Saturday, May 08, 2010

Clegg, Risk & the Courage to Dare

I've just remembered something from a conversation I had with Nick Clegg once. I said to him that he had taken one or two risks as LibDem leader, which I couldn't have imagined any of his predecessors taking. He replied...

What's the point of playing safe. In politics, sometimes you have to take a risk. Especially if you are leader of a third party.

The news channels are reporting that Clegg and Cameron had a one on one meeting tonight, lasting for over an hour at Admiralty House. It was described as "constructive and amicable".

The fact is that both party leaders are taking risks, which if things go wrong, will be very damaging to them personally. Good on them for having the courage to dare.


John said...

It's Cleggy who has gone way down in my estimation, albeit from a fairly low starting position. All of that about him being different, 'not like the other two'. What rot. The man is lacking in any core values. I can forgive Cameron for being wrong on policy, I cannot forgive Cleggy for being so shallow.

J Demetriou said...

Why is it daring? There aren't many other options, are there? Brown has lost the plot, minority rule is a huge danger economically in the circumstances.

I think you like the Liberal prospect of things because you aren't that far away from being a Lib Dem yourself.

Why you call yourself Tory is anyone's guess.

Jake Ellett said...

I think Clegg would be foolish not to do an agreement with Cameron. The electorate would not forgive him if he props up Labour and in turn creating a 'progressive alliance'. What a load of rubbish.

Oh yes, please read my message to UKIP on my blog! A little controversial.

Jimmy said...

It all seems straightforward. PR in exchange for No. 10. Only an inexperienced lightweight with a false sense of entitlement could blow this now.

Sparrow said...

The breaking point is electoral reform. My offer would be this.

1. A commission to come up with 3 options for reform - GPTP, PR and another. To return with options by end of August - its not that hard. If anyone thinks it is, think again.

2. A commitment to a referendum on these. The question is to rank the options, 1-3.

3. If an option gets 20% more than any other then it wins. Otherwise the 2nd choice is taken, added to the first and the same test is made.

The one that wins gets legislation. Pre-written by the commission.

4. Tories can campaign for their own choice.

In other words let US decide please. You remember us don't you ? The poor sods who pay for all of this cr@p...

Grand_Inquisitor said...

I think that there is a straightforward way ahead for the talks that meets the desires and constraints of both the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems, as well as going some way to meeting the desire of the electorate for change in Parliament.

It is:

i) Have a partially elected Upper Chamber;

ii) Whose election is by proportional representation.

This way we the electorate can try PR out and see if we are comfortable with it.

Such electoral reform would meet both the concerns of the FPTP Fox wing of the Tories for the Commons mandate, and the PR desires of the Lib-Dems. This reform would be in addition to those already proposed by the Parties.

Just Wonderful said...

One thing I cannot understand (well I can but I just wanted to write that) is that if, as they say, the National Interest is everyones priority what the bloody hell are they even talking about voting systems for? National Interest my fat hairy arse. Self interest is what is leading to delays.

Mirtha Tidville said...

consider this..if Dismal Dave had honoured his pledge to give us a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, UKIP have stood aside and given him a working majority..hoisted by his owner petard.......he deserves all he gets....the thought of cleggover and red vince anywhere near to power is truely sickening....

Jimmy said...

Ah yes that old chestnut. LibDems wish for PR is selfish and partisan whereas the tory commitment to FPTP (not to mention their proposed gerrymander) is noble and patriotic.

I really hope bumface tries to run that argument. It'll be a short meeting.

Terry said...

Clegg does not have a choice here. He won't work with Brown, understandably, and it takes for ever for Labour to elect a new leader. Lord Rumba of Rio, as Simon Heffer calls him, seems to be hinting he can get that process by-passed. Cameron's trump card is surely another election? Only the Tories can afford one. Labour is almost bankrupt and the LibDims are (they can only fight an election once every 5 years with difficulty even accepting money from convicted fraudsters). An early election in October, say, could sort things properly.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

This is all talk and wishful thinking on the part of the soft left MSM.

