Nick Clegg’s conference rally speech: “We may be the underdogs but we have the values, beliefs and resilience to win”

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

On Lib Dem Voice: Reportage | Live Twitter Stream | Contribute
On the official party website: Conference home
Watch Live on BBC Parliament

“This is the fight of our lives” – that was the message from Nick Clegg at last night’s conference rally. You can watch it here:

And if you want to catch up with the whole rally – including speeches by Jo Swinson, Kavya Kaushik and Paddy Ashdown, as well as a performance by The Other Guys – then you can do so here.

Read more by or more about , , , , or .
This entry was posted in Conference and YouTube.
Advert

30 Comments

  • Richard Harris 5th Oct '14 - 9:58am

    Even when NC says exactly what I want to hear from a political leader, when he outlines policies that I utterly agree with, even if he were to define a policy as a line in the sand that would not be dropped in any circumstances, does anyone in the party blame me for simply not trusting him. I voted LD because of the tuition fee pledge and he threw it back in my face. Many of the policy statements in the speech are the right ones, but it is a pointless exercise whilst NC is announcing them.

  • John Roffey 5th Oct '14 - 10:12am

    In the absence of any other comment – perhaps it is best left to a former Party member to say what many are probably thinking:

    ‘Kodak’ Clegg and a burning question: If the Lib Dems didn’t exist, who would invent them? A withering assessment of the Lib Dems’ hapless leader… from Mark Littlewood, the party’s former media boss

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2780851/Kodak-Clegg-burning-question-If-Lib-Dems-didn-t-exist-invent-A-withering-assessment-Lib-Dems-hapless-leader-Mark-Littlewood-party-s-former-media-boss.html

    I do believe that unless a more realistic assessment of the Party’s predicament is taken – and a new strategy is adopted soon – the Party could disappear virtually without trace after May.

    The worst thing about getting the kind of support that is currently being seen is that the MSM will lose all interest in the Party after the GE – and with the new kids on the block showing such vitality – it might never be recovered.

    The Party needs a major new key policy that is significant to a large section of the electorate to identify it from its rivals.

  • Tony Dawson 5th Oct '14 - 10:35am

    By suddenly waking up and declaring the spectre of ‘Nightmare on Dave Street’ it is unfortunate that this appears to be the wisdom of ‘Nick van Winclegg’. However he views the matter internally, the view of the wider public is that, from the Rose Garden debacle onward,Mr Clegg has been tied to the nightshirt tails of this ‘Nightmare’ man, claiming once even that it would be hard to find differences between the two parties.

    When David Cameron said, in ‘The Observer’ in September 2009 that “There’s barely a cigarette paper between us in all these areas. ” he was talking about the environment, civil liberties and social mobility and implying a potential concensus across a far wider range of issues.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/sep/20/david-cameron-libdems-tory-alliance

    To his credit, that day, Nick Clegg rejected these false overtures not least because Cameron claimed that he was pandering to the ‘left’ within the Lib Dems. Unfortunately, only three years later and well-bedded down in Coalition, although it was only on the single issue of European funding, Nick used exactly the same language.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/11/nick-clegg-there-is-not-a-cigarette-paper-between-me-and-the-pm-on-eu-budget/

    In politics, language is very important. Careless choice of innocuous words can totally mess up a quite reasonable message. Presenting the Coalition as more united than divided, year after year, week in, week out, has an effect which should not be underestimated by any serious politician. Possibly the worst example if this was the ‘renewal of vows’ joint speech in May 2012 although they did at least realise the imprudence of presenting it back in the Downing Street Rose Garden. So, waking up after a four year sleep under the Coalition mountain is not enough, whatever activity a couple of juvenile Tory SPAds believe him to have been up to there.

    Nick has actually just completed a quite reasonable interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC. But making belated impassioned pleas for voters to deny Cameron or Ed Miliband a majority in 7 months time is not enough.

    Incidentally, Nick Clegg’s new claim that David Cameron was turning the Tories into a Party ” ‘trapped between being a poor man’s Margaret Thatcher and a rich man’s Nigel Farage'” sounds back to front to me. It is largely the wealthy who will benefit from Osbornes renewed Thatcherite perspective. And it is largely the poorer who are responding to Farage’s vicious but quite effective exploitation of issues which cannot be run away from.

