Conference Special: Part 2 Daily Politics


Conference Special: Part 2

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are in Birmingham for the final day of the Liberal Democrat conference. Nick Clegg delivers his keynote speech after a downgraded UK growth forecast.


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to our final Daily Politics Conference

:00:24.:00:29.

Special, from the Lib-Dem Conference, here in Birmingham. It

:00:29.:00:32.

will reach its traditional climax with the annual leader's speech to

:00:32.:00:36.

the party faithful. Nick Clegg finished the text last night. No

:00:36.:00:40.

burning of the midnight oil for him. It contains no dramatic new

:00:40.:00:44.

announcements, but a plea to his party and the country to stay the

:00:44.:00:48.

coalition course. He will be on his feet in about four -- half-an-hour.

:00:48.:00:52.

As always, Daily Politics will bring you live and uninterrupted

:00:52.:00:58.

coverage. There is one part of the speech at the Lib Dem spinners have

:00:58.:01:02.

been key to highlight. The decker de Prime Minister's depiction of

:01:02.:01:06.

summer rioters as youngsters who had fallen through the cracks. And

:01:06.:01:14.

his plans to send them all to summer schools. We will be

:01:14.:01:20.

analysing that command anything else he has to say, in the best

:01:20.:01:24.

pre-speech build-up and post-Speech debate in town. And Jo is here with

:01:24.:01:29.

more. I'm soaking up the atmosphere at the Liberal Democrat conference

:01:29.:01:34.

ahead of the big speech. And just what kind of fiscal stimulus is

:01:34.:01:37.

Vince Cable cooking up? The Business Secretary will join us

:01:37.:01:42.

live. And we will hear from former Lib-Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and

:01:42.:01:46.

ask him if he backs divorce or continued married bliss with the

:01:46.:01:56.
:01:56.:02:00.

Yes, all of that is coming up between now and 4:15pm on BBC Two.

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To kick off our coverage, with us is a Sam Coates of the Times and

:02:05.:02:10.

Ben Brogan of the Daily Telegraph. What has Mr Clegg got to do in this

:02:10.:02:14.

speech this afternoon? I think it's the perfect speech for an

:02:14.:02:17.

uneventful conference. This conference is all about being dull

:02:17.:02:22.

and steady, just kind of... could say they have achieved that!

:02:22.:02:25.

Writing the ship, but not really taking it anywhere. It's the

:02:26.:02:30.

perfect beach for that kind of conference. It's without major

:02:30.:02:33.

announcements, it raises the hope for a few things, but there isn't a

:02:33.:02:37.

great deal of policy beneath it. There's a big bit in a speech about

:02:37.:02:41.

the economy, and he promises to do more about growth. Does that mean a

:02:41.:02:45.

big fiscal stimulus? No, we are told. There are no plans for that.

:02:45.:02:49.

There is a big section about taking on the unions. Is there a change in

:02:49.:02:54.

position? No, we are told. It will try to rally de troops, settled the

:02:54.:02:58.

troops, but it's not going to change the political markets.

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telling us to prepare to be bored? I think he's telling us not to

:03:03.:03:08.

expect to see Nick Clegg on the front pages tomorrow. Then maybe it

:03:08.:03:12.

has failed? From his point of view, I think that's a good thing. People

:03:12.:03:16.

have been going around and saying that the conference is boring and

:03:16.:03:20.

flat, but from their point of view, that's quite good. In the past,

:03:20.:03:23.

their conferences have made it into the headlines for the wrong reasons.

:03:23.:03:28.

He desperately wants to persuade us that his party, not just him, is a

:03:29.:03:32.

responsible member of the coalition. It is taking its duties in

:03:32.:03:36.

government seriously. I think he's quite surprised the extent to which

:03:36.:03:41.

his members here, in... Wherever we are, their Eminem... I can confirm

:03:41.:03:46.

we are in Birmingham. -- wherever we are, in Birmingham... They have

:03:46.:03:52.

not said anything outrageous. months ago, you could have

:03:52.:03:57.

speculated this would be a lynch- mob for Nick Clegg. We wrote that!

:03:57.:04:01.

You probably did, that is where we got the phrase from. Thankfully,

:04:01.:04:06.

that is well forgotten. They have studied it, there has not been a

:04:06.:04:11.

great deal of complaining. My Dem activists are hardier than Labour

:04:11.:04:17.

and Tory activists. Why do you say that? They have seen two leaders

:04:17.:04:21.

dispatched, underperforming under a General Election expected to do

:04:21.:04:24.

well in, being thrown into coalition with a party they thought

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they were in politics to oppose. Broadly speaking, they have behaved

:04:30.:04:33.

themselves and they haven't complained too much. Therein lies

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the danger. I think the Lib-Dems are over the content with a boring

:04:37.:04:42.

conference, where there is not much to say. To get anywhere useful by

:04:42.:04:47.

2013, to allow them to return dozens of MPs, they are going to

:04:47.:04:50.

need a much clearer forward message about why they are in government

:04:50.:04:54.

and what they appear to do. I don't know what a Lib Dem growth will

:04:54.:05:00.

defence policy is. They haven't really told us. It might not matter.

:05:00.:05:03.

When you look at the international economic situation, they are not in

:05:03.:05:10.

control of any of the events that out washing around us. It is likely

:05:10.:05:14.

to get much worse before it get better? I think that is the

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backdrop of the conference. It is almost that this conference is

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pointless, we are staring into the abyss and things across the Channel

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and across the Atlantic are looking rather dire. I think Nick Clegg is

:05:26.:05:31.

very aware of that. They were grappling with how much politics

:05:31.:05:35.

could be in this speech. They made a clear decision that it needed to

:05:35.:05:38.

be statesmanlike and needed to be she wore of that. People out there

:05:38.:05:41.

are looking at the International situation, they are thinking that

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they don't want to hear that kind of language. There are an awful lot

:05:48.:05:52.

of points against Labour, he decides not to do any yah-boo

:05:52.:05:55.

politics against the Conservatives. They argued that is because it was

:05:55.:06:01.

done earlier in the week. Who have been the winners of this

:06:01.:06:09.

conference? Who has come through as a leading Lib Dem start? The one

:06:09.:06:13.

that has perhaps jumped the shark is Tim Farron. I'm surprised by the

:06:13.:06:17.

number of his colleagues who said that his speech, with lots of jokes

:06:17.:06:21.

against the Tories, it was perhaps older -- over eight, not

:06:21.:06:26.

necessarily helpful. -- over a bit. People were worried that he might

:06:26.:06:30.

even consider becoming leader of the party, because he would put

:06:30.:06:36.

them to the left of Labour. I think Vince Cable had a good conference.

:06:36.:06:39.

He made a speech that was incredibly gloomy. But you just

:06:39.:06:43.

have to look at the economic news this morning and think that he

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broadly had it right. There is very little to cheer about. Who do you

:06:46.:06:51.

think has had a good conference? think Nick Clegg has brought Lee

:06:51.:06:57.

had a good conference. He hasn't had the attacks, he hasn't had the

:06:57.:07:00.

questions over his leadership for 2013. They were absolutely take

:07:00.:07:05.

what they had this time around. The other person is Paddy Ashdown. Why?

:07:05.:07:10.

There is a bit of a reshuffle inside Downing Street. All of his

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old team, Olly Grender, a couple of others, they are going in. A

:07:14.:07:19.

reverse takeover by a party going on in Downing Street. We'll see if

:07:19.:07:22.

we can get him in before the speech and we will put that to him. We

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will let you go and get pole position for the speech.

:07:27.:07:31.

Andrew, D will be pleased to know that I am a winner and every single

:07:31.:07:37.

key person here is a winner. We are minutes ahead -- away from

:07:37.:07:40.

witnessing the speech. But we want one are due to win big. Imagine

:07:40.:07:47.

sitting back cant luxuriating in the indulgence of the Labour

:07:47.:07:51.

coverage with a Daily Politics mug filled with crystal champagne. You

:07:51.:07:56.

will have to buy the bubbly, but if you enter the guess the year

:07:56.:08:00.

competition, you could win your own mug. Just see if you can remember

:08:00.:08:10.
:08:10.:08:22.

# In the jungle, the mighty jungle, # Don't say a prayer for me now,

:08:22.:08:32.

and save it until the mourning How long do you think your regime

:08:32.:08:42.
:08:42.:08:49.

can survive, with battles in the # Never a frown, with golden-

:08:49.:08:58.

