Friday, October 26, 2007

It has to be Clegg!

A couple of weeks ago I had the great honour of addressing a group of 6th form politics students at one of our local upper schools. Their teacher was at pains to reassure me that despite the pasting they had given our local Tory PPC the previous week, she didn't think I would have the same trouble given that they were much more sympathetic to the Lib Dems. So, as anticipated I had a great time. Nice easy questions, lots of opportunity to explain our policies and priorities. Only one thing they couldn't understand was our choice of leader. What could I say? As it happened within days we were faced with the prospect of choosing a new leader.

I have said it before and will say it again, our narrative must coalesce around our leader. We are the dynamic, radical party that appeals to young people, we need a leader who will live up to that image. But we also need a leader with sound liberal values, who will ensure our distinctiveness from the other two Tory parties.

That is why I am backing Nick Clegg. Nick is the candidate who for me is best equipped to get our message across. There are few people in politics with such incredible communication skills. He is a man of deep compassion and his politics is rooted in believing - it doesn't have to be like this for the millions in this country who remain in poverty in a country where the gap between rich and poor has widened under a Labour government.

There has been a lot of idle chatter about Nick being right wing. This is total piffle. Nick is first and foremost an instinctive liberal and for me it is that liberalism that matters most. Importantly he is someone who is prepared to listen and I believe can unite the party behind a forward looking and ground breaking approach to politics. I believe he will get our messages across in ways that really connect with people whoever and where ever they are.

There have been some interesting musings elsewhere on the importance of choosing a leader on the basis of their policies.........yes, but that's a fat lot of use if the leader can't communicate effectively with the electorate. We are not just choosing a leader to lead us motley crew, but a leader who can lead and inspire our nation.

So, I will continue to challenge Nick on the policy areas (and they are few) where we disagree, but I will give him my total support in his quest for leadership.

I commented a couple of years ago that I thought Charles was a Moses (leading us to the promised land) and that at some point we would need a Joshua to take us into that promised land. I believe Nick is that man.


Anonymous said...

Are you trying to give a kiss of death for Nick? I was supporting him, but now I'll have to reconsider...

Charlotte Gore said...

You really have a hostile crowd on this blog don't you?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte, it might have something to do with her knifing campaign against Ming. "She who lives by the knife dies by the knife."