This is a post that I wrote in late 2007, during Nick Clegg's campaign to be leader of the Liberal Democrats. I think I might have had something there. I actually had a text from a friend of mine after the second Leaders' Debate of this campaign saying that I might have been right about Nick after all. At that time I wrote that "I honestly believe we would soar as a party with him as leader", and about his genuineness and his being a fully paid up member of the human race and his ability to make complex policies sound relevant to people's lives, all qualities that have come to the fore in this campaign.
Linda Jack has given her 10 reasons to vote for Nick Clegg, all of which I can agree with. I doubt I can do it as eloquently as her, but I feel I should have a try:
He is a Liberal who knows how to communicate Liberal values to the very many people who have not yet voted for us; he has already done this on a smaller scale in the East Midlands and can do so now across the UK;
He is brave enough to risk prison to protect our civil liberties; he was brave enough to give up a secure job in the European Commission to go for a Euro-seat that was marginal to say the least;
He will lead by inspiration, not diktat, bringing people with him. He understands the Party and how it works;
He is capable of listening to other points of view;
He understands what devolution is all about and how things work in Scotland and Wales;
He has a rare ability to connect with people, whether individually or as part of a greater audience; he is able to empathise and is made angry by injustice, poverty and abuse of power;
He can make the most complex policy come to life so that the listener not only understands what he's saying but can relate to it;
He has a very good sense of humour - great for PMQs;
He speaks with credibility and authority and has the intellectual capacity to very quickly understand complex issues; I can see him on the international stage promoting liberal values;
I like him and trust him as a person as well as a politician. He is a proper human and what you see is what you get with him. I honestly believe we would soar as a party with him as leader.
Just to balance things, he is not perfect - he, like Willie Rennie, has taken the mickey out of my driving and got away with it - just:-)