It would be wrong and unwise. Apart from anything else, it would be

:08:58.:09:08.
:09:08.:09:30.

Well, to be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics?, and you

:09:30.:09:40.
:09:40.:09:40.

know you want to, or send your You can see the full terms and

:09:40.:09:46.

conditions on the website. Just to say, we will be picking a winner

:09:46.:09:51.

tomorrow, back in the Daily Politics studio.

:09:51.:09:55.

Delegates this year seem to have been very well-behaved. What a

:09:55.:10:00.

shame! They stuck to the party line, much to the joy of press officers

:10:00.:10:04.

but to the sadness of most journalists. Before the Lib Dem

:10:04.:10:08.

spinners completely relax, we sent the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts out

:10:08.:10:11.

to give us his take on how the conference has gone.

:10:11.:10:17.

Nice car, Vince! In the old days, the Liberal Democrats could have

:10:17.:10:20.

their conferences, a supremely confident that they would never get

:10:20.:10:23.

anywhere near a ministerial limousine. Nowadays, they are in

:10:23.:10:28.

government. But don't worry, they still been complaining about the

:10:28.:10:31.

Government they help to create. Take this for some Tory bashing.

:10:31.:10:35.

I'm afraid, divorce is inevitable. As your President, I've taken some

:10:35.:10:39.

legal advice about how we stand in the event of a break-up. There is

:10:39.:10:44.

good news and bad news. Good news, we might get half of Ashcroft's

:10:44.:10:54.
:10:54.:10:55.

money. Bad news, we have to have pickles at the weekend. Ed Hume was

:10:55.:10:59.

determined not to be had done. danger, if you don't compromise, is

:10:59.:11:07.

Kiev. America, the markets looked over the brink when the madcap

:11:07.:11:13.

Republican Right in Congress would not compromise with the President.

:11:13.:11:18.

Let that be a warning to the Conservative right here. We need no

:11:18.:11:23.

Tea Party tendency in Britain. Dem conferences have always been

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pretty docile affairs. Look at it, it's not exactly Nuremberg. Nick

:11:28.:11:33.

Clegg certainly thought he had done well under control. Does anybody

:11:33.:11:40.

else want to ask a supplementary? Heavens, how docile. It's like

:11:40.:11:44.

North Korea's conference meetings. They certainly haven't been many of

:11:44.:11:48.

them here this week. But supporting the Lib-Dems is a bit like

:11:48.:11:51.

supporting a lower-league football club. You cheer the T1, whatever

:11:51.:11:55.

the results. That explains how they can clap enthusiastically when Nick

:11:55.:12:00.

Clegg has stood up for the coalition... Just as they have

:12:00.:12:07.

clapped along enthusiastically when others have attacked it. Where are

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they all? Some rotten so-and-sos reckoned that the Lib-Dems are a

:12:16.:12:20.

bunch of comedians. Education Minister Sarah Teather soon proved

:12:20.:12:24.

them wrong. I thought I wouldn't keep you for too long, because I

:12:24.:12:29.

want to get back to my hotel room to watch Strictly... I've heard

:12:29.:12:35.

that they got Peter Hain booked for the next series. He's doing the

:12:35.:12:40.

tango. Rupert Murdoch is on for the series after. He's been out

:12:40.:12:50.
:12:50.:12:52.

shopping with Andy Coulson already. Living dangerously... Coming back

:12:52.:12:55.

to George Osborne, I heard that he's quite keen to get on the show

:12:55.:13:03.

as well. He wants to delay line dance. -- do we Adeline dance.

:13:03.:13:07.

Lib-Dems have always had a slightly split personality between the old

:13:07.:13:11.

SDLP and the old Liberals. That polarity is continuing with those

:13:11.:13:13.

that are happy to be in government and those that are slightly

:13:13.:13:20.

happening abroad. I'm not sure that anything that is happening in

:13:20.:13:25.

Birmingham has really shaken the world. Oh, well, I'm off to

:13:25.:13:35.
:13:35.:13:42.

That was Quentin Letts' viewer of Let's get the view from Testament,

:13:42.:13:46.

Julian Huppert and Stephen Williams. Described as docile, dull and

:13:47.:13:50.

irrelevant, well, that was the implication from Quentin Letts?

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don't think that is true at all. I think it has been an interesting

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conference, we have started to stretch that some things and see

:14:03.:14:06.

policies that we want to get implemented. How? They have been no

:14:06.:14:11.

divide on any key issues, there has been "no" vote on Health, where is

:14:11.:14:14.

the stretch? There has been a whole lot of things, looking at a

:14:14.:14:18.

sensible policy to stop the war on drugs and reduce harm to people.

:14:18.:14:22.

We'd look at things to do with how to connect people up, developed the

:14:22.:14:26.

digital economy, developing the way we look at our society, towards

:14:26.:14:29.

well-being, how people like what they're doing and not just about

:14:29.:14:33.

money. Generally, people have agreed with it. Plus, the French

:14:33.:14:42.

discussions. Nick Clegg was saying, any supplementary questions? Nobody

:14:42.:14:44.

had anything to say. What happened to the soul of the Liberal Democrat

:14:44.:14:51.

party. We still have them. Where is it? It's interesting. That

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particular question, there were no supplementary questions for that

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one, but there were four other questions. The questions we asking

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ourselves, it is,, when we make policy, it is going to work. We had

:15:05.:15:08.

the luxury of opposition for many years. Now, in government, we are

:15:08.:15:12.

doing the right thing and the fair thing. Do you think it's time to

:15:12.:15:17.

look at plan B on the economy? if we have no money, we can't spend

:15:17.:15:20.

more money. It's absolutely the right thing to do, follow-through.

:15:20.:15:25.

It will make it better for people. Stephen, you negotiated on the

:15:25.:15:30.

referendum on AV, which you lost. At the same time, you have tied

:15:30.:15:33.

yourself to a boundary review which looks pretty awful for the Liberal

:15:33.:15:41.

Democrats. Was that a No member of Parliament likes

:15:41.:15:45.

boundary reviews. I have been through one and I survived it. You

:15:45.:15:50.

can survive them. It was a bargain on constitutional reform that we

:15:50.:15:55.

entered into. It is as much our fault that we lost the referendum

:15:55.:15:59.

because I do not think that we had a strong enough yes campaign.

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you might lose seats, will you rebel? There are lots of members of

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Parliament. Conservative MPs are chuntering in the background as

:16:11.:16:14.

well. I think it is right that we have a boundary review and reduce

:16:15.:16:20.

the numbers of seats. I am talking generally, but there is no reason

:16:20.:16:24.

to be cheerful, nothing uplifting. Is that what you want to hear from

:16:24.:16:28.

Nick Clegg? There are lots of things to be cheerful about. We

:16:28.:16:32.

have managed to lift 1 million people out of income tax. You know

:16:32.:16:36.

the record. That is a great achievement. We have spent many

:16:36.:16:39.

decades coming up with great ideas and not being able to do anything

:16:39.:16:44.

about them. Now we are able to help people. We can actually electrify

:16:44.:16:48.

the train line, and put money into the Green Investment Bank, to

:16:48.:16:52.

change things for people in Britain. Still supporting the reforms on

:16:52.:16:56.

health care? I am not actually a fan of them. I hope they can fix

:16:56.:17:00.

that in the House of Lords. There is this pretence that the NHS is

:17:00.:17:05.

perfect as it is. Clearly it is not perfect. People come to my surgery

:17:05.:17:12.

and make that clear time I -- time and again. Why about summer school

:17:12.:17:21.

for rioters? It is not just for them. I do think that the point is

:17:21.:17:26.

that when children move into bigger schools, it is a difficult

:17:26.:17:29.

transition at 11. We have all had that debate about whether the

:17:29.:17:33.

summer holidays are too long, if it might be easier to move young

:17:33.:17:38.

people into this all where they are going to start at 11. One feels it

:17:38.:17:47.

is not the big answer. They began so was the money. The �50 million?

:17:47.:17:54.

-- the big answer was the money. is the pupil premium. This should

:17:54.:17:59.

make things better. Along with many other measures. OK, we have the

:17:59.:18:04.

countdown to the speech. Thank you very much.

:18:04.:18:09.

Thank you, Jo. Before we speak to Paddy Ashdown, let's have a look at

:18:09.:18:14.

