Monday, 7 March 2011

Nick Cleggs Hit & Miss speeches...

Nick Clegg is still good at making speeches, whatever people say I still think that he does come across as someone who is genuinely passionate about the issues which he is discussing.  Unfortunately for many people now they don't see this as being sincere after the tuition fees debacle, which is a shame, especially since I am sure that free tuition was not his preferred system in the first place and a pay after you graduate system is probably the fairest for society in general (even if the amounts are extreme).  This post isn't about tuition fees however, I could talk about them for a long time, instead I want to highlight two recent speeches in particular though, one excellent and one, well decent in the main but not 100% great.

Firstly, there is his excellent speech on multiculturalism.  Unfortunately this speech is about a month too late after the atrocious one David Cameron gave in Munich.  Nick though tackles the issue absolutely perfectly, highlighting extremism on both ends of the spectrum and emphasising this by name checking the EDL and BNP.

"Bigots are bigots, whatever the colour of their skin. Criminals are criminals, whatever their political beliefs. Terrorists are terrorists, whatever their religion."

He promotes multiculturalism, not as building walls as David Cameron likes to paint it, but as learning from each others cultures and promoting communication between the cultures.  This was much welcomed, though I wish a senior Lib Dem had spoken out about this issue before now.  It even got some praise in Labour circles.

The second however was a speech in Wales at the party's Welsh conference.  Obviously he is going to talk up the Government's record when speaking, I have no problem with this, in fact I encourage it.  However the speech was littered with negatives about Labour, yet the only negative Tory comment related to Thatcher.  There is a coalition in charge in Wales at the moment, however it is between Labour and Plaid Cymru and in the coming months the party will be battling all of our rivals for seats in the Welsh Assembly, by playing too nice to the Tories we will sound like we are just Tories who never do well in Wales.  Who knows what that election might bring, potentially the posibility to enter a coalition with Labour or Plaid - however keeping the Coalition line will quite possibly see us decimated.

The even more worrying part of his speech though was the following "joke":

"And of course we’ve even had a Liberal Democrat celebrity flying the Welsh flag in the depths of the Australian jungle!
Now that’s one forestry disaster we’re not responsible for!"

People may argue that Lembit has made himself into a figure of fun and that as a result he deserves to be the butt of jokes.  However he is a fierce Lib Dem, and (whether to our detriment or not) a supporter of the coalition, he is doing what he thinks is best to promote the party cause, as he always has done.  With all the media trying to gun the Lib Dems down the party shouldn't be turning on itself.   We saw 13 years of infighting with Labour in power, everyone wants to point the fingure at cracks in the coalition, Nick shouldn't be giving them such easy ammunition, it only makes the party look bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment