I agree with Nick!

September 20, 2010 § 1 Comment

Today Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made his bid to unite our party behind the coalition and I, for one, believe he succeeded.

As befitting the speech of the Deputy PM it was wide-ranging and, of course, it was meant for two separate audiences: 1) his own party faithful and 2) the wider public.

Having watched the coverage of his speech live on BBC Parliament, it appeared there was a genuine excitement in the conference hall and a great deal of support for Nick.

He rallied the faithful with talk of his continuing belief that the Iraq War was illegal (a belief I share), of the revitalising of the civil liberties agenda thanks to Lib Dems in this Government, and other such popular points.

But the potentially sticky points for Clegg, him defending the need, at this very tough time for our economy and with a massive deficit, for cuts-cuts which he admitted, in an ideal world, he would not want to be making but which are vital due to the dreadful mess Labour left us in after their thirteen years in Government.

As someone on the centre-left of our party I do find these cuts difficult, of course I do, but I also recognise that we cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this problem doesn’t exist and leave the debt-always growing-to have to be paid off by future generations.

I believe our Lib Dem Ministers, such as the brilliant Danny Alexander, when they say that they spend a lot of their time ensuring that any cuts that do have to be made are as fair as possible and that the poorest in our country are helped, not hindered, by economic measures.

Those of us who joined the party because of its belief in helping the most vulnerable people in society, will be holding the Government to account to ensure that they do just that.

I have faith in our party leadership, in Nick and Simon Hughes, in Vince Cable and Danny and the rest of our excellent Ministerial team.

I believe they will continue to do the right thing.

Those who doubt that’s the case in our party need to find a bit of backbone.

Now is not the time for a wobble.

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