Nick Clegg on Jane Brophy and the #libdemfightback

On Thursday alone, 5 of the Lib Dems’ 8 MPs were in Oldham. Tim Farron had been there on Monday and Sal Brinton is there today. You never know who you might meet if you go there this weekend.

Nick spoke to the Oldham Evening Chronicle, saying he thought Jane was fantastic and talking about the #libdemfightback

As a party that took a real knock in the General Election this by-election gives us the opportunity to get out and speak to people again, explain who we are.

I think Jane’s getting a really positive response on the doorstep and I am very confident that she is going to do a lot better than we did in the General Election.

We have got to rebuild like any party, like any individual that takes a hard knock. You have got to lick your wounds a bit but move on and dust yourself down.

The party’s finding its zeal and fighting spirit again. In a constituency like this where we haven’t traditionally been competing at Westminster level we still have scores and scores of activists coming into our HQ and knocking on people’s doors.

It shows that, as much as our opponents might suggest that the Liberal Democrats have been put out of action, we’re mounting a fight back. We’ve had a massive influx of new members.

He also commented on the Autumn Statement and in particular the Chancellor’s u-turn on tax credits:

He’s just delaying it by smuggling the cuts into Universal Credit. I think we played an important role and a leading role in firstly, identifying the problem and then opposing it unambiguously.

I wasn’t (surprised at the decision). But they’re doing half a beastly thing instead of a beastly thing.

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20 Comments

  • Why on earth is Nick saying:
    “In a constituency like this where we haven’t traditionally been competing at Westminster level”
    and helping with the squeeze messages of other parties?

  • As I see it a traditional squeeze message will not work here. With Labour having a 14000+ majority it’s about creating a presence and attacking Labour for taking seats for granted (like our attacks on Oldham Council wasteage)

    From what I’ve heard from people who’ve been there it’s a really well run campaign, lots of canvassing and lots of leaflets.

    I’m personally not expecting 9 MPs after 3/12 but like others have said it gives us chance to grow new ideas and involve new members.

  • David Pollard 28th Nov '15 - 11:13am

    Is LDV a ‘bomb Syria’ free zone?

  • I should hope the LibDems will do better than the nearly 4% they got in the GE! The constituency has a history of electing LibDems at local level, the two elections previous to 2015 the LibDems had around 20% of the vote and the Labour party are in a total mess. If they don’t get at least 10% with half the Labour vote up for grabs, it will be a very sorry state of affairs.

  • Betting Firms seem to give us an even chance of getting more or less than 5%. Going on our recent performance in Local byelections we ought to get between 10% & 15%. Its pretty pointless comparing our performance to how we did in 2005, 7 months ago we got less than 4%, any improvement on that is good news.

  • Not all local council by elections have resulted in Lib Dem gains. In Salisbury the party dropped from about 42% to 20% and the Conservatives won the seat. Labour gained support and opponents of military action in Syria are moving to Labour. Most people do not want war and Corbyn has the lowest negative rating of any of the party leaders (-3% compared to -18% for Tim Farron and about -15% for David Cameron)
    Unless Jeremy Corbyn resigns there is no way he can be removed because the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members want him to stay. Some of the Parliamentary Labour Party are talking about changing the rules to get rid of him but the party members would have to agree to that.

  • Andrew McCaig 28th Nov '15 - 1:17pm

    malc,

    I think if we can double our vote relative to the GE, that would be a good result. We start from a distant 4th place and this election could turn into a “for or against UKIP” vote. The history you speak of is pre-2010…

  • Andrew McCaig 28th Nov '15 - 1:47pm

    nvelope2003
    I think you have been a bit selective in your polling data…. almost all polls show a majority in favour of air strikes in Syria, and the most recent polls on Corbyn had him on -28% and -12% (and Tim on -12%).

    You can find it all here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/ and here… https://twitter.com/britainelects?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

    I wish our MPs would vote against airstrikes in Syria though! They can simply point out that we are doing plenty in Iraq already and adding Syria can do no material good and possibly much harm… The only valid reason is to show solidarity with the French, and that is not enough…

  • David Evans 28th Nov '15 - 3:04pm

    Andrew is right here.

    The disaster that resulted in the shooting down of the Russian plane shows how, when too many disparate forces get involved in the same area, the fog of was leads to mistakes being made. Four lots of planes (US, France, Russia, Turkish) makes it difficult enough, if we add a fifth, we are just making it more difficult in order to support Cameron’s warmonger tendencies. If we stick to Iraq, we will not increase that risk, but we can still hit ISIS. The US, French, Russians and Turks would all understand the good sense that makes.

