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

What a difference a day makes

In just 24 hours, Sir Malcolm Rifkind went from angry defiance to a grim-faced acceptance that he would have to quit his job as an MP and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

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 188.

    DSJ 183

    I'm not saying there isn't an unemployable underclass - there is.

    Or that the rich are particularly prone to indolence. Indolence cuts right across classes and wealth brackets.

    Plus the indolent (whether rich or poor or neither) are likely to not bother voting (obviously).

    So that statement of yours - 'Labour target the idolent vote' - made no sense to me, that's all it was.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    185 David St John
    I am simply pointing out how inane steves position is due to his parties/his own unsurpassed hypocrisy itself.
    Re-funding, i'm not saying that UKIP shouldnt receive funding from europe, just that it makes them look hypocritical and frankly rediculous to do so considering their main policy aim. Have another go at adressing post 146 and 149 diffcult as you may find it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.


    it may not advance the position, but it serves to give representation to the view that the whole of the UK isnt just going to acquiesce to a full blown EU superstate.


    If the unions pulled the plug on you, your party would be dead in the water in 48hrs...the only thing stopping you from being foreclosed.


    Typical kneejerk lefty response. Youre either with us or a Tory. BORING!

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    “It’s only hypocrisy when it’s someone else” + “you’re stupid because you can’t see I’m right”

    Yes, typical lefty style debating.

    However, I think you’re missing an important point (probably because it suits). To argue, that only parties who are pro the EU should be funded completely undermines the very principle of democracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.


    Whats wrong with employing family members? Lots of your lot did just that in the last parliament, including your former Welsh SOS. I dont see that UKIP has any hypocrisy to defend. Not like your lot, banging on abt a cabinet of tax avoiding millionaires, when yours is no different (RedEd&bro), is full of nepotism (Blair Jr, Dromey Jr and Straw Jr trying to line up safe Labour seats, I note).

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    “And I'm usually good at seeing logic when it's there”

    Difficult when you’ve got your eyes wide shut maybe?

    Yes, a nice little shimmy there; there unemployable underclass don’t exist (not on planet Labour at any rate) the real indolent are the rich.

    So, nice, possibly even clever, but it’s not a serious argument, is it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    178. David St John
    Well David, I'm sure if you had a choice to make in the confines of a system you didn't agree with you would put your politics before your child rather than the other way round. Very noble.
    (sorry for the steal saga).
    In regard to UKIP, if you cant see the hypocrisy of how they mange to survive financially then were very limited in scope for conversation aren't we.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.


    You mean capitalism has threatened the relative prosperity that capitalism created in the first place?

    Yes probably true

    What I find interesting though is why socialists think socialism is the answer, when virtually every Nation that enforced it upon their population simply made everyone poorer - except the elites of course.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    DSJ @ 171

    Now I don't get you at all. Thought I did before, but now I don't.

    Why on earth should a party promising redistribution of wealth appeal to indolent people?

    To poor people, sure, but why the terminally lazy (most of whom are anything but poor) should be particularly attracted to it, sorry I really don't see the logic.

    And I'm usually good at seeing logic when it's there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    What Tory Voters like Steve ( who masquerade as UKIP voters between general Elections) fail to allude everyone to is that all along the burden of this worldwide crisis falls upon the ideology of Capitalism.
    Ofcourse you can be naive and believe that Britain changes from Capitalist to Socialist every time a Tory and labour Government exchange sides of the house...Capitalism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    lefty11 @ various
    “Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy”

    Yes, a bit like Labour MPs who foam at the mouth ‘ideologically’ about private schools or even grammar schools and then send their kids to them.

    UKIP’s position clearly isn’t hypocritical; its anti-EU agenda is irrelevant, it reflects a view shared by many in the UK who have the right to be represented accordingly

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    167 I think you misinterpreted the comment. Simply put UKIPs reason for being is to exit the EU, yet the only place that can be legislated is the UK parliament hence electorally it is pointless voting UKIP to the EU parliament because it isn't advancing the position. That I find amusing, in the way getting the people of Tower Hamlets to elect Nick Griffin as their MP would be hilarous.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.


    Lloyds didnt need to get involved at all. They saw the barely twitching corpse of HBOS, and like magpies figured they could pick over the bones of its business. The takeover was facilitated by Broon who pushed the Competition Commission to one side and was a spectacularly bad decision for all concerned and cost the Lloyds chairman his job, eventually. More Kiss Of Death from Gordon Brown...

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    172. Steve
    Noted there is no defence of your own hypocrisy.
    Anyway, a parties funding sources say much about who they are or aren't don't you think. The Sinn Fein - UKIP comparison is full of holes as Sinn Fein MPs will never sit in the British Parliament, they do not receive a salary from Westminster, nor do they employ any family members. Try again steve, your arguments are weak.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    152 ~Andy 555
    "But then, Mr Blair is a socialist."

    Well said. If you really want to insult Blair, call him a socialist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    “Cheap shots {about Clegg Not being a Tory as asserted by bryers} and I would have thought honest conservatives would see them for what they are”

    Cheap Shots???

    Bryers, he’s NOT a Tory. Some Tories might hold one or (possibly) two of his views, but I haven’t met any who shared them all. That’s why he’s a Liberal

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.


    How do you figure, lefty? Show me where the hypocrisy is, where UKIPs stated aims are. Not how they are funded... Or do you see Sinn Fein in the same way? Even though their stated aims are against those of the UK parliament, that they should not be entitled to any kind of funding/expenses, etc, because they dont sing the same tune as you?Dont get me started on your lot & public money...

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    “Labour doesn’t win elections via indolent vote”

    I didn’t say it did, I just said they courted it, & that they promised wealth redistribution which never happens. You didn’t question the latter did you? - In reality Labour does very little to help its core ‘working’ class voters

    But it gets these votes anyway by stirring up classism & spitting bile at the Tories

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.


    Im guessing as well, that those same farmers who actually do something for the benefit of all (producing food) and work a damn sight harder all day every day than you do, would be equally generous if the boot were to be on the other foot. After all, if you socialists were that good for the nation, you wouldnt have had to swap your clothes for tory ones to win more than consecutive term, eh?

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    164. Steve_M-H
    I think you believe you are some sort of ukipean warrior with your trusty sword of truth. But the facts speak for themselves. Not just the hypocrisy of your party UKIP. But that you had the audacity to espouse UKIP policy and then take a job in the European union yourself in order to best line our own pockets. All in all a rather ridiculous position. Hypocrisy personified.


Page 1 of 10



  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?

  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

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.