Mr Clegg arriving with his wife. Arriving at the Conference Centre,

:18:14.:18:19.

not that long ago. Going through the canal district. This Conference

:18:19.:18:23.

Centre is in the centre of Birmingham. It is part of a new

:18:23.:18:28.

redevelopment programme. His wife was not supposed to want him to

:18:28.:18:32.

stand for his second term but that was knocked down. She is dressed in

:18:32.:18:38.

a yellow dress, I am told, from Topshop. And the jacket is from

:18:38.:18:47.

this are -- another High Street shop. Why is that, Paddy Ashdown? I

:18:47.:18:53.

will not ask you that. However you cut it, among the rank and file

:18:53.:18:57.

here, there remains deep unease that they are in bed with the

:18:57.:19:06.

Tories. However you cut it, Andrew, there remains among the rank and

:19:06.:19:11.

file a deep understanding of why it is necessary. I know that you like

:19:11.:19:14.

fighting and we have not lived up to your comfortable prejudices, but

:19:14.:19:18.

the truth of the matter is this. And our expectations, which were

:19:18.:19:24.

never high. Your expectations never are. Let's come back to the

:19:24.:19:31.

question. There is a deep unease. You may feel you have to do it but

:19:31.:19:35.

there is a deep unease. I suspect there will be an unease in the Tory

:19:35.:19:39.

party about working with the Lib Dems. That is what coalitions are

:19:39.:19:44.

about. This is the point and let's be serious for a moment. I think

:19:44.:19:49.

you have not yet fully recognise the observers of our party, shop

:19:49.:19:55.

and a cute like you they may be, that over the years the path that

:19:55.:20:00.

we have followed, which I initiated as leader, means that the majority

:20:00.:20:04.

of the people here are councillors. They have been in power, had a

:20:04.:20:08.

coalition, understand what it is about. Does a coalition lead to

:20:08.:20:12.

tensions between the parties? Of course it does. Of course there is

:20:12.:20:16.

some unease about that. But the thing that really stands me, and I

:20:16.:20:24.

am pretty surprised, is the sense that the steady understanding that

:20:24.:20:28.

what we are doing is the right thing for our country and the party,

:20:28.:20:31.

and by and large it has been pretty does as well, with the odd slip up

:20:31.:20:36.

here and there. I suggest that one of the reasons why they are uneasy

:20:36.:20:42.

is because leaders like you, and Mr Kennedy, and Mr Campbell, never

:20:42.:20:45.

prepared the rank and file for coalition with the Tories. The

:20:45.:20:49.

party was always clearly on the left when you 3 lead it. The

:20:49.:20:53.

thought was always that if there would be a coalition it would be

:20:53.:21:01.

with Labour. You never said, hang on, one day we may have to their --

:21:01.:21:07.

share power with the Tories. That is a fair point. I was in power

:21:07.:21:17.

when Margaret Thatcher was leading. If we honour the electorate, we had

:21:17.:21:22.

to work with the Tories. For me, it was quite a shock. The ground had

:21:22.:21:26.

not been prepared. Nobody prepared the ground. Nick Clegg had not

:21:26.:21:32.

either. Do we love the Tories? No, we don't. Do we love Labour? We

:21:33.:21:37.

don't. But we are democrats and we listen to the voice of the British

:21:37.:21:41.

people speaking through the ballot box. When it is our duty to respond

:21:41.:21:51.
:21:51.:21:54.

to that as Democrats, it is not who but what. And of -- the question

:21:54.:21:57.

was how do you govern? This coalition does have tensions about

:21:57.:22:01.

it, but both sides have been surprised by the other. We have

:22:01.:22:04.

been surprised by the number of things we actually agree with with

:22:04.:22:08.

the Conservatives, starting with a deficit reduction plan, and they

:22:08.:22:10.

have been surprised with the combatants and the steadiness of

:22:10.:22:20.

the party, based in its ministers and its members. -- competence,

:22:20.:22:25.

both in its ministers and its members. The general attitude is

:22:25.:22:28.

collectivist. It is the minority of economic liberals that have

:22:28.:22:33.

actually won the argument in your party. You now have to stand for

:22:33.:22:36.

fiscal discipline, cutting the size of Government, not raising taxes

:22:36.:22:41.

any more, no more public spending. You lost the argument. You would

:22:41.:22:46.

forgive me if I said to you that you are normally highly acute, but

:22:46.:22:50.

you are just plain wrong. If you did not notice that when I took

:22:50.:22:54.

over in 1983, we moved the party away from social liberalism on to

:22:54.:22:58.

the free market, on to the enterprise based approach of the

:22:58.:23:08.
:23:08.:23:09.

SDP, combining with the St -- SDP. That began that shift. You always

:23:09.:23:13.

calling for higher taxes and Government spending. I was not. I

:23:13.:23:17.

was calling for spending on education. Where does David Laws

:23:17.:23:22.

come from? He joined his party when I was leader, he is my successor.

:23:22.:23:27.

Nick Clegg joined his party when I was leader, and if you have not

:23:27.:23:31.

spotted that your old prejudice view that we are collectively

:23:31.:23:38.

Socialists... Of no, I said you were divided and they had won the

:23:38.:23:42.

argument. Those that believe that there is a proper balance between

:23:42.:23:47.

economic and social liberalism but the balance had shifted too far

:23:47.:23:51.

towards social liberalism include me. That is where I wanted to lead

:23:51.:23:55.

the party to. I am surprised that you did not notice that change

:23:55.:23:59.

taking place over the last 10 years. This is the fruition of it. At we

:23:59.:24:04.

will try to do better next time. am glad to hear it. What would you

:24:04.:24:09.

do now if you were making these speeches? Exactly what we are doing.

:24:09.:24:16.

No, I mean in terms of preparation. Would you be pacing up and down?

:24:16.:24:19.

have seen many leaders do this and I think this is the most difficult

:24:19.:24:23.

thing that the party leader has to do. 45 minutes of speech,

:24:23.:24:28.

WordPerfect, stir the hall, make the press listen, speak to the

:24:28.:24:38.
:24:38.:24:39.

country beyond the hall. It is a huge pressure. I used to the pace

:24:39.:24:42.

up and down. My wife said don't go near me because I would bite your

:24:42.:24:47.

head off. But Nick Clegg will be nervous, he will be. We will let

:24:47.:24:51.

you get a good seat. We expect they have reserved one for you. Thank

:24:51.:24:56.

you, Paddy Ashdown. You have just heard that it is

:24:56.:25:00.

never easy being party leader and this year has proved that for Nick

:25:00.:25:09.

Clegg. Somebody else that knows about the trials and tribulations

:25:09.:25:19.
:25:19.:25:24.

is Charles Kennedy. This is his Well, in the words of the song, If

:25:24.:25:27.

I Could turn Back Time. Of course, for the Lib Dems, we cannot. We

:25:27.:25:32.

have had 12 months of the real grind of Government, and with it,

:25:32.:25:37.

policy splits at the top, electoral setbacks, sometimes severe, the

:25:37.:25:41.

loss of that alternative vote referendum, and more recently of

:25:41.:25:46.

course, and disturbingly, rioting on the streets. And do you know

:25:46.:25:49.

what? There is no suggestion that the next 12 months will get any

:25:49.:25:59.
:25:59.:26:02.

Now, this is Nick Clegg's rather magisterial deputy prime

:26:02.:26:10.

ministerial compound on Whitehall. It was just one year ago that he

:26:10.:26:14.

addressed our party conference in that role. Hold our nerve, and we

:26:14.:26:18.

will have changed British politics for good. Hold our nerve, and we

:26:18.:26:23.

will have changed Britain for good. And of course, he is right.

:26:23.:26:28.

Politics, you know, is always a marathon more than a sprint. As a

:26:28.:26:34.

party of Government we are still the rules of engagement have

:26:34.:26:38.

changed, and that we still have four long years to go. Of course,

:26:38.:26:42.

probably the biggest single flashpoint came with that notorious

:26:42.:26:46.

U-turn over student tuition fees. Thousands of angry students on the

:26:46.:26:53.

streets, right here in Whitehall, police having to kettle in certain

:26:53.:26:57.

areas, like outside the Treasury when I am standing, long from the

:26:57.:27:01.

