Nick Clegg doesn’t want his children to follow him into politics

Nick Clegg in a London schoolThere are a couple of reports today of an interview Nick Clegg has given to the Radio Times. The publication itself, in its teaser, has him saying that, being a protective parent, he doesn’t want to see his children following him into politics because of its tough and hostile environment.

I’m like any parent. The first, most visceral instinct you have as a parent is you want to protect your children, and politics is a very rough business you know. It’s absolutely not for the faint-hearted or the thin-skinned, so I wouldn’t likely recommend to my children to go into politics.

He also talked about his mother’s experience of internment as a child in the Second World War.

I’ll never forget, it was a few years ago, we were all together one day with my parents and… my mum just suddenly started talking.  It all came out, she talked for hours about her experiences. Incredibly moving, very powerful. So it’s as if, as an adult, I’m trying to catch up with a part of my mum’s life that was very important to her.

In the Times (£), his temperament comes under discussion:

The deputy prime minister’s self-assessment, in which he appears to see himself as someone showing “persistence and determination”, comes in an interview with theRadio Times.

“I think I’ve shown a sort of steely side,” he told the BBC’s Justin Webb. Yet the Lib Dem leader appears to be uneasy when talking about his toughness. According to Webb, he looked “uncomfortable” when discussing whether he had the killer instinct necessary to make it to the top in politics.

Mr Clegg told him: “Without overegging it too much, I don’t think you get to frontline politics generally, but certainly not as a Lib Dem, unless you’re prepared to dig quite deep. I just have this rather old-fashioned view that you can be tough without being rude.”

And on his Call Clegg show, still going strong after 18 months:

One person after the other said ‘It’s going to be a flop, it’s going to be a failure, he’s going to come a cropper’,” Mr Clegg said. “It was met with almost universal cynicism.”

After a pause, he added: “I’ve increasingly come to the view that if something’s met with universal cynicism in the Westminster village, it’s almost certainly worth doing.

* Newsmoggie – bringing you comment from a different perspective

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • @ Frank H Little

    Is there life after politics

  • Clegg is doing his best to ensure that no kids become Liberal politicians…

  • Peter Watson 9th Jul '14 - 8:02am

    Recent debates suggest that a few Lib Dems would like Nick Clegg to follow his children out of politics 😉

  • Or perhaps having witnessed their father’s example, his kids have decided that politics isn’t for them and anyway the pall cast by Nick may take several generations to be forgotten.

  • Tony Greaves 9th Jul '14 - 5:00pm

    I have thought a bit about this comment. When I first heard it I was quite shocked. On further thought, it may just be one of the typical off the cuff remarks he makes without thinking too deeply. But the more I think about it, the more I am appalled. In a democracy, for Liberals, taking part is really the most important thing for individuals, and that means taking part in politics.

    Tony Greaves

  • Jayne Mansfield 12th Jul '14 - 12:15pm

    Out of interest, what have the Liberal Democrat election results been like in London in the 18 months since Nick Clegg started his Call Clegg show?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Brad Barrows
    Please allow an alternative viewpoint: average female life expectancy is 82.9 years, average male life expectancy is 79 years - that is the real gap that we sho...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    I love a bit of Shakespeare, as a performer, of course. But as a viewer, Kenneth Williams version of Julius Ceaser sums up the pm... "Infamy, infamy, some...
  • Mick Taylor
    Christopher Haigh. Actually the Tories don't always win. In my lifetime the score is Labour 8, Tories 11, coalition 1. That doesn't mean we don't need PR. I wa...
  • Christopher Haigh
    To be a true liberal democracy there must be proportional representation. The UK fits into the managed democracy category where we go through the motions of fre...
  • Brad Barrows
    Where I disagree with the proposals is that I believe a Federal Party should elect the majority of its members by, and as representatives of, the individual par...