Thursday, 20 September 2012

Nick Clegg apologises

Last night when I saw the email from Nick Clegg entitled "it is difficult to say this but..." I honestly thought he was resigning.

My heart lodged in my throat as I fought to stream the video.

I, personally, feel Clegg has done a good job. Well as good as anyone can do in a Coalition. Yeah we've had to back down on things, I was disappointed about Trident, I was deeply hurt when we had to abandon Lords reform and I, like many was devastated over Tuition fees.

The decision to vote with the Government and not stand by the pledge like Julian Huppert or Greg Mulholland, or even to abstain like Simon Hughes has been a millstone around his neck and it has cast a shadow over everything we have achieved in Parliament and I fear that this will be the Libdem legacy and what he is remembered for.

According to Andrew Grice's report in today's I;

He decided to "fess up" to the country during his summer holiday in Spain - and refused to be talked out of it

There are suspicions that he has made this move to boost his flagging popularity, fend off talks of a leadership crisis at Conference or to just make a point. I believe, and you can call me naive if you want, that he is genuinely sorry. After all it was conference who voted to continue the campaign against tuition fee rises when leadership knew holding to it was a risky gamble especially with the high prospect of a Hung Parliament yet they continued on with it.

How many of our politicians actually apologise for their mistakes? Not many.

I think it takes real balls to come forward with this, to open himself up to the criticism that was rained down on Twitter and Youtube and even the press.

The Liberal Democrats have done a lot of good in this Coalition, and even though it would be easy to blame the Tories for all the bad stuff we must hold our hands up and accept a slice of the blame but being in Government means adult decisions, tough problems that need resolving in the worst deficit that we, as a nation, have seen in a ludicrous time. May be it would have been better to sit in the comfort zone of opposition and sniping about cuts and tuition rises but we have rolled up our sleeves and got involved for better or worse.

All Nick, and indeed I, would ask the electorate to do is to judge the party on its successes as well as its shocking defeats. Look at the toddlers who are getting free pre-school, look at the higher threshold on income taxes... Clegg has worked hard and fought hard, even recently calming down Michael Gove's education bill... Coalitions' are tough, especially with the problems and the amount of change and reform that was needed in this country, and there are not always going to be wins.

Any way, that's enough from me... If you haven't already seen it, here's Nick and I'll let you all judge for yourselves.

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