Cabinet War Rooms. I was around that afternoon and it felt like

:27:01.:27:05.

wartime conditions. Inside the Commons chamber itself, highly

:27:05.:27:09.

heated debate, followed by that vote. The Lib Dems, well, we were

:27:09.:27:14.

unable to resolve our internal differences, and we ended up voting

:27:14.:27:17.

in three different directions. With his former leader and another

:27:17.:27:24.

former leader both voting against the Government. Their noes to the

:27:24.:27:30.

left, 302. Of course, once you are in Government, you are also much

:27:30.:27:35.

more likely to find yourself in the full glare of the media. This year

:27:35.:27:39.

David Laws was suspended from the Commons for seven days after the

:27:39.:27:42.

standards committee found that he had mismanaged his expenses. Chris

:27:42.:27:47.

Huhne, dogged by questions about that driving penalty. And Vince

:27:47.:27:53.

Cable, stripped of responsibility for media and telecoms issues after

:27:53.:27:57.

a newspaper surreptitiously recorded in declaring war on Rupert

:27:57.:28:03.

Murdoch. -- recorded him. It has been the toughest of tough years.

:28:03.:28:06.

First the Oldham East by-election, which proved that we are no longer

:28:06.:28:12.

the automatic insurgent party of those kind of contests. Then the

:28:12.:28:15.

meltdown at the Scottish parliamentary elections. There was

:28:15.:28:20.

no way in the time available, 12 months, that the coalition

:28:20.:28:22.

agreement and medicine from Westminster would do anything other

:28:22.:28:27.

than hold back the party in Scotland, and so it proved. And

:28:27.:28:31.

then the English local elections, usually a source of good support

:28:31.:28:35.

for us at grassroots level. I am afraid to say, not the case this

:28:35.:28:39.

year. The biggest issue that came up on the doorstep was tuition fees,

:28:39.:28:45.

but also the way that Nick Clegg has run the coalition, and I am in

:28:45.:28:48.

favour of the coalition, but I think he has run it very badly and

:28:48.:28:52.

in my view should resign immediately. A huge blow of course

:28:52.:28:57.

was losing that alternative vote referendum campaign. It was a

:28:57.:29:00.

campaign that just did not seem to send the right signals, get the

:29:00.:29:04.

right messages across. If anything, it appeared to press all the wrong

:29:05.:29:09.

buttons with those that did bother to go out and vote. It has kicked

:29:09.:29:13.

into the very long grass the subject closest to Liberal Democrat

:29:13.:29:19.

hearts, I fear, for perhaps another political generation. It has

:29:19.:29:24.

certainly soured relations between the two coalition parties. Put it

:29:24.:29:28.

this way. I think everybody knows my views about the nature of no

:29:28.:29:32.

campaign. It has been a fairly nasty campaign which has sought to

:29:32.:29:36.

Brighton and mislead people. Although I take the view that

:29:36.:29:39.

former leaders should be seen occasionally but not heard too

:29:39.:29:43.

often, if I did have one word of advice for Nick Clegg I think it

:29:43.:29:46.

would be this. At the moment there is a sense that we are just trying

:29:46.:29:53.

to fight too many battle fronts at the same time. So let's just be a

:29:53.:30:03.

bit more canny, pick our fights, Well, that was Charles Kennedy.

:30:03.:30:07.

Joining me now, top-level people at the conference, Mark Littlewood

:30:07.:30:12.

from the Institute of economic Affairs and Evan habits -- Evan

:30:12.:30:16.

Harris, chair of the Lib Dem committee. What does he have to do,

:30:16.:30:21.

Nick Clegg, this afternoon? I hope that he speaks beyond the

:30:21.:30:22.

that he speaks beyond the conference floor. A lot of this

:30:22.:30:26.

conference has been about making sure that the Liberal Democrat

:30:26.:30:30.

party is comfortable alongside him. It's been surprisingly disciplined.

:30:30.:30:34.

I thought that after year-old coalition there would be many more

:30:34.:30:38.

complaints, much fewer people being comfortable with being in coalition.

:30:38.:30:41.

There hasn't been a sign of that at all. The party leadership can be

:30:41.:30:46.

happy with that. The question is, the people watching on television,

:30:46.:30:52.

not the few 1000 Liberal Democrat activists in the hall. His Mark

:30:52.:30:58.

Harris right? There hasn't been much dissent and he has actually

:30:59.:31:01.

concentrated too much on the cosiness of the Liberal Democrats,

:31:01.:31:06.

making them feel comfortable with all that Tory bashing, rather than

:31:06.:31:10.

concentrating on the issues of the day? I think Mark is right, we

:31:10.:31:13.

voted for the coalition, we are a democratic party. You asked the

:31:14.:31:18.

question, being in the coalition, no. What most of the people

:31:18.:31:21.

concerned about policy matters, and there has been some debate, though

:31:21.:31:25.

not a lot, they want to stick to the coalition agreement. They don't

:31:25.:31:29.

want to go beyond it, into the wild west of Tory manifesto commitments

:31:29.:31:34.

that we thought we had excluded. Health is a good example. Although

:31:35.:31:38.

it wasn't brought to the conference for on a motion, there were a lot

:31:38.:31:41.

of people condemning the fact it was not on a motion. Norman Lamb

:31:41.:31:46.

quite fairly said this morning that there is still more work to do on

:31:46.:31:49.

health. People are not complaining about the coalition, they are

:31:49.:31:53.

surprisingly sanguine about the state of the polls, but they are

:31:53.:31:57.

still concerned about policy. That is how we should be. The Lib Dems

:31:57.:32:01.

have been screaming from the rooftops, Nick Clegg in particular.

:32:01.:32:06.

75% of the Lib Dem manifesto has been implemented. We are only in

:32:06.:32:10.

the first year. But to what extent is that a good percentage and can

:32:10.:32:14.

you push further? My worry is that there has been quite a lot of Tory

:32:14.:32:18.

bashing, which I don't think would happen in Whitehall, from a lot of

:32:18.:32:22.

people doing it, because they are in a safe enclave of Liberal

:32:22.:32:25.

Democrats. And there's not been enough about what the double

:32:25.:32:30.

Democrats want to do to get growth into the economy. Vince Cable...

:32:30.:32:35.

Well, you must have missed Vince Cable's speech. I don't think you

:32:35.:32:39.

missed it, I think you disagreed. We are saying it is right that the

:32:39.:32:43.

Tories should be painted, and they are proud to be painted as people

:32:43.:32:46.

that want to cut taxes for millionaires with the 50 pence rate.

:32:46.:32:50.

We are clear that we are fighting against that. They say it is

:32:50.:32:54.

temporary. You think it should be permanent? We are saying that

:32:54.:32:57.

unless you replace it with something that makes the better-off

:32:57.:33:01.

pay their fair share, then it should stay. We complained in March

:33:01.:33:05.

and September that it was not being distinctive enough. I think Mark

:33:05.:33:08.

agreed that it wasn't being distinctive enough. Now he is

:33:08.:33:12.

putting out our distinctive position and people say it is anti-

:33:12.:33:18.

Tory. He is a anti-Tory because he is not a Tory. I did Nick Clegg,

:33:18.:33:23.

Vince Cable and others have shown a lot of honesty about the shape of

:33:23.:33:26.

the economy. They have not been saying that it is going to come

:33:26.:33:29.

good quickly. But they haven't really matter a programme about how

:33:29.:33:32.

they will get growth into the economy. Despite the stimulus,

:33:32.:33:37.

which isn't really extra money at all, they haven't got a plan. The

:33:37.:33:40.

Business Secretary Hotson set out where growth is going to come from.

:33:40.:33:43.

There is a real difficulty. They don't want to move into plan B,

:33:43.:33:47.

because they don't think that plan A has been given enough time to

:33:47.:33:54.

work. I think Mark would agree that plan B, or a non- plan of Labour,

:33:54.:33:59.

would not be an answer. But we are running out of time before there

:33:59.:34:09.
:34:09.:34:10.

has to at least be a plan A plus. Some more stimulus, more Keynesian

:34:11.:34:14.

worker. Paul quantitative easing, which we are pressing the Bank of

:34:14.:34:22.

England to do. If the economy doesn't recover, then both Labour

:34:22.:34:26.

and Liberal Democrat are in trouble. Does their committed in point? We

:34:26.:34:30.

know that growth is barely coming off the bottom. Forecasts have been

:34:30.:34:36.

downgraded again. When does the grant -- downgrade come? If the IMF

:34:36.:34:39.

are right, rather than the earlier government forecasts, then the

:34:39.:34:42.

deficit is not going to be controlled in the way that George

:34:42.:34:45.

