Nick Clegg launches local election campaign

Nick-CleggThe launch of our local election campaign yesterday was rather overshadowed by some other news.

Here is an extract from Nick Clegg’s speech:

Next month, in wards across the country, people will be confronted with the same choice. Despite all their stated differences, a vote for Labour or the Tories will be a vote for the same thing.

Their record in local government shows that, even when millions of families are feeling the pinch, they’ll both squander taxpayers’ money on waste, inefficiency and their own vanity projects.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, is a vote for a party which – wherever we’re in power – does it’s best to spread the burden of austerity fairly, investing in jobs and help for hard-pressed families. Only the Liberal Democrats will build a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

He concluded:

If you are fighting an election in your area – deliver more leaflets, canvass more people, make more calls. If you’re not fighting a council election – go somewhere that is, or make calls from wherever you are. Every wing of this party now needs to pull together, reminding our opponents that we have a unity, a resolve and a sense of purpose they could never compete with.

When the Liberal Democrats organise, no one campaigns like we do. Labour know it. The Tories know it. And they are going to throw everything at us – they haven’t forgotten Eastleigh. But guess what? Nor have we. And when you feel that you’ve given all you can, I want you to think back to that great victory.

I want you to remember how good it felt to confound our critics; remember how good it felt to win. It’s time to do it again, Liberal Democrats. Get out there and win.

You can read the full speech here:

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13 Comments

  • Joseph Donnelly 9th Apr '13 - 12:37pm

    These ‘local election launches’ seem to be effectively just a method by which the BBC can appropriate some time to each of the main parties during local election season…they bear no reality to any kind of actual formal local election campaign launch.

  • So our USP is that we run local government more efficiently? This is value-free managerialism that adds nothing to our politics. Clegg has once again squandered an opportunity to promote our values.

  • Peter Watson 9th Apr '13 - 1:01pm

    @Duncan Stott “Clegg has once again squandered an opportunity to promote our values.”
    By emphasising the “local” I think he has deliberately chosen to avoid discussing/defending our values in the light of damaging and contradictory actions within a national coalition. I expect Clegg will attempt to fight local elections on local issues, european elections on european issues, and ignore the elephant in the room which is everything in between.

  • With all due respect, Nick Clegg is not the face that Liberal Democrat councillors want their electors to be thinking of at the polls.

  • It’s pretty pointless trying to fight local elections on a local level and ignore central government.

    Liberal Democrats might have gotten away with this before because they had never been in National Government so had no record to stand upon.

    Those days are well and truly long gone.

    The party does now have a record to defend itself on, on a National level, after all local politics is effected by decisions that the government has taken on a National Level.

    I think the electorate will have their say at the local elections and Clegg, the party leadership and the party as a whole will need to man up and take on the chin the drumming they are likely to take and rightly so. That is democracy in all it’s glory

  • paul barker 9th Apr '13 - 6:24pm

    Perhaps Cleggs message is so Local because these are Local Elctions, not another chance to protest about whats happening in Westminster.
    On a wider view I am glad to see that UKIP have started to treat Local politics seriously, standing nearly as many candidates as us, I will be interested to see what they have to say on Local issues.

  • Peter Watson 9th Apr '13 - 7:10pm

    @paul barker “Perhaps Cleggs message is so Local because these are Local Elctions, not another chance to protest about whats happening in Westminster.”
    For better or for worse, every election is “another chance to protest about whats happening in Westminster”.
    Local and euro elections will be spun by all sides and all parties: bad performance of one’s own party will be dismissed because it is about local issues or european issues, or mid-term blues, etc., but good performance will be seized upon as evidence that the party is doing the right thing nationally. Naturally the opposite will be the case for all party’s other than one’s own.
    I may well be an unrepresentative sample of one, but because I do not wish to be misinterpreted as supporting our parliamentary Lib Dems I am no longer voting Lib Dem in any election: I will vote for another party or none at all.

  • Malcolm Todd 10th Apr '13 - 11:37am

    “A vote for the Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, is a vote for a party which – wherever we’re in power – does it’s best to spread the burden of austerity fairly, investing in jobs and help for hard-pressed families. Only the Liberal Democrats will build a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.”

    Stepping past the horrible misapplied apostrophe with averted eyes, can anyone point to anything in this trite, self-satisfied, self-deceiving nonsense of a paragraph that couldn’t be just as happily and meaningfully asserted by any other party, swapping their own name in place of “the Liberal Democrats”? Welcome (for those remaining who hadn’t noticed) to the age of Content-Free Politics.

  • Peter Chegwyn 11th Apr '13 - 12:08pm

    Totally agree with David and Tony above. Totally disagree with Matt.

    The candidates who win on 2nd May will be those who have campaigned hard on local issues all-year-round.

    Is there a candidate anywhere who will admit to putting a photo of Nick Clegg on their leaflets?

    I’ve yet to meet one!

  • Peter Watson 11th Apr '13 - 2:22pm

    @Peter Chegwyn “The candidates who win on 2nd May will be those who have campaigned hard on local issues all-year-round.”
    Sadly, many of those who lose will be as well.

    The national party and its reputation will have an impact on local election results whether Lib Dem candidates like it or not. After all, this thread is discussing the launch of the local election campaign by the party’s national leader. The question to be addressed is what, if anything, should local candidates do about it? I expect the campaign will emphasise the “local” and the inevitable bad results will be explained away by the “national”, but can the party do better than that?

  • Matthew Huntbach 12th Apr '13 - 7:14am

    Peter Chegwyn

    Totally agree with David and Tony above. Totally disagree with Matt.

    Agreed too. This message comes across as a mixture of puff for Mr Clegg and yah-booh-sucks party political knockabout, all stuff that will just turn off most voters. What we needed from our leader was something that didn’t come across as a politician doing what politicians do. Instead we got something that was just that.

    People want to hear something positive and different. If what we have here is all Mr Clegg could deliver, it would be better to have had nothing at all from him. Can’t we have a more collective leadership, in which something like the launch of the local government campaign is done by someone who’s a local government person, not the Parliamentary leader? Using this as an excuse to go on about income tax (a dubious triumph – we got the part of the whole policy the Tories like, but not the part they didn’t like i.e. the whole policy was a shift in taxation not just a cut made up by making poorer people even poorer) was a betrayal of our local government people, because it is playing the game that local government votes are to be treated as just a judgment on the parties nationally.

    If I was thinking of voting Liberal Democrat locally because of the record of the party locally, this speech would put me right off. It would lead me to think my vote would be treated as an endorsement of Mr Clegg and of his yah-booh-suck-aren’t-I-great-and-everyone-else-rotten (or, rather, Labour-rotten-Tories-bit-off) attitudes. If that’s how it would be treated, I wouldn’t want to vote LibDem even if I thought my local LibDem councillors were wonderful.

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