  • Values???? As has been said above no-one (not many) listens or cares….. The Lib Dems are the same as the rest, and sold out on their one ‘pledge’,,,,,that is how they are seen by the public & until NC goes things are going to be very bleak. Oh how I wish for a ‘Liberal Party ‘ again – anti Nuclear, radical, etc

  • John Roffey 5th Oct '14 - 11:43am

    @ Tony Dawson

    “Nick has actually just completed a quite reasonable interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC. But making belated impassioned pleas for voters to deny Cameron or Ed Miliband a majority in 7 months time is not enough.”

    I do not believe that this concept now has any validity. With UKIP and the Greens offering a fair range of alternatives, the vast majority of voters will vote for the party they hope will win [or want to demonstrate their support for].

    The protest vote did work in the past – but not now. It is only by accepting that this is the case that a more realistic strategy can be adopted.

    The Party needs to become ‘leaner and meaner’ as all small parties are obliged to be – if they want any success.

  • Richard Harris —-“does anyone in the party blame me for simply not trusting him?”…

    Trust. This is the key issue. This is the Clegg issue. Nobody trusts Clegg. This is why we are on 6%.
    Nobody trusts anyof us whilst we let Legg remain as our leader.

    Why should anyone trust Clegg when he has broken that trust time and time again, not just during the coalition but ever since he became an MEP in 1999. His career has been 15 years of undermining trust in politicians in general and Liberal Democrats in particular.

    So to answer your question, Richard Harris. — No, nobody in the party with any sense of political perspective would blame you for simply not trusting him.

    94% of voters do not trust him, why should you be different?

  • John Tilley and Mark Littlewood are largely on the same page. I think this is the End of Days.

  • Paul In Wokingham 5th Oct '14 - 12:08pm

    @Hywel – far be it from me to pigeonhole other people, but I really don’t think that John Tilley and Mark Littlewood are in the same book, let alone on the same page!

  • A rally full of people who believe 1,000 hours of personal door knocking will offset two seconds of Nick in the leaders’ debates. A leader without the courage to mention the Euro elections of the local elections either, much less say sorry. With Nick as leader we are dead. Our values are gone and the people who depend on us are friendless. Where is the party’s fighting spirit, or do we just give in to our leader’s ego for ever? Clearly it is not in the MPs’ locker. Sadly it isn’t in the locker of the candidates for party president either, or the current party president. For the first time ever, I am ashamed to be associated with you.

  • John Roffey 5th Oct '14 - 12:25pm

    @ John Tilley

    Although it would now be impossible to set a new and more realistic course with NC as leader, I am inclined to believe that his problem is that he has never had to live in the real world – politics is more of a game to him than a matter of the greatest importance.

    Coming, as he does, from one of the richest families of all MPs – if he loses his seat and the Party disappears without trace it will be of little consequence to him – he will be found, by his family or friends, a fairly lucrative and interesting job elsewhere.

    I doubt if he has any concept of what it is like for the many councillors and MEPs who have lost their posts or the MPs who will lose theirs in May – who do not come from such a privileged class.

  • Jonathan Pile 5th Oct '14 - 1:28pm

    What would it take to get back our 2010 voters? – Another leader? (no longer a viable option given the ducking of the issue over the summer ), or a return to traditional liberalism and lib dem policies ? – We only have 30% of our voters at this moment, where are the 70%? – UKIP has the break the mould protest vote, the Greens have the environment, anti-HS2, anti-war, internationalist left wing liberal vote, the labour party have the anti-austerity left vote. The students betrayed by the tuition fee saga have opted out of politics. Key issues – Trust – reconnecting with the supporters. It’s a perfect storm. The Coalition has been good the country and deadly for our party. The answer? – exposing the way that Lib Dem errors over tuition fees have been blown up into the crime of the century while Labour’s near criminal mismanagement of public finances and the economy has been forgotten and forgiven. I believe that if we listen more to what our 2010 supporters think matters more now, such as the opposition of lib dem voters to the disastrous Labour white elephant of HS2 , while the party has again been hijacked by orange bookers on this issue. The interesting thing is that there is a even bigger untapped vote of pro-european, anti-milliband, anti-tory, progressive , middle of the road, middle england vote looking for a home, but that home is badly damaged and hardly welcoming to returning supporters. We must learn to forgive Nick Clegg to stave off the Farrage’s, Millibands and Johnson’s waiting in the wings. Tough call.