Osborne wants. That's the problem, we'll have to look at a spending

:34:45.:34:48.

review. But I don't think we've heard enough this week about what

:34:48.:34:52.

we are going to do to make Britain and easier and better place to do

:34:52.:34:57.

business in. Cut in corporation tax? There have been these points

:34:57.:35:00.

about fairness, but I would like to see more about how we are going to

:35:00.:35:03.

attract inward investment into Britain, how we are going to make

:35:04.:35:11.

it easier for entrepreneurs. It's not in competition. You can be

:35:11.:35:14.

entrepreneurial in your outlook, still have people making a huge

:35:14.:35:23.

amount of money, people that are turning their wealth. You can do

:35:23.:35:28.

that and you can still have a fairer society. Or as fair a

:35:28.:35:32.

society as possible, given the austerity. I don't just brush that

:35:32.:35:37.

offer. Liberals like me, mainstream liberal Democrats, put social

:35:37.:35:42.

justice first. But the Tories want the economy to be first, that's the

:35:42.:35:46.

reality? You don't get fairness without using the fruits of the

:35:46.:35:50.

economy. You can't just say that the fairness stuff is not critical

:35:50.:35:54.

for us. Do I think we are getting close to the time for the big

:35:54.:35:58.

speech. Back to you Andrew. The we were told by party managers that

:35:58.:36:01.

Nick Clegg was going to run and little early.

:36:01.:36:06.

Now we are told he is going to run a little late. Don Foster has just

:36:06.:36:10.

given a warm-up speech. A fund- raising speech. They are passing

:36:10.:36:15.

around the bucket in the hall. I did say passing around the bucket,

:36:15.:36:22.

not kicking the bucket! Just to be clear on that. While we wait for

:36:22.:36:26.

Nick Clegg to take to the stage, let's have a word with Nick

:36:26.:36:31.

Robinson. What has Mr Clegg got to do this afternoon? Quite simply to

:36:31.:36:34.

try to persuade people who are not listening to him any more to listen

:36:34.:36:39.

to him once again. In a sense, it's an incredibly modest target. But

:36:39.:36:44.

nothing else he does is worthwhile if he is not getting a hearing. The

:36:44.:36:48.

problem, he believes, is quite simple. After going into government

:36:48.:36:52.

with the Conservatives, which many traditional Lib-Dem voters regarded

:36:52.:36:57.

as a betrayal, after breaking his word, as they saw it, on tuition

:36:57.:37:00.

fees, that they have simply not been listening to anything he has

:37:00.:37:05.

said since. They don't want to know. His aim today is to say, with this

:37:05.:37:09.

refrain we will hear again and again, that it wasn't easy to go

:37:09.:37:12.

into government, but it was right. You might not agree with everything

:37:12.:37:17.

we are doing, it might be difficult and painful, but, for goodness sake,

:37:17.:37:20.

credit me with doing it for the right reasons. If that is all he

:37:20.:37:23.

achieves, he'll be perfectly content, I think. But he hasn't

:37:23.:37:27.

given anything very dramatic to get people's attention. The Government

:37:28.:37:31.

has no money and they are very confined by the international

:37:31.:37:36.

economic situation. What he is offering is an argument. His risky

:37:36.:37:39.

is that people lie in the mood to say, I don't want to hear your

:37:39.:37:46.

argument. People might say, what difference did it make? We've had

:37:46.:37:51.

some bleak economic news. Vince Cable using the metaphor of it

:37:51.:37:55.

being an economic war time. That went down rather badly, not just in

:37:55.:37:58.

the Treasury but with other Liberal Democrats. They thought it was

:37:59.:38:02.

rather bleak, although characteristic of Vince Cable. He

:38:02.:38:06.

now can't say, we have the solution to this wartime problem. He will

:38:06.:38:10.

make a commitment to deal with the problem of the deficit and the lack

:38:10.:38:14.

of growth, and a commitment to do what he can to spend more on

:38:14.:38:18.

infrastructure, not for sources of growth. We are not expecting any

:38:18.:38:23.

detail in that. I know that he believes that the sort of

:38:23.:38:27.

conference speech that has five or six new announcements and has

:38:27.:38:30.

people scurrying to work out if it is new money or not, that it's not

:38:30.:38:34.

the best way to use these pictures. It's a rare moment way you get

:38:34.:38:40.

quite a sizable audience watching the whole thing live. You get

:38:40.:38:44.

substantial coverage on BBC news bulletins, instead of one or two

:38:44.:38:49.

clips, you can get people having a chance to seek your argument. That

:38:49.:38:55.

is the best way. That's going to do all. I believe Mr Roberts and... No,

:38:55.:39:03.

you are Mr Robinson, you are not speaking today. Nick Clegg, getting

:39:03.:39:06.

a standing ovation before he has even said a word. It's the sort of

:39:06.:39:11.

thing that happens in party conferences. Let's listen to the

:39:11.:39:16.

leader's address at the Lib Dem conference of 2011. We bring it to

:39:16.:39:26.
:39:26.:39:36.

you live. The deputy Prime Minister, Thank you. France -- friends, his

:39:36.:39:40.

party, the Liberal Democrats, we have now been in government for 500

:39:40.:39:49.

days. Not easy, is it? None of us thought it would be a walk in the

:39:49.:39:54.

park. But I suspect none of us predicted just how tough it would

:39:54.:40:03.

turn out to be. We have or support, we have lost seats, we have lost a

:40:03.:40:12.

referendum. I know how painful it has been to face anger and

:40:12.:40:17.

frustration on the doorstep. Some of you may even have wondered, will

:40:17.:40:24.

it all be worth it in the end? It will be. And, today, I want to

:40:24.:40:33.

explain why. But above all I want to pay tribute to you. Your

:40:33.:40:41.

resilience, your Grace Under Fire. I have been genuinely moved by your

:40:41.:40:50.

spirit and your strength. Thank you. And thank you, bow ball, for never

:40:50.:40:56.

forgetting what we are in politics for. At the May elections, Alex

:40:56.:41:00.

Cole-Hamilton, one of our defeated candidates in Edinburgh, said that

:41:00.:41:06.

if cruising was part payment for ending child detention, then, as he

:41:06.:41:12.

said, I accept it with all my heart. -- if losing was part payment. That

:41:12.:41:22.
:41:22.:41:30.

is the liberal spirit. That is It is a spirit that gave birth to

:41:30.:41:37.

our party. That kept us alive when the other two parties tried to kill

:41:37.:41:42.

us off. The spirit that means, however great our past, our fight

:41:42.:41:49.

will always be for a better future. Now, down in Westminster, we have

:41:49.:41:56.

been vilified like never before. The left and the right, I tell you,

:41:56.:41:59.

they didn't like a as much in opposition and they like as a whole

:41:59.:42:03.

lot less now we are in government. The left accuse us of being

:42:03.:42:08.

powerless puppets, duped by a right-wing conservative clique. The

:42:08.:42:13.

right accuse us of being a sinister left-wing clique, who have duped

:42:13.:42:18.

powerless Conservatives. I wish they would make up their minds! Yes,

:42:18.:42:25.

it has been hard. And adversity tests the character of a party,

:42:25.:42:31.

just as it tests any person. We have shown, you have shown, immense

:42:31.:42:38.

strength. After being hit hard, we picked ourselves up and we came out

:42:38.:42:43.

fighting. Fighting to keep the NHS safe, fighting to protect human

:42:43.:42:49.

rights, fighting to create jobs, fighting for every family. Not

:42:49.:42:58.

doing the easy thing. But doing the right thing. Not easy, but right.

:42:59.:43:04.

As for of those seats were lost in May, let me tell you this. I will

:43:04.:43:09.

not rest, we will not rest until we have won every single one of those

:43:09.:43:19.
:43:19.:43:34.

Now, these may not be easy times for others as a party. But much

:43:34.:43:41.

more importantly, these are not easy times for our country.

:43:41.:43:45.

Economic insecurity, conflict, terrorism, disorder flaring on our

:43:45.:43:52.

streets. Times like these can breathe protectionism and populism.

:43:52.:43:59.

