Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nick Clegg: Liberals trust and govern for the people #ldconf

By the magic of technology,  I am able to post some extracts from Nick Clegg's speech to Liberal Democrat Conference in Sheffield this morning.

I'll do a greater analysis later, but for me the thing that I get from it is that we are doing as we always have done. Opponents say we've sold out, but in reality, what we are contributing to the Government is a series of ideas which put our long held liberalism into action.

Over to Nick......

The banner at this conference says: In government, on your side.
Some people have asked me: whose side, exactly?
My answer is simple. We're on the side of the people I call Alarm Clock Britain.
The side of everyone who wants to get up and get on.
People who, unlike the wealthy, have no choice but to work hard to make ends meet.
People who are proud to support themselves but are only ever one pay cheque from their overdraft.
People who believe in self-reliance but who don't want to live in a dog-eat-dog world.
Who want everyone who can to work hard but they want children, the elderly and the vulnerable to be looked after too.
People who believe it is as wrong to opt out of tax as it is to opt out of working.
People who want the best for their children and need good local schools.
Who rely on our NHS. Who want great public services but can't stand seeing government waste.
People who don't want politicians lecturing them on how to live. And who are fed up with politicians taking their votes for granted.
These are the people liberals have always fought for. Fought to get them votes, wages, jobs and welfare.
In government, especially in difficult times, it is more important than ever to know whose side you are on.
When money is tight you have to make choices. And the only way to get them right is to know who you are making those choices for.
We are on the side of Alarm Clock Britain. The other parties say they are but always let them down.
They have been failed for generations. Failed by the tired tribalism of left and right.
Failed because both of those political traditions forget about people and place their faith in institutions.
For the left, an obsession with the state. For the right, a worship of the market.
But as liberals, we place our faith in people. People with power and opportunity in their hands.
Our opponents try to divide us with their outdated labels of left and right.
But we are not on the left and we are not on the right.
We have our own label: Liberal.
We are liberals and we own the freehold to the centre ground of British politics.
Governing from the middle, for the middle.
In government. On your side.


1 comment:

KelvinKid said...

I've read this speech before surely. Is this warmed-over vacuity actually what he's just delivered to Conference?

And I remind him, not for the first time, that we are Liberal DEMOCRATS.


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