  • nvelope2003 28th Nov '15 - 3:18pm

    Andrew McCaig: other polls show a different picture. Support for air strikes does not necessarily indicate support for active involvement in the war. The outrage in Paris has inflamed feelings but wise people must take a wider view. War has been tried time and time again but it always leads to tragedy. “First they will be ringing the bells then they will be wringing their hands” was a saying in the 18th Century. We do not seem to have learned much.

    Destroying the Islamic State will not destroy terrorism. In some ways it is more likely to increase it. ISIS or IS is not so different from other states. Having formed it they have much to lose but without it they have nothing to lose.

  • David Evans 29th Nov '15 - 7:47pm

    Sadly getting Nick to turn out in Oldham simply shows how little the party has learned since the 2011 Oldham East and Saddleworth By-election. He was poison on the doorstep then and remains so now. In 2011 I canvassed a couple in their seventies who had been rock solid Lib Dem for years before then. They told me quite simply they wouldn’t vote for us because of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems betraying their granddaughter, who was about to go to university, over tuition fees. In one disastrous step, we had alienated grandparents, parents and daughter – at least five votes gone and nothing done to correct the matter since.

    The trust had gone, and sadly it hasn’t returned because too many of us are still in denial as to how much damage Nick did to the party over the five years in coalition. It won’t return until the party is prepared to own up to what went wrong and stop pretending all we have to do is work hard and it will all turn out fine. We don’t have the thirty or forty years to wait for things to turn up nice again: the Conservatives will have totally annihilated us by 2025. We have to do something now. And owning up to the many bad things that went wrong under Nick, whilst strongly claiming what we achieved has to be the first step, not perpetually trying to brush it under the doormat.

  • Well said David Evans. I couldn’t have put it better or more eloquently myself. The LDs have lost many votes in my family and they have zero chance at getting them back until the address the damage done by Clegg and co while in Government as opposed to pretending it never happened. My older daughter canvassed for them in 2010 and my son decided not to attend University because of the debt he will run up. A whole generation of young voters disillusioned with politics by a party that said it spoke for them.

  • I strongly agree with David Evans and Jackson.

  • @David Evans “They told me quite simply they wouldn’t vote for us because of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems betraying their granddaughter, who was about to go to university, over tuition fees. ”

    I hope you put them straight on what the “tuition fees” really meant, and that far from betraying their daughter we were preventing her from having to pay those fees up front and indeed at all, if she was a low-earner.

  • @Jackson “My older daughter canvassed for them in 2010 and my son decided not to attend University because of the debt he will run up. A whole generation of young voters disillusioned with politics by a party that said it spoke for them.”

    The debt your son would have run up would only be repaid were he, as is often the case with graduates, to earn significantly higher than the average. So his going to University would have increased his earning potential over his lifetime and removed the risk of having to pay back what was advanced if he didn’t secure a well-paid job after graduation.

    I hope you explained this to him and, therefore, the decision not to go to University was based on correct information and not on erroneous supposition and damaging misinformation of the sort put out by Labour and the more mischievous of our own party members.

  • @David Evans “And owning up to the many bad things that went wrong under Nick, whilst strongly claiming what we achieved ”

    I see more evidence of the former than the latter in your postings, David. The hair shirt isn’t a recipe for political success.

  • TCO “if she was a low-earner.” Hardly the message that you should be sending out to graduates. Borrow tens of thousands of pounds, but don’t worry about paying it back if you earn low wages for the next 30 years.

    TCO “I hope you explained this to him and, therefore, the decision not to go to University was based on correct information and not on erroneous supposition and damaging misinformation of the sort put out by Labour and the more mischievous of our own party members.”

    I explained that he would have to borrow about £45k to go to University, it was his decision, but that he would spend the next 30 years paying it back. I certainly didn’t say,”but don’t worry son, earn low wages for the next 30 years and you won’t pay a penny”. What a hopeless argument that hardly provides an incentive for graduates to better themselves over their working life.

    So what would you say to my daughter and other young people like her who canvassed support for Clegg in 2010 only to be so deliberately and unashamedly deceived. She wouldn’t vote for anyone in 2015 because “they’re all the same” as I was told time and again.

  • TCO and what do you say to former voters, like myself, who have left the party in droves. Surely LD’s should be talking to them and not themselves as this endless naval gazing seems to suggest.

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