I still agree with Nick!
January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
I watched Nick Clegg’s appearance on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One yesterday morning with great interest.
It’s been a hugely difficult few months for the leader of our party who, at times, has looked physically ill with the strain of it all.
So, I was interested in watching his first sit down, set-piece TV interview of 2011.
Though I don’t agree with every aspect of Coalition Government policy-for example I’m against the trebling of tuition fees-broadly speaking, I still agree with Nick.
I still believe there was no other realistic option for us last Summer, but for us to go into Coalition…albeit with a party that have been our primary opponents over the past twenty or so years.
It’s all too easy to believe the press hype and the Labour lies.
They suggest that we’ve sold out, we’re yellow tories…you know the old lines that get trotted out.
For those of us who are very much social liberals, that is a clear nonsense.
I am very much a Beveridge liberal; I believe in protecting public services, in keeping them free at the point of use, in ensuring that we help and protect the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society.
And, that is what this Coalition Government is doing.
Would I like to see a more socially liberal agenda? Yes, of course.
But let’s not forget what we have already achieved: taking the poorest working people out of tax, re-linking pensions to earnings, action on climate change, delaying a decision on replacing trident, the pupil premium, help for part-time students, and on and on.
By any stretch of the imagination they are a host of progressive measures.
In his interview yesterday, Clegg was absolutely right to point out that the Government-and him in particular-needs to be constantly explaining what they’re doing and why, for fear that if they don’t some of the smears and lies of our opponents (both in Parliament and in the media) will become the received wisdom.
We’ll certainly take no lessons from Labour with their record of taking us into an illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, trampling on civil liberties and leaving us with the worst budget deficit in modern history.
Our opponents don’t like it, but we are taking the tough decisions and choices that are needed and are serving, in the national interest.