WATCH: Nick Clegg in conversation at Conference Fringe

Happily, it doesn’t matter that I had to be in 3 other places at the time when Nick Clegg’s only fringe meeting appearance in Bournemouth, because those nice people at Prospect magazine have only gone and put it on You Tube.


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

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  • Peter Martin 22nd Sep '17 - 9:27pm

    See about the 24 min mark:

    “It’s what created Jeremy Corbyn. Because if you spend five years demonising austerity and some sort of evil choice, then of course you can never digest ideas that sometimes you need row back as a country in a way of living within the means of what you can afford.”

    What is “within the means of what we can afford”?

    Our means are limited by the number of workers in our economy. The number of people available to be teachers, doctors, nurses, engine drivers, bus drivers, farm workers growing our food, factory workers making cars, jet engines etc

    If we have increased automation and we don’t need so many people to work as check out assistants in supermarkets, we have more people available to do something else. So automation is a good thing. It can make us richer or enable us to produce the same amount of stuff in a shorter time. We can have a shorter working week or longer holidays.

    Our means are also limited by natural resources like the availability of metals, oil, water etc.

    So just as we all agree that it doesn’t make any sense to waste these, so we should agree that it makes no sense at all to waste the talents of the workforce by keeping them either unemployed or in a condition of underemployment. It’s the latter that’s become more the problem in recent years.

    Government isn’t limited in what it spends by what it receives in taxes. Government has to create and spend the money into existence in the first instance so it is then later available in the population to be collected as taxes. Sure, if it overdoes it it will create higher than desirable levels of inflation. But if it underdoes it, we have a poorly performing economy which isn’t making full use of everyone’s abilities. We are wasting valuable resources.

    We are then living below our means.

  • Bernard Aris 26th Sep '17 - 4:03pm

    Thanks, Caron for putting this on LDV as well as attending us to its Youtube existence.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Nicks interview, his analyses and his wit and wisdom.

    It matches perfectly with David Laws’ masterful, insightful and very readable (amost unputdownable) book “Coalition”.

    Nick looks and sounds just like the Dutch party leader I became a D66 member and activist for back in 1976 (grandpa retells an old story): Jan Terlouw (see: ). Terlouw is 86 now, and he too once was party leader and vice-prime ministrer in a electorally disastrous, but programmatically and policywise fruitful, if short-lived coalition.

    Having a conversation between Jan and Nick with their similar experiences and wisdom would be an amazing thing to witness.

    According to Matthew Parris from the Times, we’re on the eve of one of those miraculous Libdem Revivals; with people like this among us, who could doubt that?

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