Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nick Clegg: I will fight for British jobs and interests after "bad for Britain" summit

For the second Sunday in a row, I got up to see Nick Clegg on the Andrew Marr Show.

I think Liberal Democrats have been in shock this weekend, trying to make sense of the shenanigans of the Brussels summit which have left us, at least temporarily, isolated in Europe.

On Friday, I just threw myself into frenzied spate of cleaning, tackling both behind the sofa and the rabbit hutch on the same day, simply as displacement activity so I didn't have to think of the ramifications of it all because I was so upset by it.

By yesterday, every time I thought of David Cameron, I couldn't get rid of the thought of him in his jammies singing "All by myself" like Bridget Jones does. And, frankly, Bridget doesn't quite think that being all by herself is quite how she wants to spend her life.

I didn't expect Nick to come out with all guns blazing and call Cameron for everything. It's just not his way. His focus will have been on how to retrieve the situation - and if he wants Cameron to listen to him, he has to moderate his language. I tweeted my way through the live broadcast, and the results are below, but the main points are:

  • what happened on Friday is bad for Britain
  • what David Cameron was asking for was modest and reasonable
  • Britain's standing in the world depends on us being seen as a leader within the EU
  • there is no case for a referendum on Europe
  • we must take opportunities to exert UK influence in coming months
  • "I will fight for UK long term interests so jobs and growth not threatened"
I completely stuffed up the reporting of one quote from him, so I'll do it properly here. While he showed understanding for David Cameron's position, "I'm not under the same constraints from my parliamentary party as he is," he had a right go a the Eurosceptics:
 Eurosceptics are spectacularly misguided. Nothing bulldog about Britain hovering in mid Atlantic, isolated and not taken seriously
I think Nick got the tone absolutely right this morning - calm, reasonable, and with an attitude of "let's get this sorted".  If I had any criticism at all, I think he needs to counter the bulldog bile with some more really practical, everyday examples of how our daily life could be affected if we don't sort this out.

Nick's credentials at international negotiation are second to none. He's negotiated with China on behalf of the EU and he knows Europe backwards. We saw during the leaders' debates that Cameron doesn't perform well in a high pressure situation when he's trying to put his case and Thursday night was a spectacularly bad day for him. If Cameron has any sense at all, he'll listen to Nick's advice on how to fix this. 

It's more important than ever that the Coalition stays together, otherwise the right wing Tory eurosceptics will win and xenophobia and isolation will become the norm for this country.

Anyway, here are my tweets from Nick's appearance on Marr. I'll put up the iPlayer link when it's available.


Anonymous said...

It's more important than ever that the Coalition stays together, otherwise the right wing Tory eurosceptics will win and xenophobia and isolation will become the norm for this country.

Sorry Caron this is not the case.

Walk out of the coalition, bring down Cameron's government and let the people decide.

The trouble is, that Xmas is here and if given a vote Turkeys would not vote for it.

Bring down Dave and you are toast.

Dubbieside said...

Will he do as good a job fighting for British jobs as he did fighting against tuition fees?

After all he was so passionate about no tuition fees he signed a pledge saying the Lib Dums would never support them. How did that work out again?

BTW I am still waiting for you to tell me where the £3 billion Brazilian investment is going, which jobs, whose pockets? Or was this yet another Lib/Moore fantasy?

KelvinKid said...

"..what David Cameron was asking for was modest and reasonable"

No it was not: "much of British finance in whose name Cameron exercised his veto – routine banking, insurance and accounting – was wholly unaffected by any treaty change.". See

Anonymous said...


I have a lot of time for you.

Your blogs are your thoughts, hopes and opinions.

You have never censored my post even the more asinine ranting ones.

Increasingly I read you having to do mental gymnastics to justify the stupidity of others in your Party.

In days gone by I voted Liberal but living in he NE Fife under Ming led me to question your Party.

I believe you are a first class SMP and a worthy occupant of a seat at Holyrood but please, please, do something about your party otherwise it will no longer exist north or south of Hadrian's Wall.

As someone who supports the SNP and Independence for Scotland I would not wish to see the true values of the real Liberal Party die because of parvenu careerists.

You are needed in Holyrood and after independence, even more.

Do something please.

cynicalHighlander said...

Ermine for a few at the expense of the majority in this disunited Kingdom.

Unknown said...

I never said £3 billion, Dubbieside - it's £3 million which they hoped to bring back to Scotland from that week alone in Brazil.

LI, that was a very nice thing to say, but I have no ambitions to be an MSP - I'm strictly a background girl. That means I don't consider myself under any obligation to blindly support what the party does in Government - you'll see from what I've written about welfare reform, for instance, that there's some stuff I really don't agree with.

However, I think we are doing some good stuff in the coalition. I've known Nick Clegg for 13 years and I have a lot of faith in him. He is a much more sensible, strong, wise, liberal decent person than his press coverage would suggest. He and the rest of our ministers have made mistakes, but they've done some excellent stuff too from making much of our manifesto a reality to stopping Tory ministers doing some really appalling things.

In Scotland, we have a fabulously energetic, dynamic leader who is leading with his heart, putting liberal values, not a list of policies, front and centre.

It's been a challenging 18 months for my party, but I love it as much as I always did and will never leave it.

Dubbieside said...


You did indeed say £3million, I was probably still surprised that you still have not said which businesses would benefit and which pockets this money would go into.

"Which they hoped to bring back to Scotland" is that Lib Dem shorthand for we never actually got any money but if the BBC had bothered to report it, it would make a good sound bite.


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