Friday, November 02, 2007

Feet firmly on the Ground

I have decided not to be a floating voter any more. The various events and policy pronouncements of the past week have made me feel that the Party has the best future with Nick Clegg as leader.

I don't expect to agree with everything he says on policy, and will contribute to the debates through the Party's proper channels at the appropriate time.

I've gone for Nick because:

He has the personal skills to really connect with people. I saw the way he got the East Midlands on his side in 1998 during his selection contest. It was going to be a bit of a longshot for a Brussels based outsider to end up on top of the list, but he blew the Selection Committee away at his interview and worked so hard to meet people, listen to them and persuade them to support him. I am confident htat he will do the same on a larger scale with the country.

He has the authority and exprience to lead Nick can speak with authority and credibility on many issues. If anyone can bring people round to our position on Europe, he can. His record as Home Affairs spokesman has been excellent - a pragmatic approach on immigration and vehement and constructive opposition to ID cards.

Now why is a peace loving hippie like me not supporting the anti-Trident candidate? If you look at the small print, Chris's bomb might not be as big and flashy as Nick's, but it's a bomb nonetheless. Neither of these candidates are up for unilateral nuclear disarmament so the issue is neutral between them.

I've also been impressed by how Nick has handled Scotland. He's come, he's listened to the Scottish Party and activists. He has been prepared to understand how politics is different up here and hear ideas on where the Party needs to go.

Much as I respect Chris, the People's Veto idea, which I fear could paralyse Parliament rather than enliven it, and the English votes for English issues statement made me realise I could not support him.

With Nick, what you see is what you get. I know I'm going to disagree with him on some points in the future, but I believe he has all the qualities to take the Party forward.

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