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.

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8 Comments

  • @ 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?

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