Stop Bleating from the Sidelines.Start Calling Some Shots; POLITICAL EDITOR NIGEL NELSON FACE TO FACE WITH LIB DEM LEADER NICK CLEGG

The People (London, England), April 11, 2010 | Go to article overview

Stop Bleating from the Sidelines.Start Calling Some Shots; POLITICAL EDITOR NIGEL NELSON FACE TO FACE WITH LIB DEM LEADER NICK CLEGG


THE iron-railed staircase curling up to Nick Clegg's Commons office is flanked by pictures of Liberal leaders.

It is a mini-version of the stairs at No 10 where portraits of all Britain's prime ministers are displayed.

Liberal PMs such as Asquith and Lloyd George have their pictures in both places.

Nick Clegg is unlikely to ever enjoy that honour. But that does not stop him making prime ministerial promises.

He tells me that if People readers vote for him the Lib Dems will put pounds 700 a year back into the pockets of average earners by raising the income tax threshold so you pay no tax on your first pounds 10,000.

It would also mean pounds 100 extra for pensioners.

"It will have to be paid for," he adds. "We will do that by closing huge loopholes that only the rich benefit from.

"Unless people see there is greater fairness in how money is shared out we won't be able together to take the difficult decisions about how to balance the books and plug the holes in the nation's finances.

"We have to sugar the pill. And that's what these tax plans are about. We cannot have an economy run for the benefit of one square mile of the City of London and not for the 100,000 square miles of the rest of the United Kingdom."

That's all very well, Nick. But with the best will in the world you will not be forming the next government. These are decisions which will be taken by David Cameron or Gordon Brown. Whatever you say is just whistling in the wind.

But the Lib Dem leader is a walking triumph of hope over experience. He tells me that almost one in four voters backed his party in the 2005 election. And if one in three were to do so this time then he would form the next government. I begin looking for pigs floating past his office window. The only way his policies have a chance of being implemented is if he holds the balance of power in a hung parliament.

That could see him as Deputy PM and Vince Cable also at the Cabinet table as Chancellor.

Choice

It would not matter whether that Cabinet was led by Brown or Cameron. Nick Clegg could stop bleating from the sidelines and start calling some shots.

He could then make raising income tax thresholds the price of propping up a minority government. But this is tricky ground for a party leader facing the voters at a General Election in 25 days.

Both of us know this. But only one of us can say it. And Nick does not want to go there.

He says: "It's really important for anyone thinking of voting for us to know there are no deals, there's nothing going on in smoke-filled rooms, there's no footsie under the table.

"But if it is the voters' choice that no party should have an absolute majority I'm not going to second guess that choice.

"If there is a party with a stronger mandate than another party then my first duty as a democrat is to say that party should have the first right to seek to govern.

"They must decide whether they want to do that on their own or reach out to other parties. I can't predict what will happen next."

Indeed. But I point out his words are so carefully chosen they do not rule out a deal with the party that comes second if agreement cannot be reached with the party that comes first. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Stop Bleating from the Sidelines.Start Calling Some Shots; POLITICAL EDITOR NIGEL NELSON FACE TO FACE WITH LIB DEM LEADER NICK CLEGG
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.