Leadership Platform 5: Nick Clegg writes…

Another extremely busy – but very exciting – week.

On Monday, children, parents and teachers from an excellent local school, Dobcroft, came to visit. The trip – for the kids at least – finished with a dusk flight on the London Eye and pizza on the way home, while I went to a local cafe to brief journalists on my plans for primary education and childcare.

On Tuesday, I went up to Luton to see the fascinating Marsh Farm Estate project – a real vision of community empowerment – and then dashed back to London where Chris and I took on Jeremy Paxman on BBC2’s Newsnight.

The Independent published an article from me on reforming politics on Wednesday. As I explain in the article, if Parliament is to avoid being turned from the mother of all parliaments into the eunuch of all parliaments, we need a proper overhaul of Westminster.

On to Thursday – when the Guardian followed suit, publishing an article from me on individual and community empowerment. It sets out my approach to real devolution of our public services – and you can read it here. We did an online hustings at the University of Westminster’s new training TV studio, and then both rushed to the Institute of Public Policy Research for a session on marriage and the family.

I’m fed up that the language of family is always captured by social conservatives. But it isn’t just right wingers who care about family – like it isn’t just right wingers who care about crime. As leader of our party, I’d reclaim this ground for liberals: because family is universal, it isn’t about moralising, and imposing a one-size-fits-all life. You can read the whole speech I made here.

Yesterday, Friday, started with a round of early morning radio interviews. Unusually, I then had a couple of hours free – so Miriam and I went on a long walk in Richmond park in fantastic winter sunshine before I went on to Ed Davey’s constituency, round the corner in Kingston and Surbiton. Ed’s waiting on tenderhooks as his wife, Emily, is due to give birth to their first child any day now – a good reminder that there are more important things than politics.

In the afternoon I was back at Westminster for a few more press interviews before catching a train to Colchester to record Any Questions with Ed Stourton. Listen again here.

And just in case you thought that wasn’t enough, this morning I’m off to Manchester for a hustings, then down to Nick Harvey’s annual dinner in North Devon.

I hope to see some of you along the way!

Nick Clegg

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5 Comments

  • Listening to some of the smarter Tories that matter, they are saying that Chris Huhne will cause more damage to the conservative Party than your goodself.

  • Hmmm, maybe Clegg is indeed losing ground if his supporters are resorting to calling themselves “Tory Lady” and posting pro-Huhne comments to turns us off him!

    I’m not sure whether or not Clegg would be more effective against the Tories. In any event, I think we need someone who can consolidate our gains from Labour and eat further into their vote in liberal middle class and working class areas. It seems likely that Huhne is better equipped for this task.

  • I don’t think it’s the Labour leaning middle-classes that we need to work on, it’s the Labour leaning working classes, and those in the middle class who vote Tory because they’re not socialist and they think there’s no alternative.

    That the pro-Huhne bloggers are posting ‘positive’ comments from the Mirror and the Telegraph for their guy convinces me that it’s Nick Clegg that’s rattling the most cages.

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