On Tuesday afternoon, at about 2.30pm, on taking advice from her senior privy councillors and at the height of a world-wide financial panic, HM The Queen will ask Alan Johnson to head up an administration that he believes will command the majority of The House, despite not being Leader of the Labour Party.

A straight jacket will be seen to enter the back of No.10.

So it goes.

Time for Cameroon, the Blair clown to exit stage left.

Taxed until the pips squeak, the right will take solace in the emergence under PR of a proper party of the right. Safe in the knowledge that under proper PR spin just doesn't work and the importance of the soft left MSM and its influence over floating voters in marginal seats will die.

Intentionally Blank said...

Jimmy, take the hint, mate. Your beloved leader has destroyed your party, bankrupting it and the country in the process. Yet you're still on here, sniping at the party with the most votes like a snotty shop steward taking shots at the management toffs.

You're beaten. Is it too much to ask that you have the grace to be a good loser and leave running the country to people not obsessed with phony class war and gutter politics?

Lady Finchley said...

Yes, thank you, Mirtha Tidville and your fellow Euro-bores - you have done the country SO much good. Now, get this - the Lisbon Treaty was already ratified - DC could have had 30 referenda and it wouldn't have changed a thing. It was legally impossible. And, we're not getting out of Europe - ever.

DespairingLiberal said...

Yet in the Observer this morning we see news that Hague has developed a fiercely EU-bashing and withdrawalist agenda and will be hostile to the main centre-Right parties in Europe - I don't see how Clegg can possibly maintain a government with that plan.

Also more disturbing confirmation on Radio 4 early this morning that Christian Fundamentalists have a new stranglehold on Tory policies, with many of their MPs having been elected and right-wing evangelical money having strongly moved the vote. They will be baying for faith-schools teaching Creationism, an end to abortion, removal of women from the workplace - all anathema to Liberal Democrats.

I do seriously wonder how workable all this is.

javelin said...

NOW is not the time for compromise.

Cameron must seize the moment and balance the English side of the democratic equation. He must firm an English Parliament and the Celtic leaders in charge of their own Ministry.

Cameron will get no respect touching his toes for Clegg. He should tell the left their agenda has failed and aim to see the Celtic nations to be financially independent.

Iain your direction is weak and lack any politically philosophy. Cosying up with Clegg is as bad as Brown seeking power for powers sake.

Roger Thornhill said...

And while this plays out, Gordon Brown has yet another Downfall

tonybutcher said...

Why a Lib/Lab pact could be political suicide for the Lib Dems -

Libertarian said...

Sorry I don't see why this requires courage from Nick Clegg. This is the norm of a PR political system. Horse trading is what Clegg and the others would be doing after every election under our present feudal election system adopts PR

wild said...

What a prize idiot you are Despairing Liberal.

Has it really passed you by that the Conservative Party is seeking to reform our membership of the corrupt, inefficient, undemocratic, centralist, cash hungry EU. This comes as a revelation to you does it? Where have you been living - Planet Ignorance?

As for the Conservative Party "baying for...teaching Creationism, an end to abortion, removal of women from the workplace" I think you need to put down that cherry brandy and have a lie down.

The elephant in the room is the fact that Liberal Democrats base their defence of PR on the claim that it is right for there to be coalitions of political parties, because it will reflect a diversity of views, when in reality many of its rank and file members are opposed to any coalition with the "Tories" on the grounds that they voted Lib Dem not "Tory" at the last election!

It just reveals their arguments in favour of PR as a complete and utter sham. If they wanted a Left government they should have voted for the Labour Party.

Again, what is the point of the Lib Dem's?

Roger Thornhill said...


It is quite clear that we need to have a referendum on the form of voting needed for the referendum on the form of voting in General Elections.

Lady Finchley said...

I see that Despairing Liberal is foaming at the mouth as usual.