So, times like these are when liberals are needed most. Our party

:43:59.:44:03.

has fought for liberal values for a century and a half, justice,

:44:03.:44:13.
:44:13.:44:25.

optimism, freedom, we are not about This Conference Centre is on the

:44:25.:44:30.

site of the old Bingley Hall, where William Gladstone stood, 130 years

:44:30.:44:37.

ago, have to found the National Liberal Federation. He observed

:44:37.:44:42.

that day that Birmingham had shown it was no place for week need

:44:42.:44:50.

liberalism. No change there, then. So we are strong, united, true to

:44:50.:45:00.
:45:00.:45:08.

our values, back in Government and In Government you are faced with

:45:08.:45:15.

hard choices every single day. The question is how you make them. Some

:45:15.:45:21.

ask how we can get a market to work here. Others, how can this win a

:45:22.:45:30.

small boats? If you, what will the press think? -- win a small votes.

:45:31.:45:37.

For liberals, the litmus test is always the national interest. Not

:45:37.:45:41.

doing the easy thing, but the right thing. That takes a certain kind of

:45:41.:45:45.

character, one that we have seen on display over the last few months

:45:45.:45:51.

and days here in Birmingham. Brave, principal, awkward, resolute,

:45:51.:45:55.

optimistic, unstoppable, and I am not just talking about Paddy

:45:55.:46:03.

Ashdown, I am talking about every single one of you in this hall! But

:46:03.:46:13.
:46:13.:46:16.

I think... But I think people still need to know more. More about the

:46:16.:46:21.

character of our party. Not just how we govern, but why. We proved

:46:21.:46:27.

something about ourselves last year when we faced a historic choice,

:46:27.:46:31.

whether or not to enter Government in coalition with the Conservatives.

:46:32.:46:36.

Now, the easy thing would have been to sit on the opposition benches,

:46:36.:46:40.

throwing rocks at the Government as it tried to get control of the

:46:40.:46:44.

public finances, and in the short term it might even have been more

:46:44.:46:50.

popular. But it wouldn't have been right. At that moment, Britain

:46:50.:46:56.

needed a strong Government. Alistair Darling's recent book is

:46:56.:47:01.

called Back From The Brink. In reality, Labour left us on the

:47:01.:47:07.

brink. Teetering on the edge of an economic precipice, so we put aside

:47:07.:47:12.

party differences for the sake of the national interest. People

:47:12.:47:17.

before politics. Nation before party. And while other countries

:47:17.:47:21.

have been riven by political bickering, we have shown that they

:47:21.:47:24.

coalition forged in the time of emergency could be a different kind

:47:24.:47:28.

of Government, governing different league. Because let me tell you

:47:28.:47:34.

this, you don't play politics at a time of national crisis. You don't

:47:34.:47:38.

play politics with the economy, and you never, ever play politics with

:47:38.:47:48.
:47:48.:48:05.

Our first big decision was of course to clear the structural

:48:05.:48:11.

deficit, this Parliament. To wipe the slate clean up by 2015. This

:48:11.:48:16.

has meant painful cuts, agonisingly difficult decisions. Not easy. But

:48:17.:48:25.

right. Because handing control of the economy to the traders, that is

:48:25.:48:30.

not progressive. Burying your head in the sand, that is not liberal.

:48:30.:48:37.

Sanderling our children with the notion's debt, that is not fair.

:48:37.:48:42.

Labour says the Government is going too far, too fast. I say Labour

:48:43.:48:52.
:48:53.:48:57.

would have offered too little, too late. Imagine, imagine for a moment,

:48:57.:49:03.

if Ed Miliband and Ed Balls had still been in power. Gordon Brown's

:49:03.:49:08.

backroom boys, when Labour was failing to balance the books,

:49:08.:49:13.

failing to regulate the financial markets, and failing to take on the

:49:13.:49:18.

banks. The two Eds, behind the scenes, lurking in the shadows,

:49:18.:49:24.

always plotting, always scheming, never taking responsibility. And at

:49:24.:49:30.

this time of crisis, what Britain needs is real leadership. This is

:49:30.:49:40.
:49:40.:49:52.

Labour's economy was based on bad debt, and false hope. Labour got us

:49:52.:49:58.

into this mess and they are clueless about how to get us out.

:49:58.:50:05.

Another turn of Labour would have been a disaster for our economy, so

:50:05.:50:09.

don't for a moment let Labour get away with it. Don't forget the

:50:09.:50:16.

chaos, the fear, of 2008, and never ever trust Labour again with the

:50:16.:50:26.
:50:26.:50:31.

You know, Government has certainly been a bit of a learning experience.

:50:31.:50:35.

For example, you go on these international visits and you have

:50:35.:50:39.

to exchange gifts with the foreign dignitaries that you meet. But what

:50:39.:50:42.

do you get them? When I met the French Prime Minister for the first

:50:42.:50:47.

time, he had done his research, he had found out exactly what he I was

:50:47.:50:53.

born in, and presented me with a beautiful bottle of 1967 brandy. My

:50:53.:50:59.

office told me that he light hiking, so what did I give him? -- he like

:50:59.:51:08.

hiking. A bar of Kendal mint cake. Tim Farron's idea! But Government

:51:08.:51:13.

has also brought difficult decisions. And of course the most

:51:13.:51:19.

heart-wrenching for me, for all of us, was on university funding. Like

:51:19.:51:26.

all of you, I saw the anger, I understand it, I felt it. And I

:51:26.:51:31.

have learned from it. I know how much damage this has done to us as

:51:31.:51:38.

a party. By far the most painful part of our transition from the

:51:38.:51:44.

easy promises of opposition to the invidious choices of Government.

:51:44.:51:49.

And probably the most important lesson I have learned is this. No

:51:49.:51:56.

matter how hard you work, on the details of a policy, it is no good

:51:56.:52:02.

if the perception is wrong. We can say until we are blue in the face

:52:02.:52:06.

that no one will have to pay any fees as a student, but still people

:52:06.:52:14.

don't believe it. At once you have left university, you will pay less

:52:14.:52:17.

week in week out than under the current system, but still people

:52:17.:52:24.

don't believe it. That the support given to students from poorer

:52:24.:52:29.

families will increase dramatically, but still people don't believe it.

:52:29.:52:35.

The simple truth is that the Conservatives and Labour were both

:52:35.:52:41.

set on increasing fees. And in those circumstances, we did the

:52:41.:52:47.

best thing we could. Working tirelessly to ensure anyone that

:52:47.:52:51.

wants to go to university can. Freeing part-time students from

:52:51.:52:56.

upfront fees for the first time. Ensuring fair repayments for all

:52:56.:53:05.

graduates. But we failed to properly explain those dilemmas. We

:53:05.:53:09.

failed to explain that there were no other easy options. And we have

:53:09.:53:14.

failed so far to show that the new system will be much, much better

:53:14.:53:22.

than people fear. So, yes, lessons learned. But the most important

:53:22.:53:29.

thing right now is to get out there and show that university is for

:53:29.:53:34.

everyone. And we should all take a leaf out of Simon Hughes's book. He

:53:34.:53:38.

has been busting a gut as the Government's Advocate For Access,

:53:38.:53:43.

travelling the country, explaining the new system, finding ways to get

:53:43.:53:47.

young people from all backgrounds to apply for university. Simon did

:53:47.:53:51.

not like the decision we made for reasons that I respect. But rather

:53:52.:53:57.

than sitting back, he has rolled up his sleeves, and got on with making

:53:57.:54:07.
:54:07.:54:20.

the new system work. Simon, thank Right now, of course, our biggest

:54:20.:54:24.

concern is the economy. The recovery is fragile, every worker,

:54:24.:54:30.

every family knows that. There is a long, hard road ahead. Just in the

:54:30.:54:35.

last few days alone, we have seen the financial storm in the eurozone,

:54:35.:54:40.

rising unemployment, falling stock markets. So we were right to pull

:54:40.:54:45.

the economy back from the brink. It is clearer now than ever that

:54:45.:54:49.

deficit reduction was essential to protect the economy. To protect

:54:49.:54:56.

homes and jobs. Because deficit reduction lays the foundations for

:54:56.:55:02.

growth, but on its own it is not enough. That is why we are already

:55:02.:55:06.

investing in infrastructure, reducing red tape, promoting skills,

:55:06.:55:12.

getting the banks lending. The outlook for the global economy has

:55:12.:55:20.

got worse. So we need to do more. We can do more and we will do more

:55:20.:55:30.
:55:30.:55:38.

