Nick Clegg's sticking to Plan A

Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem conference Nick Clegg says the coalition faces a gargantuan task

If you think you know what Lib Dems look like, Nick Clegg wants you to think again.

He wants you to see them not as a party of nice, worthy, unthreatening people who "want to stop the world and get off" but as a party that looks and sounds like a party of power - a party that matters enough to make people angry.

The Liberal Democrats came to this conference fearing that Clegg's alliance with David Cameron could doom them to electoral disaster.

He came to tell them that they - and the country - were on a journey to a better place "from the comforts of opposition to the hard realities of government, from the sacrifices of austerity to the rewards of shared prosperity".

The coalition, he said, faced a gargantuan task of building a new economy from the rubble of the old.

There, as a symbol it could be done, was 81-year-old Maurice Reeves, the man whose family furniture shop was reduced to ashes in last Summer's riots and who this year re-opened it.

After days of highlighting the Liberal Democrats' differences with the Conservatives, the deputy prime minister highlighted that they were in lock-step on the economy - backing a Plan A which he insisted was more flexible, more pro-growth than its critics accepted.

In other words politically, as well as economically, he's sticking to Plan A. If it fails he's in trouble. So's his party. And so is everybody else.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Debates - on or off?

David Cameron says he wants to take part in TV election debates and that he thinks a deal can be done but he's also setting new conditions for taking part.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 168.


    By protecting HBOS they brought down Lloyds & their unwary shareholders - I was not affected myself but many small shareholders lost thousands [their life savings] as a result.

    I am not against rescuing the bank depositors but it should not have been at the expense of others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.


    So, even a contributor as lucid as you normally are, Neil, would be happy to see every single MEP elected to the EU parliament being completely and utterly compliant with the notion of a federal Europe, a superstate? So that Parliament is just a rubber stamping factory? I know the rest of the loony left teenagers on here would be in favour of it, but I thought you had more sense than that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    160. Whistling Neil
    Its certainly despicable for a party to obtain taxpayers money on such a hypocritical basis. Moreover its a double insult for farage to have spanked over 10 million pounds of taxpayers money in expenses over the last ten years (on a jolly?) and then a big up yours to not publicise what he spends the money on. One of the worst politicians out there IMO.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    OK I had no street cred

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    I puncture the pomposity, the lies and the blatant deceit of your party, lefty. Hold a mirror up to your hypocrisy so that even the thickest of Labour's supporters can see it, even if, like you, they cant acknowledge it without losing too much face. Someone has to do it and it certainly isnt the BBC.Oh and by the way, I'm not an "every day" contributor any more. Far more important things...

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.


    My personal view is that he wasnt right. He should have let them collapse. MInd you, more to the point, he shouldnt have instigated the tripartite regulatory system either which was an unmitigated disaster allowing RBS overleverage, HBOS excessive business lending and Northern Rock's dodgy business model to go completely unchecked, even though these issues were well known in the industry.

  • Comment number 162.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    Yeah, just like where I live all the Farmers during Elections have "Vote Conservative" or "Vote UKIP" banners on their land...They all proclaim to hate Europe, but just like Nigel Farage they are in fact stinking hypocrites in receipt of European Farm subsidies.
    And they want my support at the local farmers market. I wouldn't give them the steam off my wee.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    146 That is called taking the mickey - getting your anti EU party funded by the EU is extremely ironic is it not, he laughs in their face, quite amusing really.
    Much as the great British public do by only electing UKIP to a parliament they profess to hate and is the one elected body where what their goals are cannot be achieved, very cruel of the voters to repeatedly taunt them so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Steve..If you are still convinced that the BNP are Left Wing, then turn up at a BNP conference wearing a T shirt of either Che Guevara or Karl Marx and telling everybody there that you are a Socialist.
    If you get through it without being asked to leave or getting physically assaulted then I'll stand corrected.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    Yes it IS rather good, isn't it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Oh come on, Saga!

    That's lowering yourself to a new low level of ridiculousity!

    The only point you make with a post like that is a sharp stick for everyone to prod you with!

    I prefer not to think of you like that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    AndyC 152
    But David Cameron wasn't the only PM to turn down his pension entitlement,was he, Andy. Must have slipped your mind that dear old Gordon Brown also led the way. Well that would be the 'kindest' interpretation to put on what may seem to many to be a rather deliberate misdirection.
    Sloppy work, Andy, or perhaps like 'Thrasher' you believe the plebs shouldn't question their betters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    Only an adviser to tax evading scum..."

    I hope you report him. I'm very against tax evasion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    No152 Andy,
    Only an adviser to tax evading scum could regard Mr Blair a socialist.
    What a novice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    What I can't understand is why the majority of the LD party membership have yet to rise up against the Mini-Me Tory of a leader (he prefers the term "Organe Book Liberal").....

    .....the Mini-Mes clearly do not respresent the bulk of party membership so why not rise up aginst them......

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    Did you know that Mr Cameron has said that the practice of a former Prime Minsiter being entitled to a £70k p.a. pension, even if he serves as PM for only one day just can't be justified and has foregone his rights?

    Well, I hear you say, he doesn't need it.

    Neither does Mr Blair. But he's still drawing it.

    But then, Mr Blair is a socialist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    148. Steve_M-H
    Oh i see, so spouting the virtues of UKIP and slagging off the labour party at every opportunity of a variety of blog sites everyday and for years is not activism. Note the common theme between the word activity and activist? Joker you are Steve.

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.


    You're trying to rewrite history, as all good socialists do. Mosely's fascist party had no connection with the BNP and fine well you know it. T

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    134. steve
    While your at it Steve (i know you are only a huge ukip activist and not in the inner circle) can you give everyone a rough idea of what sort of things the 10 million pounds worth of farages mep expenses has been spent on over the last 10 years. Not talking about mistrisses or champagne or anything like that of course, i'm sure thats not the case


Page 2 of 10



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.