Nick Clegg “surprisingly good at Twitter”

Whether it’s posting a selfie from a football match, posing with a Princess mug, mocking the Daily Mail or looking like the perfect domestic goddess before admitting that it was Miriam who had made the very nice looking pie (for which we still need the recipe), Nick Clegg certainly has a quirky way with Twitter that. Over at the i, they’ve recognised that today by posting these highlights, commenting that:

 He seamlessly blends being part of the liberal establishment and looks genuinely happy to be at a football match.

They added that a scene with children could look very awkward if any of the other party leaders had attempted it.

I could add in his Twitter Q and A sessions and the day he asked us all to tell him our favourite school dinner.

I’d say he was certainly the best party leader on Twitter with the right mixture of interaction, fun and serious stuff. But, a few weeks ago the Guardian asked if the Daily Mail tweet was the best thing he’d ever done, and 80% of their respondents agreed.

Remember this is Guardian readers we are talking about. They weren’t praising him. I can think of a whole load of good things Clegg personally has done. His fingerprints are all over the most liberal things the coalition has implemented. Here are just a few examples off the top of my head.

The Pupil Premium – giving extra money to disadvantaged kids in school. Clegg wrote about this in 2003. Way back in 1998, when I first met him, it was his passion for giving those kids the best start in life that won us over.

Shared parental leave – he has personally championed the policy which I think best epitomises the stronger economy, fairer society and enabling everyone to get on in life themes as well as the pure liberalism of giving grown-ups choice.

I loved it when he took apart so called baby expert Gina Ford’s ideas four years ago.

He’s championed better mental health services – carrying through in government the themes of one of his very first major speeches as Liberal Democrat leader. He’d be the first to admit that there’s a long way to go to get services to where they need to be, but he, Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have worked wonders to get mental health given parity.

He’s been enthusiastic about LGBT rights, voluntarily talking about them and championing equal marriage in government.

He met the Dalai Lama, unlike Alex Salmond, and has had no compunction about raising human rights with China and other countries.

He’s had the guts to face the public for every half an hour once a week and done so with humour, good grace and patience. That’s how you do a public question and answer session, Ed Miliband, not by making people come to you in Parliament.

He said he’d go to jail rather than carry a compulsory ID card.

In opposition he talked about giving a lifeboat to a lost generation of young people. In Government, he’s created more opportunities and more apprenticeships.

He’s talked about FGM and violence against women and girls, not just left it to female ministers.

He’s stopped the Tories from capping Child Benefit at two children and removing Housing Benefit from under 25s.

These things make people’s lives better in a much more meaningful sense than a few well-timed tweets…


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Oh, bless. What a lovely man.

  • paul barker 28th Jul '14 - 6:08pm

    Just imagine how different por Party would be if we had chosen Huhne instead, could any Party survive the jailing of its Leader ?

  • paul barker 28th Jul '14 - 6:14pm

    Oops. For Por read Our.

  • Michael Cole 29th Jul '14 - 9:10am

    There’s no question that Nick is a decent and likeable man and has been unfairly demonised by some of the media. It’s mainly the naïve presentation that is the problem.

  • I think Nick Clegg is the best media performer out of all the party leaders. Where he has come a cropper, like the second Farge debate, it’s through bad advice from those around him. I hope we go into the 2015 election allowing Nick to be Nick and for my part I am far more optimistic about our prospects than some in the party.

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