Because we are not in politics just to repair the damage done by Labour,

:55:38.:55:44.

too glued back together the pieces of the old economy. We are here to

:55:44.:55:50.

build a new economy. A new economy say from Casino speculation, that

:55:50.:55:54.

is why the Liberal Democrat Businee Secretary is putting a firewall

:55:54.:55:58.

into the banking system, protecting the people that have worked hard

:55:59.:56:04.

and saved. A new economy that safeguards the environment. That is

:56:04.:56:08.

why a Liberal Democrat environment secretary is creating the world's

:56:08.:56:13.

first Green Investment Bank, spending �3 billion to create new

:56:13.:56:17.

jobs, a new economy where the lowest paid get to keep the money

:56:17.:56:21.

they earn. That is why a Liberal Democrat, Chief Secretary to the

:56:21.:56:27.

Treasury, has put �200 into the pocket of every basic rate taxpayer,

:56:27.:56:32.

and taken almost 1 million workers, most of them women, out of income

:56:32.:56:42.
:56:42.:56:50.

A new economy. A new economy based on skills. And that is why one

:56:50.:56:55.

Liberal Democrat minister is creating a quarter of a million new

:56:55.:56:58.

apprenticeships and another is investing in schools and early

:56:58.:57:02.

years education. A new economy that works for families, where men and

:57:02.:57:07.

women can choose how to balance work and home. That is why Liberal

:57:07.:57:09.

Democrats are bringing in shared parental leave and more flexible

:57:09.:57:15.

working. And a new economy run for ordinary people, rather than big

:57:15.:57:19.

finance, after the so-called masters of the universe turned out

:57:19.:57:27.

to be the masters of destruction instead. Which is why... Which is

:57:27.:57:34.

why when we come to sell those bank shares I want to see a pay back to

:57:34.:57:41.

British citizens. Your money was put at risk. Your money was used to

:57:41.:57:45.

bail-out the banks. And so the money made by the banks is your

:57:45.:57:52.

money, too. An economy for everyone. In Scotland, Wales, in every part

:57:52.:57:56.

of the United Kingdom, for women and men, young and old, town and

:57:56.:58:06.
:58:06.:58:19.

country, North and South, a new Because as Liberal Democrats, we

:58:19.:58:28.

act for the whole nation. In our long, proud, liberal history, we

:58:28.:58:36.

have never, never served the media moguls, the union barons, all the

:58:36.:58:41.

bankers -- or the bankers. We do not serve and we have never served

:58:41.:58:51.
:58:51.:59:13.

vested interests. We are in OK, OK, OK! I get it, you agree

:59:13.:59:19.

with that! That is why we can make decisions in the national interest.

:59:19.:59:28.

Not easy. But right. That is why we speak up, first and loudest, when

:59:28.:59:31.

the establishment let the people down. In the last three years, we

:59:32.:59:36.

have seen establishment institutions exposed, one by one.

:59:36.:59:40.

The City of London, shattered by the greed of bankers. The media,

:59:40.:59:46.

corrupted by phone hacking, Parliament shamed by expenses. I

:59:46.:59:51.

was brought up to know that it is not polite to say I told you so.

:59:51.:00:01.
:00:01.:00:05.

In 2006, when Vince Cable warned that bad debts were growing and

:00:05.:00:11.

that bank lending levels were recklessly irresponsible. In 2002,

:00:11.:00:17.

when Tom McNally... I can't see him... There he is! When he said

:00:17.:00:25.

that the Government must guard the public interest as much as Mr

:00:25.:00:30.

Murdoch guards his shareholder's interests. In 1996, when Paddy

:00:30.:00:35.

Ashdown said that Parliament had become a dishevelled old corpse of

:00:35.:00:41.

what was once called the mother of all parliaments. Never one to pull

:00:41.:00:51.
:00:51.:00:55.

Free to tell it like it really is. Because we are no bodies pocket. Of

:00:55.:01:01.

all the claims that Ed Miliband has made, the most risible is that his

:01:01.:01:08.

party is the enemy of vested interests. I mean, give me a break.

:01:08.:01:12.

While we were campaigning for change and the banking system, they

:01:12.:01:17.

were on their prawn cocktail offensive in the city. While we led

:01:17.:01:21.

the charge against the media barons, Labour has cowered before them for

:01:21.:01:27.

decades. Do you know the most shocking thing about the news that

:01:27.:01:33.

Tony Blair is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children is that

:01:33.:01:42.

nobody was really shocked at all? And, today, Labour is in hock to

:01:42.:01:49.

the trade union balance. After their government stipend, 95% of

:01:49.:01:53.

Labour's money comes from unions, most of it from just four of them.

:01:53.:01:57.

Let me be clear, the values of trade unionism are as relevant as

:01:57.:02:01.

ever. Supporting workers, fighting for fairness at work. But I don't

:02:02.:02:11.
:02:12.:02:22.

think the unions should be able to Ed Miliband says he wants to loosen

:02:22.:02:26.

the ties between Labour and the union barons who helps him to beat

:02:26.:02:31.

his brother. OK. Let's see him put his money where his mouth is. Let's

:02:31.:02:35.

see if he will support radical reform of party funding. Every

:02:36.:02:39.

previous attempt has been blocked by the vested interests of the

:02:39.:02:45.

other two parties. We are all stuck in a system that we know is wrong.

:02:46.:02:50.

We have all been damaged by it. But if we learned anything from the

:02:51.:02:54.

expenses scandal it is surely that if the system has broken then we

:02:54.:02:58.

should not wait for the next scandal, we should fix it and fix

:02:58.:03:08.
:03:08.:03:19.

So, whether it is securing the economy, sorting the banks or

:03:19.:03:27.

cleaning out politics, we are making the big, difficult decisions.

:03:27.:03:34.

Not easy, but right. And that is what it means to be a party of

:03:34.:03:41.

national government again. Not just making arguments, making change.

:03:41.:03:47.

Now, in a coalition we have two kinds of power. The power to hold

:03:47.:03:51.

our coalition partners back and the power to move the Government for

:03:51.:03:57.

what. So, we can keep the Government to a liberal path, and

:03:57.:04:02.

could the Government in the centre ground. -- and could the Government.

:04:02.:04:08.

You were absolutely right to stop the NHS Bill in its tracks. To

:04:08.:04:11.

ensure a change in our terms, no arbitrary but deadlines, no threat

:04:11.:04:17.

to the basic principles at the heart of our NHS. We are right to

:04:18.:04:21.

stand up for civil liberties. No retreat to the illiberal populism

:04:21.:04:26.

of the Labour years. We are right to keep insisting on a fair tax

:04:26.:04:31.

system, asking the most of the people who have the most. And we

:04:31.:04:40.

will always defend human rights. At home, as well as abroad. The

:04:40.:04:48.

European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act are not,

:04:48.:04:53.

as some would have you believe, foreign in positions. These are

:04:53.:04:58.

British rights, drafted by British lawyers, forged in the aftermath of

:04:58.:05:01.

the atrocities of the Second World War, fought for by Winston

:05:01.:05:08.

Churchill. So, let me say something. Let me say something really care

:05:08.:05:11.

about the Human Rights Act. In fact, I will do it in words of one

:05:11.:05:21.
:05:21.:05:46.

So, friends, we will always hold the liberal line. But, much more

:05:46.:05:52.

important, the positive power of government. Not just stopping bad

:05:52.:05:58.

things but doing good things. Last year, I walked through the door of

:05:58.:06:05.

Number 10. But we all walked through a kind of altogether. Did

:06:05.:06:11.

being, once again, a party of national government. So, we must

:06:11.:06:19.

now move beyond the reflexes of opposition, to the opportunities of

:06:19.:06:25.

government. New social housing. Criminal justice reform. Fixed-term

:06:25.:06:30.

parliaments. Keeping our post offices open. House of Lords reform.

:06:30.:06:36.

Better mental health care. Safer banks. Income tax down for ordinary

:06:36.:06:40.

workers, capital gains tax up for the rich. Compulsory retirement,

:06:40.:06:46.

scrapped. Pensions protected by a triple lock. ID cards, history.

:06:46.:06:56.
:06:56.:06:58.

Child detention, ended. Just look at what we have announced in the

:06:58.:07:03.

last five days. After decades of campaigning, thanks to Lynne

:07:03.:07:08.

Featherstone, equal marriage, straight or gay. All-powerful

:07:08.:07:13.

consumers over energy companies. Calling time on rewards for failure

:07:13.:07:18.

in boardrooms. Investing in education for girls in developing

:07:18.:07:24.

countries. New powers to turn empty homes back into family homes. A

:07:24.:07:28.

