Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Krispy Cremes with Nick Clegg - Don't expect a picnic!

It was a real privilege to be part of the Blogger's delegation to interview Nick Clegg last night and a clear sign of him putting his money where his mouth was, in a ridiculously busy schedule, to make time for us. Time was really short but Nick after grapping Millenium's bottom - trunkated (apologies for the pun) his answers accordingly. In between deftly managing to eat a jammy doughnut without spilling it all down his eye catching tie, he answered questions confidently and with that hint of steel which I am sure will become his trademark.

Having left the bloggers bash to go on first to the Mail on Sunday bash (like crossing an events horizon with the likes of Neil and Christine Hamilton, Derek Lord and David Mellor there), stayed long enough for 2 glasses of champagne a few nibbles and the chance to witness my pal Yas pinching David Mellor's bum! Then on to the Clegg celebration bash which was packed out with a load of very happy bunnies!!! Which, given I got home at some ungodly hour means that my blogging pals have beat me to it again. However, following on from James (how do you follow James?!) Alix and highlights.

I was interested in Nick's response to whether or not he was nervous about his first PMQs. He made it very clear that he wasn't but that we should not expect that he would always be on form, not just when it came to PMQs. He cautioned us that we must expect ups and downs.

Wise words, all too often we expect miracles. Sorry to return to my military metaphors (!) but in any battle there will be setbacks, unforseen hazards, weariness and even exhaustion, but if we are on the right course and hold our nerve we will eventually see the breakthrough. Nick also rightly pointed out that far too much store is put on PMQs as if it were possible to distill politics down to 30 minutes on a Wednesday afternoon thereby reducing important issues down to shallow soundbites. Absolutely and despite the success Vince has had in recent weeks, I hope Nick will make a feature of challenging this facile approach to meeting the very real challenges that face us as a nation.

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