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Nick Clegg - Spring Conference - 8th March 2014The Liberal Democrats are working to build astronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That's why in Government we have given 24 million people a £700 tax cut, created 1 million jobs and helped 1.5 million apprentices.

That's 5,500 more people in work every working day!

5500 people every working day

We are the only party that can anchor Britain in the centre ground, ensuring we have sustainable growth and equality of opportunity.

Labour can't be trusted with the economy, in government they would drag Britain to the left, borrowing too much, spending too much and risking the recovery.

And the Conservatives can't be trusted to treat people fairly. If Liberal Democrats weren't in Government, the Tories would focus attention on the best-off, let employers fire staff without cause and allow schools to be run for profit.

Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.


Recent updates

  • Michael Mullaney Canvassing in Desford
    Article: Jan 31, 2015

    Today Saturday members and supporters had a great Action Day in Bosworth. A hardy group braved the snow to canvass or deliver and the rest of the team stayed in the warm and helped stuff masses of envelopes.

    and the less brave enjoyed a hot lunch

    Our next Action Day is on Saturday 28th February at the home of the Mayor and Mayoress of Hinckley Jeff and Trish Bannister, 24 Ashby Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1SLjoyed

  • Article: Jan 31, 2015

    Nick Clegg briefly won over his critics last night on The Last Leg, in an appearance that saw him call Boris Johnson "more of a t**" than a statesman and admit he has wanted to slap David Cameron on multiple occasions.

    In a lively interview on the late-night chat show, the Deputy Prime Minister took a ribbing from Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker.

    After putting Clegg in the hot seat, Brooker made sure he didn't evade questions with his handy "bull*** buzzer", telling him: "I want a guarantee from you, right here, right now, no bull****".

    Clegg's broken promises over university fees were unsurprisingly brought up early on, with Brooker asking: "How sh***y do you feel about what you did with the tuition fees?"

    Clearly uncomfortable, Clegg replied: "Ermmmm, I'm not Prime Minister, so I can't do everything that I want." But when pushed to describe how guilty he felt on a scale of one to ten, he replied: "Nine-and-a-half".

    Nick Clegg playing 'Palin or prom queen' Brooker also posed the 'statesman or a t***' question to Clegg, asking which one he thought he was more of. He replied: "A bit more of the latter".

    However, he would to not be drawn into answering who he preferred over the Prime Minister or George Osborne, but did say Labour's Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, talks "a lot of sense on Europe".

    Clegg invited the Prime Minister to sit in the bull**** hotseat after him, but denied wishing he had gone into a coalition with Labour instead, saying: "I just think they have both got it a bit wrong at the moment, actually. I think they are both lurching left and right."

    The conversation took a (slightly) more serious turn when Clegg was questioned about the Russian president Vladimir Putin. This time, Clegg avoided the 'statesman or t**' choice posed by the presenters but did suggest Putin's annexation of Crimea was spurred by "panic".

    "I get the impression he has almost backed himself into a corner a bit," he said, "he sort of panicked about what was going on in … some people in the press particularly sort of describe him as this white cat, as if he is easy to control - I actually think he panicked terribly when he saw all of these demonstrations in Kiev and Ukraine. He thought, 'well we are going to lose control in Ukraine,' then he charged into Crimea and I think he's stumbled actually, and he's now lost a lot of friends and it's bad for the Russian people."

    Clegg even managed to squeeze an analogy about the election involving Nando's, describing not voting as like going into the high street food chain, not putting in an order and then complaining if you were unhappy with what you were served.

    Last but not least, Clegg threw a melon at Brooker, who had a blade taped to his foot to despatch the oncoming fruit.

    Brooker also took the opportunity to mock Clegg's part in the Coalition government when he grabbed hold of the presenter's pocket handkerchief. Brooker, who has a disability, told him: "You've done enough bad things to the disabled."

    The episode can be watched in full on Channel 4oD

    Comment

    Cllr John Sutherington - Charnwood

    Now that was funny and no matter how many times they tried to break him down and say something like **** off he wasn't having any of it, well done Mr Clegg. And yes I've thought of giving Mr Cameron a slap with a frosted Kipper. I wonder if Mr Cameron could actually appear on this programme himself?

  • Michael Mullaney Canvassing in Desford
    Article: Jan 31, 2015
  • NHS
    Article: Jan 31, 2015
    By Karen Hambridge in Hinckley Times

    Despite Mr Tredinnick's pleas his faith in less mainstream medical care was not supported by Government health chiefs

    Alternative therapy proponent David Tredinnick has pitched in with the possibility of complementary practitioners being the solution to the current A&E crisis.

    The Tory MP for Bosworth raised the issue with the Department of Health saying: "To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of regulated complementary and alternative medical practitioners to reducing demands on the NHS."

  • Stephen Worrall
    Article: Jan 31, 2015

    Stephen Worrall is supporting the campaign for Flood Free Homes which launched on Tuesday 20th January.

    The campaign has been launched by the Association of British Insurers, supported by Friends of the Earth, Know Your Flood Risk, National Flood Forum, and the Property Care Association's Flood Protection Group. The aim of the campaign is to raise the issue of long term flood defence investment and land and water management.

  • Mark Pack
    Article: Jan 31, 2015
    By Mark Pack

    Tudor Jones's The Revival of British Liberalism: from Grimond to Clegg concentrates on the history of liberal thought rather than of Liberal organisation, but it contains an important nugget still very relevant to the Liberal Democrats. It's about former Liberal Party leader Jo Grimond and his realignment strategy:

  • Tuition Fees
    Article: Jan 30, 2015
    By Sarah Dougherty in Redbrick - http://www.redbrick.me/ge2015/election-comment/in-defence-of-the-liberal-democrats/

    The Chair of Birmingham University's Liberal Democrat society explains why she thinks you should vote for the party in May

    To quote Nick Clegg, I'm sorry. I don't think a political party should be establishing its appeal to the electorate on an apology, but it seems to be essential when talking about why the Liberal Democrats should get your vote. Consequently, the party finds itself on the backfoot; seeking to defend against critique, rather than forward our own policies. But we can defend ourselves.

