Home > Coalition > My Main Objection to Coalition: Nick’s Honesty

My Main Objection to Coalition: Nick’s Honesty

May 13, 2010

I’m not going to go into huge depth about the coalition deal here. Everybody’s doing it. Suffice to say that I think on the whole the Lib Dems have come out of this election in a better position to deliver our key policies than even I dreamed of, and I’m a hopeless optimist. I got into this gig to change the country for the better, and I’m happy that we’re doing that even if it means having to hang out with Tories. If I were a conference voting rep, I’d be voting for this agreement at the special conference this Sunday.

However… I sat in the audience at Liverpool Federal Conference in Spring 2009 and watched Nick Clegg give a speech. In it, he said “Will I go into a coalition with Labour? NO! Will I go into a coalition with the Conservatives? NO!” He has gone back on his word, and that bugs me.

To be fair, he followed that statement with “I will not allow the Liberal Democrats to become a mere annexe of another party”, and he certainly hasn’t done that. To be fair, he made it clear in plenty of time ahead of the election that a coalition was a possibility, so voters knew what they might get when they supported the Lib Dems.

However… given that Nick made such an unequivocal statement in the past, I feel that he should have redacted it with comparable strength. When did Nick change his mind on this? I certainly didn’t hear anything about it. I just noticed that the language changed over time. If we need to keep paying close attention to our leaders to make sure they’re still saying the same things as they have done in the past, then it makes it very hard to present Lib Dem positions to others.

Categories: Coalition
  1. Sol
    May 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Have you got a link to the full speech you refer to? I just googled it and found a summary of the speech, though not the full text, and it didnt mention that promise. But it would be interesting to see the context. It seems absurd for an advocate of PR to rule out forming a coalition. His actions in the past week are entirely consistent with the party’s position on voting reform, which would make coalition building vital to forming governments.

    • jazzhandsseriousbusiness
      May 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      I looked for the text of the speech online a while ago, but couldn’t find a transcript. I’m fairly certain that I’m not hallucinating it though…

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