Tag Archives: nick clegg

BREAKING: Swinson and Clegg honoured

Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The rumours were true, about Nick, then.

 

Elizabeth Riches, who came within two votes of winning North East Fife in June becomes an MBE. She was a councillor for many years and was depute leader of Fife Council from 2007-12.

Depute Leader of our group on York City Council, Ann Reid gets an MBE for services to local govermnent.

Another Scot, Graham Garvie, former Convener of the Borders Council and now a member of the Lib Dems’ Federal International Relations Committee, gets an OBE.

Reg Barry,  Lib Dem Councillor on the Isle of Wight gets a BEM for services to the community.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

Will Nick Clegg be getting a knighthood at the weekend?

The papers are full of reports that The Cleggster is getting a knighthood in the New Year Honours. The right wing tabloids in particular are particularly enraged at this award for an “arch remainer.” The Mail even devotes a separate article to the question of whether Miriam Gonzalez Durantez will use the title “Lady Clegg” to give them another reason to remind readers of their twin obsessions with her being Spanish and not using what they refer to as her “married name.” The fact that she just has a name, not a married name, is lost on them as usual.

It’s much better for them, of course, to obsess on these things rather than her expertise on international and EU trade which leads her often to demolish the Government’s handling of Brexit as she did in this article in the Summer.

The best thing this government could do to appease the serious concerns of UK business leaders on Brexit is to rely on the business leaders themselves. This means no more toying with extravagant and ill-founded ideas. And it also means seeking an interim arrangement with the EU to continue benefiting from the single market and the customs union for as long as is needed until an alternative EU-UK deal is reached, as business leaders have proposed. This can be done by placing the UK into the European Economic Area on a temporary basis, and/or looking for an ad hoc arrangement extending the current status quo. Neither the extreme Brexiteers nor the extreme remainers like this option, but it is the only sensible thing to do right now. It allows the UK government to win time. And time is what the government needs – to get the skills it misses, to draft proposals it has not even started to draft yet and to negotiate with the serenity that the high economic interests at stake deserve.

An interim deal is the only way to deal with the ticking clock Michael Barnier hears because, as any trade negotiator knows, there is nothing worse than negotiating against time. Except for negotiating against time in pursuit of delusional and unrealistic ambitions.

But back to Nick. We won’t know if the knighthood story has any basis in fact, or is just something that the Brexiteer tabloids using to fill their pages in the post Christmas lull. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 102 Comments

Clegg criticises May on Brexit, talks about defeat and the Westminster culture that enables bullying and harassment

Nick Clegg gets loads of column inches this weekend.

He has a long interview with Camilla Cavendish in today’s Sunday Times magazine (£). They discuss Brexit, Parliament, sexual harassment and his son’s Blood Cancer.

He describes the serendipitous series of events that meant that he took Antonio to the GP:

To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to take him to the GP. It was those early days in September, you know, when you have to get kids ready for school. Miriam had to work very heavily that week, so I was at home most of the time, helping to do the preparatory things, buying clothes for the new term — and Antonio said he had this thing. We had an afternoon, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I just take him, and he’ll stop going on about it.’ ”

This was quite out of character, he says. “Normally, I’m quite brutal. My Dutch mum regarded going to doctors and hospitals as something one should avoid at all costs.

Thankfully, Antonio is now well on the mend.

Nick spoke about what he’s up to now he’s out of Parliament. He’s taken up drumming and tried (unsuccessfully) to learn to surf.

The interview was conducted just around the time that sexual harassment hit the headlines. Nick slammed the culture at Westminster which created the environment for this abuse:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Skeleton Brexit deal risks leaving Parliament in the dark

It’s been a good week for Nick Clegg. he won Best non fiction book by a parliamentarian for his How to Stop Brexit book in the Parliamentary Book Awards. We won’t mention the fact that he sadly wasn’t a parliamentarian when he wrote it. You don’t have to be – former MPs are eligible. He was quite pleased:

Writing in the FT Nick points out the dangers of the current direction of travel in the EU negotiations. With Brexiteers just wanting to get out and not caring about the consequences, they will be happy if there is only a basic outline deal on the table for MPs to vote on this time next year.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: MPs deserve a vote on the final Brexit plan not a vague sketch

Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column casts a depressing eye over the debate over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

First of all, he looks at the ridiculous date of exit issue:

Putting the Brexit date – March 29th 2019 – into legislation is a particularly specious gesture. It may act as catnip to the increasingly agitated Brexiteers, but to our European partners the sight of the British government shutting down the possibility of extending the Brexit talks must look absurd. As they know, and as I do from my time working in the EU, deadlines can be, and are, frequently missed. And the suggestion from the Government that if MPs have the temerity to reject the Brexit deal they will be responsible for the chaos of no deal is as thuggish as it is misleading – if MPs were to reject a bad deal, the EU would pause the Article 50 timetable rather than push us over the edge of the Brexit cliff.

The whole idea of a meaningful vote on a deal is also ridiculous as we won’t have a deal about our future relationship with the EU before we formally leave. As Nick puts it:

So there is now a high likelihood that MPs will be asked to give their consent to Britain’s departure from the EU before knowing the detail of our future relationship with the EU. It will be like buying a house on the basis of a few grainy photos from a dodgy estate agent who won’t allow you to visit the inside. ‘Members of Parliament must hold firm and reject the government’s tactics’ On a recent trip to Brussels, it was made quite clear to me that the two negotiating teams are aiming for no more than a “heads of agreement” deal by the time Britain reaches its Article 50 deadline. This means that David Davis will return with little more than an outline of detail-free pledges on areas like security and combating terrorism, and a vague promise to strike a Canada-style free trade agreement

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 40 Comments

Laura Gordon selected as PPC for Sheffield Hallam

Nick Clegg’s successor as Lib Dem candidate in Sheffield Hallam has been chosen.

Laura Gordon won the selection contest last night.

The Star has more details.

Following her selection by Lib Dem party members on Friday, Ms Gordon said: “I am really honoured to be selected by the Liberal Democrats to be the candidate in Sheffield Hallam. “The Liberal Democrats have a long history in Sheffield Hallam

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Miriam says she and Nick knew about Jared O’Mara’s comments but he refused to go negative

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez was on Peston this morning as one of the panel of 3 guests who are there throughout the programme.

The subject of Jared O’Mara’s appallingly racist, misogynist and homophobic comments came up and Miriam said something very interesting instead. She said that Labour must have known about his past because she and Nick did.

That, of course, begs the question that if we knew why on earth didn’t we use it during the campaign. She answered that one as well, saying that Nick refused to run a negative campaign.

She pointed out the hypocrisy of Labour allowing someone with such deeply regressive views to present themselves as a progressive candidate.

It is very typical of Nick to take the high road and not the low one. He is, sometimes to his detriment, an idealist at heart who has always behaved with integrity.

Would it have made a difference if he had used what he knew about O’Mara? Well, let’s look at the change in vote share since 2015. The Labour vote only went up by 2.6%. It was an advance by the Tories of 10.2%, Tories who had hitherto voted tactically for Nick. They unsqueezed themselves presumably to give Theresa May the strong hand she craved in the Brexit negotiations. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 24 Comments
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    Well, Mr Red, didn’t they try that in last year’s General Election and where did that get them?
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