Nick Clegg’s delivery diary

Nick Clegg’s article in the Indy today is a spare, evidential piece, as neatly sliced and lacking in rhetoric as an appointment diary.

But what a diary. Flip back a year, and Gordon was driving to the Palace to call the General Election, as the Liberal Democrats prepared to launch their manifesto.

Now, Nick writes,

…something is happening that, for the Liberal Democrats, is a new experience: the policies we championed during the election are becoming reality. I don’t mean that consultations are being announced, votes held, or papers published. Over the next few days, lives will be changed for the better, thanks to the introduction of policies for which we have long campaigned.

On Friday, our pupil premium was introduced. That’s £625m, eventually rising to £2.5bn, to be spent on most disadvantaged pupils, so that all children get a better education. On Wednesday, our income tax reform will begin. Many will be lifted out of income tax altogether, while basic-rate taxpayers get a £200 tax cut in cash terms. On the same day, our promise to bring in a “triple guarantee” for pensioners will become a reality, meaning that pensioners retiring today will get, on average, £15,000 more in state pension over their retirement than under Labour. And every day, millions of homes receive their polling cards for next month’s referendum on AV. Electoral reform had felt like an unattainable goal for decades: now voters are being given their first chance to get rid of the broken system that helped produce the expenses scandal.

There is more to come. This week, I’ll be announcing how the Government plans to tackle the difficult issue of social mobility, because for all the old promises and spending on this issue, social mobility in our country has stagnated. These are not policies designed for the quick fix, but deep and lasting changes that build on concrete policies such as the pupil premium and will have an effect for generations.

The Liberal Democrats’ 2010 General Election manifesto has remained one of the most-read items on the party’s website since it was published, and remains the yardstick against which the party checks its performance in government.

Now that the manifesto is being translated from policies to pockets, and its delivery can be deliberately circled on the calendar, Nick closes his article with a time, a year, a week – and a promise of more:

This time we are in government, and in a single year have pointed Britain towards a better future and changed politics for good. This week will show people just how much we are achieving. I look forward to many more like it.

Read the full article: This is an achieving coalition – with more to come in today’s Independent.

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3 Comments

  • A great piece by Nick. I’m repeating these achievements in my own patch, and we all need to do it. What is more, I look forward to the list growing over the next four years.

  • Old Codger Chris 4th Apr '11 - 12:28am

    Pupil Premium? Doesn’t compensate for cuts.

    AV? Miserable little compromise.

    Social Mobility? Cutting access to Higher Education. Danger of increased homelessness. Heartless policies towards the disabled.

    Income Tax reform? Excellent (but shame about the regressive VAT).

    Pensions? Excellent.

    Bit of a mixed bag.

  • One of the reasons I was willing to give this party my support was that I was told the power was with the membership. The party’s ethos and constitution meant that our representatives would be required to promote the policies decided democratically by the membership.

    I’ve just heard that Clegg will be promoting the privatisation of the health services proposed by the Conservatives.

    The party conference voted against it, but the leader is promoting it.

    So what is the point of being a member, what’s the point of the constitution, what’s the point of the party?

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