Nick Clegg: Delivering for Britain?
Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 20th September, 2010
It’s two-and-a-half years since Nick Clegg stood on the platform of the Liverpool Conference Centre as the new, fresh-faced leader of the Liberal Democrats and promised to confront the challenges ahead. But as he said himself in his leader’s speech, once more in Liverpool, this afternoon, there was no way he could have imagined then that he would be speaking to us now as Deputy Prime Minister in a Coalition government that is dedicated to delivering change in Britain. Much of his speech was sombre, as it had to be, given the cuts that the Government says are necessary to implement in order to bring Britain back from the brink of bankruptcy after years of Labour profligacy. And as is inevitable in any coalition arangement (familiar on the Continent, and even in Scotland and Wales, even if it is a novelty at Westminster), neither partner has got exactly the policies it wanted or campaigned on. There are some difficult areas for Liberal Democrats, not least the speed of the cuts and the thorny issue of free schools. But as I said on BBC News, when a TV reporter caught me coming out of the conference hall, we are proud of where Nick Clegg has taken us and we are determined to make this government and the new style of British politics work.