    The 2010 general election did not give a single party majority. Obviously. What is less so is why polls didn't reopen. It's fair to say that after 6 weeks of intense campaigning, and many months of establishing hype beforehand, the momentum towards the election was spent. The public would not have appreciated it, sick of empty promises and grandstanding, and anyway, the money was spent too. While the two parties bankrolled by private bankers or trade unions wouldn't have as big a problem replacing it, for smaller parties - including the Liberal Democrats - the money invested in those constituencies to defend and win seats was gone, and reopening the campaign would have simply collapsed due to a lack of staff, a lack of literature, and a lack of enthusiasm by activists who'd already given everything for the first round.

    Entering a coalition was therefore the only realistic move the Liberal Democrats had open, and entering a coalition with the Conservatives the only one with potential for long-term stability. A two-party coalition with a sizeable majority is undeniably easier to keep afloat than entering coalition with Labour and, lacking at least 11 MPs to make it reach the threshold of 326 for a majority, requiring the myriad support of a range of smaller parties from the DUP to the Greens. Such an arrangement would surely generate more disagreement from political minnows who'd demand far greater concessions to their one agenda in order to support bills to which they were diametrically opposed.

    If we think for just a moment, the Conservatives were the only option. With the Tories initially having 307 MPs and the Liberals just 57, the Liberals find themselves outnumbered roughly 5 to 1. We don't live in a country which is democratic in a meaningful sense; these results don't represent the fact that the Conservatives have 36% of the vote and the Liberals 23%, for example, which is why we tried (and failed) to reform the voting system, which would it a little more reflective of the actual spread of opinion and results in the UK. In coalition, it often means that we simply can't torpedo the vast majority of bills, and when we do, it's criticised as "deeply dishonourable" anyway.

    And then there's the elephant in the room. That old chestnut. Tuition fees. As the chair of the Guild's Liberal Youth branch, and the vice chair for two years before, it's fair to say that I've heard of these before. What's less well-known is that in the run up to the 2010 election, there was a report commissioned into higher education funding (which our own overpaid Vice Chancellor at Birmingham was instrumental in) called the Brown Report. Both Labour and the Tories wanted to implement it to the full. When it was published, naturally after the election so neither of them were tied to the unpopular results before the polls opened, it recommended £16,000 fees. In coalition, the Liberal Democrats reduced this high threshold down to a slightly less high one; the £9000 figure we all know and hate. There was also substantive reform of the repayment system, increasing the threshold from £15,000 to £21,000, and several other concessions the Conservatives almost certainly wouldn't have brought in alone. Arguably, we were punching above our weight in this fight. The political realities of the situation meant this was the least bad of a range of undesirable moves, which probably would have prematurely collapsed the coalition to widespread condemnation. Calling it a total betrayal is also unfair, as 21 of our 57 MPs voted against it. It also demands a wilful ignorance of Labour's own dismal record; promising to keep education free in 1997, and creating fees in 1999, then promising to keep them capped in 2001, and then tripling them in 2003. To present them as a "voice for students" is disingenuous; not that anyone would tell you that.

    And then there's the simple fact that everyone was predicting the collapse of the coalition. The scaremongering was profound and widespread; it'll not last for more than six months, we'll have a Parliament marked by rebellions and disloyalty, we'll have a legislative agenda that ranges from incoherent to non-existent. And here I am, five years later, defending its record. That says quite a lot for the stability that the Liberal Democrats can give any future coalitions, doesn't it? I think so.


    Sarah Dougherty is an LGBTQ Guild Councillor and a third year Politics and Philosophy student. She contributes primarily about the Guild.

  • Article: Jan 30, 2015
    By Catherine Royce in Liberal Democrat Voice

    To be frank, as a doctor, I have been underwhelmed by our Liberal Democrat offering on health issues over the years; certainly we are not as strong on health as we should be.

    The almost daily drip feed from the right wing press on NHS shortcomings and failures is demoralising to staff and frightening to patients and designed to be so. It serves no-one except those who want to undermine the public's confidence in the NHS. The service treats three quarters of a million patients every day of the year, and for most people there is no alternative.

  • Stephen Worrall
    Article: Jan 30, 2015

    High Peak Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Stephen Worrall has backed calls for better provision of support for local people in mental health crisis.

    Mind, the mental health charity, is calling for local services to deliver on their promise to improve the support for people who are suicidal, self-harming or in psychosis.

  • Option 1 Two Unitaries
    Article: Jan 30, 2015
    By Cllr John Marriott - Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Lincolnshire County Council

    We need to make local government work better for us all

    We all owe local councils, large and small, a great deal. Their existence, since Victorian times, strengthened by the Local Government Act of 1894, has brought us many things we take for granted today, such as clean water, sewerage, gas, electricity, social housing, education and much, much more. These services exist largely thanks to the efforts of generations of elected members in cities and towns up and down the country whose effectiveness only really started to wane after the Second World War. At one time cutting your teeth in local government used to be seen as a good grounding for a career in national politics. Not many aspiring national politicians have chosen this route in recent years and no wonder. Thanks to successive governments of all colours over the past hundred years grabbing ever more power for themselves, local government is now a poor shadow of its former self and this lack of public esteem is often reflected in the poor turnouts in local elections.