me about some fascinating projects delivering underfloor heating in homes from underground hot rocks. Eat your heart out Iceland!

Til next week,


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This entry was posted in Leadership Election and Op-eds.


  • Considering that the vast majority of grammar school boys are prepped and their scores reflect their socio-economic background, and parents’ education more than their own ability, grammar schools are selection by size of wallet.

  • Surely a supporter of localism shouldn’t be insisting that David Cameron tells Bucks County Council what to do?

  • @3

    Bollocks. That non-argument is trotted out over and over again, whenever anyone who has been privately educated says anything against private education or grammar schools.

    That someone went to a certain school is not their fault or choice – what school a child goes to is decided by their parents.

    Why penalise Nick Clegg for a decision his parents made? A decision they made because they thought it in his best interests, at any rate.

  • A great, positive speech. Good to see Rob Nolan getting the recognition he deserves too!

  • Richard Church 20th Nov '07 - 9:10pm

    A Liberal Britain is incompatible with the condemnation of a proportion of the population to status as second class citizens on the basis of a test at age of 11.

    Well done Nick.

  • Jo A – you look like a normal person but after your comment @ 1 I’m not sure….have you had a blow to the head?!

  • Big Mak – no, apparently she’s just been hypnotised. Snap your fingers & she’ll wake up 😉

  • Angus J Huck 20th Nov '07 - 9:55pm

    Nick is saying some good things here: opposition to war with Iran, Son of Star Wars and the expansion of the 11-plus. All of which will to irritate Murdoch, Stelzer and Cheney, and that has to be a jolly good thing. A pity he wasn’t talking like this from the start.

    I have never had a low opinion of Nick – only the Derek Draper lookalikes running his campaign – but I hold fast to the view that Chris is the better this time round.

    Let’s hope the candidates are on their best behaviour tonight in front of Paxman.

  • Angus J Huck 20th Nov '07 - 9:57pm

    Drat! Chris is the better CHOICE this time round!!

  • 13 “was bettered this time around” was the phrase you were looking for…

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