  • Bill Le Breton 5th Oct '14 - 1:35pm

    Nick Clegg has told me that, if his leadership does destroy this great party, he will dedicate the rest of his life to being a hospital porter. I think that is laudable and a fitting recompense for the damage he will have done .

    Trust remains the issue.

  • paul barker 5th Oct '14 - 1:41pm

    I feel really angry about this. The Party considered dropping Nick a few months ago, 48 Meetings were held of which just 3 voted to have a Leadership Election. This issue has been settled. If you have nothing new to say can you please say nothing.
    On the facts, the last Ashcroft survey of Tory/Libdem marginals found a swing from us to the Tories of 2%, since 2010, scary eh ?

  • Paul in Wokingham
    I believe that there is a book on the power of Big Tobacco where both names get mentioned.
    Mark Littlewood still works for the Tobacco funded IEA and his partner Angela Harbutt takes the Tobacco selling as well. See —
    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/07/15/smoking-gun/

  • That should have read —
    …..takes the Tobacco SHILLING…..

    Predictive text has obviously forgotten pounds, shillings and ounces unlike ournwonderful prime minister.

  • Paul In Wokingham 5th Oct '14 - 2:03pm

    @Bill – or perhaps Mr. Clegg could work for H&F council as a gardener in Bishop’s Park. Then he could work to improve the “grass-routes” just like Tony Greaves’ article in Liberator says your “People First” campaign did!

  • Paul Barker. Nick’s supporters have had nothing to say for four years other than he is not going to pay attention to you (be it on NHS reform, Secret Courts or whatever), he is staying as leader, support him or destroy the party. As we are all now finding out to our cost, it is them who are destroying the party.

  • Bill Le Breton 5th Oct '14 - 2:18pm

    No Paul, anyone who knows him is aware that growing things shrivel in his care.

    I happened to have an idea and be able to facilitate the People First campaign. It was a joint enterprise of the staff and some Standing Committee members of ALDC, the best campaigners we could get from around the nations and the Parliamentary researchers who we thought understood campaigning, including a very switched on Head of the Whip’s office. I reckon thirty people may have been involved in producing the material.

    But the bundle of campaigns, about twenty from memory, were just what the grassroots were yearning for.

  • I have just watched on TV – well last night actually – Clegg give one of the best speeches I have heard him deliver – and what do I see on the comments page of a public site ? – yes a couple of trolls – but also some liberals – still giving Clegg a hard time – he is our leader – he will be our leader from now until the election. I understand why some are unhappy – this was never going to be easy – but I have heard all the arguments and dont particularly want to hear the moaners continually moan. We all need to get behind the party now – and work as hard as we can . There will be a time later for a huge amount of discussion – but right now I just want to argue our case of what we have delivered – and get on the doorstep. I suggest some of the moaners do the same.

  • John Roffey 5th Oct '14 - 2:59pm

    @ Bill Le Breton

    “Nick Clegg has told me that, if his leadership does destroy this great party, he will dedicate the rest of his life to being a hospital porter. I think that is laudable and a fitting recompense for the damage he will have done .

    Trust remains the issue.”

    On the assumption that your ‘trust’ comment does not apply to your ‘trust’ of him to do as he says – I must accept that NC is genuinely committed to saving the Party. Even so, since he does know that he is mistrusted and that he is extremely unpopular with the electorate – there appears to be a mismatch which needs an explanation.

    Irrespective of the fact that he has not been forced out as leader, almost any other serious politician who genuinely was concerned about the fate of their Party would have resigned after the EU elections – or at least sought a vote of confidence from the membership for him to continue.

  • John Roffey 5th Oct '14 - 3:15pm

    @ John Tilley

    “Mark Littlewood still works for the Tobacco funded IEA and his partner Angela Harbutt takes the Tobacco selling as well”

    Unless ML has good reason to believe that if NC remains as leader – harsher smoking laws will ensue – this does seem to be a case of shooting the messenger.

    I do not find ML an appealing character – but I do believe his portrayal is close to how the majority of non members see the Party

  • John Roffey

    The rot began to set in the Liberal Democrats when Mark Littlewood was employed (was it when Ming was leader?) and the rot has continued to take hold at an accelerated pace since The Clegg Coup.

    People outside the party will have their view of the party moulded by the national media. Since party conferences were shifted into the broadest ghetto of BBC Parliament very few people out there in the real world have any way of knowing what our party is really like. What you say aout the majority of non-members may well be true.
    It may even be true of a majority of members who remain members out of habit or in the fond wish that Clegg might fall Nader a number 12 bus as it passes through Parliament Square.

