Thursday, 2 April 2015

Things I’m wishing Clegg would say tonight (in his opening remarks)

Following on from the post of the same name over at Nik’s Blog, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts on what I would like to hear in Nick's opening remarks.

I can’t stress how important Nick’s 2-minute introduction is to the air-war. It is likely to be the only LibDem 2-minutes in the entire campaign (before postal votes) that anyone properly listens to. And I include the rest of the debate in this as I can’t believe many normal people will last 2 hours of politics!

I know it’s all about the ground war this time but it needs supporting fire and the air-war is shaping up badly for us this time. The establishment media is going all out for a return to 2 party politics. You wouldn’t know there were other parties or impartiality rules from watching the news.

In some previous General Elections, the party famously had students with stopwatches to tot up the unequal airtime so this evidence could be presented to the public service broadcasters thus forcing them into corrective action. I hope we are doing something similar this time.

In contrast to Nik, I don’t think Nick should attack other parties, define ourselves in terms of others parties or even mention them really. I don’t think he should try and explain our decision 5 years ago, give a reasoned argument for coalition or apologise for decisions made.
This can all be woven into the debate and closing remarks. However people (even the most uninterested civilian) have an opinion on this and will not change it now. They have heard the arguments all before. We need to tell them something they don't already know.

What they wouldn’t have heard or would be new to them is the long list of positive achievements that we can be rightly proud of (and I suspect people assume we just see the coalition as a complete disaster for us - and therefore so should they - and maybe be surprised that we don't - well not completely!).

So my ideal opening speech would have no introduction or opening words but would just go straight into an exhaustive list of achievements:

"Investing 2.5 billion pounds in our schools through the Pupil Premium, to benefit the most disadvantaged kids
Cutting taxes for working people by over 800 pounds a year
Ending exclusivity clause in zero-hour contracts (important to get that one in)

Gay Marriage

Green Bank
Reforming pensions so Women for career breaks are no longer penalised
Free School Meals


These are all Liberal Democrat achievements in government. We did all this as a minority party in a 5-year collation. If you compare our record to that of the last government that was in power for 13-years with stonking majorities which meant they could do what they like and didn’t have to compromise with any other parties, I don’t think it’s too shabby. 

The more Liberal Democrats that are elected, the more Liberal Democrat influence and policies you will get."

If we get this in early and just maybe force the other smaller parties (Conservative and Labour will ignore us in the main I think) to just say “Whilst they may have achieved a few good things, the LibDems are mainly lying treacherous b*rstards” this would be a step forward!