    If there really are 40,000 Liberal Democrat members it would be fascinating to know why they remain members. If they believe in the words in the preamble to the constitution — why do they put up with the Clegg Clique, who clearly believe something else.

  • Paul Barker ” I feel very angry”
    Ashcroft poll said , 22 Lib Dem marginals, ourselves tie in 2, hold in 4 , loss in 16. Not sure what you are angry about.
    I would suggest quiet reflection.

  • Bill Le Breton 5th Oct ’14 – 1:35pm
    Nick Clegg has told me that…he will dedicate the rest of his life to being a hospital porter.

    Bill — we should be careful of famous people who talk about becoming a hospital porter. Remember Jimmy Savile?

  • Bill Le Breton 5th Oct '14 - 10:18pm

    For the dull and the experienced this is why some of us go on about trust and why it is not disloyal, essential reading from Mark Pack.
    http://www.markpack.org.uk/73715/opinion-poll-crosstabs-lie-policy-isnt-lib-dems-need-concentrate/

    Note: “…It’s misguided because the apparently super-rationale, evidence-based approach to crafting electoral strategy, deploying segmented mailings fuelled by opinion poll crosstabs with decimals points to work out the best messages to aim at the right people often has it back to front.

    “Yes, the evidence shows that many people willing to think about voting Liberal Democrat also think the party hasn’t achieved enough in government. But the answer to their scepticism isn’t to drown them in a factual list of policy achievements (useful though they can be).

    “That’s because the causation is the other way round. People don’t decide not to vote Lib Dem because they give a bad rating to details of its record. Rather it’s because they’ve decided not to vote Lib Dem that makes them then given a bad rating to details of its record.”

    The party needs to campaign and to campaign smarter, because trust is the issue, and the rest are the symptoms.

  • “Nick Clegg has told me that, if his leadership does destroy this great party, he will dedicate the rest of his life to being a hospital porter. I think that is laudable and a fitting recompense for the damage he will have done .”

    Did he define what he meant by “destroy”? Call me cynical, but I can’t hear Nick Clegg making a pledge without looking for the get-out clause.

    I guess the party can’t really be said to have been “destroyed” so long as it still has at least one member, even if that member is N. Clegg …

  • David Allen 6th Oct '14 - 1:09am

    Trust is the issue. Clegg, having let the Tories cut taxes on the richest in this parliament, is now implausibly promising that he will do the opposite in the next. Read this report, and then read the comments below it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/06/clegg-lib-dems-brutalise-tories

    With monotonous regularity, a succession of commenters express complete distrust and contempt for Clegg. No doubt some of them are Labour trolls, but others quite clearly aren’t.

    The only way this party can really “campaign smarter” – even at this late stage – is to wake up and smell the coffee. Clegg has to go. Otherwise – we all go.

  • David Allen 6th Oct '14 - 1:10am

    Trust is the issue. Clegg, having let the Tories cut taxes on the richest in this parliament, is now implausibly promising that he will do the opposite in the next. Read this report, and then read the comments below it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/06/clegg-lib-dems-brutalise-tories

    With monotonous regularity, a succession of commenters express total distrust of Clegg. No doubt some of them are Labour stooges, but others quite clearly aren’t.

    The only way this party can really “campaign smarter” – even at this late stage – is to wake up and smell the coffee. Clegg has to go. Otherwise – we all go.

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.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

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 ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 15th Jul - 9:50pm
    Caron Lindsay - 'That is a huge risk, though, because that process would also have to offer a pathway to something better that you just...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 15th Jul - 9:43pm
    We need real political programmes. What we don't need is polarised arguments. We need real politics in the sense of the allocation of power. About...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 15th Jul - 9:33pm
    It is a very good article. Probably a decade late in the principle it talks about, but still a very good article.
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 15th Jul - 9:29pm
    Gordon - I think that we agree on 95% of this. A few observations. 1 - Looking back the UK should not have ratified Maastricht....
  • User AvatarSadie Smith 15th Jul - 9:22pm
    Mixed views. We need intelligent political coverage. Losing Daily and Sunday politics will be no loss provided presentation is better. Losing This Week as it...
  • User Avatarexpats 15th Jul - 9:08pm
    The BBC still quotes it's core mission as 'to inform, educate and entertain'. There are occasional 'gems' but, on the whole, the BBC is a...