�500 million investment in growth. Liberal achievements from a liberal

:07:28.:07:38.
:07:38.:07:51.

And we have stood by our commitments to act on the

:07:51.:07:57.

environment. The pollsters tell us that climate change has dropped

:07:57.:08:01.

down people's list of worries. That people have more immediate concerns.

:08:01.:08:06.

I understand this. So, the politically convenient thing would

:08:06.:08:13.

have been to put this off to another day. Instead, we have acted

:08:13.:08:21.

immediately. Not easy, but right. Ambitious carbon targets, energy

:08:21.:08:26.

market reform. Councils generated renewable energy. A Green Deal to

:08:26.:08:31.

make bills lower and homes warmer. Carbon capture and storage. Green

:08:31.:08:37.

buses, trains and trams. The world's first ever Green Investment

:08:37.:08:47.
:08:47.:09:01.

Bank. Green achievements from a I've learnt quite a bit in the last

:09:01.:09:05.

500 days. About the responsibilities of government,

:09:05.:09:11.

about the resilience of our party. The integrity of our members, our

:09:11.:09:18.

determination to do the right thing. In government, every single day

:09:18.:09:25.

brings hard choices. You know, you can very quickly lose your way

:09:25.:09:30.

unless you at some reduce certain of your calls. Why you're there in

:09:30.:09:34.

the first place. -- unless you are absolutely certain of your calls,

:09:34.:09:40.

why you're there in the first place. Everyone of us in this hall has

:09:40.:09:45.

strong convictions. A human rights, political reform, civil liberties,

:09:45.:09:50.

fighting capitalism, fighting climate change. -- responsible

:09:50.:09:55.

capitalism, fighting climate change. Every one of us has a political

:09:55.:09:59.

passion, too. The firing side that drew us into politics and the first

:09:59.:10:04.

place. Let me tell you about what I care most about. My passion is

:10:04.:10:13.

insuring a fair start for every child. I have a simple,

:10:13.:10:18.

unquenchable belief that every child can do good things, great

:10:18.:10:24.

things, if only we give them the opportunities they deserve. Equal

:10:24.:10:30.

opportunity. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? Everyone agrees that it.

:10:30.:10:36.

But then we allow prejudice, tradition, class, to crush a

:10:36.:10:40.

million hopes and dreams. Watch young children's lives go off-track,

:10:40.:10:45.

even before they go off to school, sit idly by while talent goes to

:10:45.:10:52.

waste. I know I have had all the advantages you could dream of. Good

:10:52.:11:01.

school, great parents. I was lucky. But it shouldn't be about luck. On

:11:01.:11:05.

Saturday I met a group of young people, just after I arrived in

:11:05.:11:10.

Birmingham, from a charity called UpRising. They were all from really

:11:10.:11:15.

difficult backgrounds. One young woman, Chantal, she told me that

:11:15.:11:23.

she only started to thrive when she found someone who believed in her.

:11:23.:11:30.

I want every child to believe in themselves. In terms of opportunity,

:11:30.:11:38.

we are a nation divided. Children from a poor background, a gear

:11:38.:11:41.

behind in language skills before the age of five. More young black

:11:41.:11:47.

men in prison than at Russell Group universities. In Hammersmith and

:11:47.:11:53.

Fulham in West London, more than half the children leading state

:11:53.:11:58.

schools head to a good university. Just 30 minutes down the District

:11:58.:12:04.

Line to Tower Hamlets, just 4% do. Odds stacked against too many of

:12:04.:12:11.

our children. A deep injustice, when birth his destiny. That is why

:12:11.:12:19.

I have been leading the charge for social mobility. For fairer chances,

:12:19.:12:29.
:12:29.:12:40.

You know, people keep telling me that it's too hard. That it is

:12:40.:12:46.

futile to push for fairness, into the headwinds of an economic

:12:46.:12:51.

slowdown. Or they say it will take too long, that I should find some

:12:51.:12:58.

politically convenient, quick wins instead. I also encountered fierce

:12:58.:13:03.

resistance from those who do so well out of the status quo. But for

:13:03.:13:08.

liberals, the only struggles worth having are the uphill ones.

:13:08.:13:14.

Allowing schools to move poorer children at the cue for admissions.

:13:14.:13:17.

Making universities open their doors to everyone. Making firms

:13:17.:13:22.

work harder to get women on their boards. Breaking open internships.

:13:22.:13:32.
:13:32.:13:41.

Or controversial, all difficult. So, I am not backing down. I am not

:13:41.:13:46.

slowing down. Because this will not be a liberal nation until every

:13:46.:13:51.

citizen can thrive and prosper, until birth is no longer destiny,

:13:51.:14:01.
:14:01.:14:12.

This summer, we saw the consequences of a society in which

:14:12.:14:18.

some people feel they have no stake at all. Nobody could fail to be

:14:18.:14:23.

horrified by what we saw during the riots. These were not organised

:14:23.:14:30.

campaigns for change. They were outbursts of nihilism and greed.

:14:30.:14:34.

I'll never forget the woman I met in Tottenham. She told me the

:14:34.:14:39.

clothes that she stood in were the only possessions she had in the

:14:39.:14:47.

torched. But, you know, in every city where trouble broke out, most

:14:47.:14:53.

people did the right thing. So many more people were out there to clean

:14:53.:14:57.

up the streets that went out to trash them in the first place. In

:14:57.:15:01.

Manchester I met a cafe owner who boarded up her broken windows and

:15:01.:15:05.

started serving tea and coffee straight away it to the people that

:15:05.:15:12.

were helping clear up. Here in Birmingham, the community stood

:15:12.:15:18.

together in the face of disorder and tragedy. Our emergency services,

:15:18.:15:23.

police, courts, they all rose to the challenge. But we have to now

:15:23.:15:31.

ensure that the offenders become ex-offenders, for good. Three out

:15:31.:15:34.

of four had previous convictions. We have to push ahead, not step

:15:35.:15:39.

back from, but push ahead with a government rehabilitation

:15:39.:15:44.

revolution. Punishment that sticks, that changes behaviour. An end to

:15:44.:15:50.

the corrosive cycle of crime. And I want the criminal to look their

:15:50.:15:55.

victims in the eye. Two of see the consequences of their actions and

:15:55.:16:02.

put it right. That is why there will be community pay back projects

:16:02.:16:06.

in every city affected. Why we are investing in drug recovery wings in

:16:06.:16:13.

our prisons, tackling down culture, tougher community sentences.

:16:13.:16:23.
:16:23.:16:36.

Effective, restorative justice. Let me say something else. The

:16:36.:16:44.

rioters are not the face of Britain's young people. The vast

:16:44.:16:50.

majority of our young people are good, decent, and doing the best

:16:50.:17:00.
:17:00.:17:09.

they can. Don't condemn all of them Do you know what really struck me?

:17:09.:17:16.

It was how so many of those that did join the riots seems to have

:17:16.:17:20.

nothing to lose. It was about what they could get here and now. Not

:17:20.:17:25.

what lay in front of them tomorrow and the years ahead, as if their

:17:25.:17:30.

own future had little value. Too many of these young people had

:17:30.:17:34.

simply fallen through the cracks, not just this summer, but many

:17:34.:17:40.

summers ago, when they lost touch with their own future. And so often

:17:40.:17:43.

the people that have gone off the rails are the ones that are

:17:43.:17:51.

struggling years earlier, not least in making that critical leap from

:17:51.:17:56.

primary to secondary school. So today I am launching a new scheme

:17:56.:18:04.

to help the children that need it most, in the summer before they

:18:04.:18:07.

start secondary school. A two-week summer school helping them catch up

:18:07.:18:11.

in maths and English and getting them ready for the challenges ahead.

:18:11.:18:16.

Because we know this is a time when too many children lose their way.

:18:16.:18:26.
:18:26.:18:36.

So this is a �50 million investment And that is why we have found the

:18:36.:18:40.

money even now to invest in education, protecting the school's

:18:40.:18:46.

budget. A �2.5 billion pupil premium by the end of the Palmer.

:18:46.:18:52.

More investment in early years education. 50 hours for all three

:18:52.:18:57.

and four year-olds. New provision for the poorest two year-olds. All

:18:57.:19:01.

steps towards a society where nobody is enslaved by poverty,

:19:01.:19:08.

ignorance or conformity, towards a liberal society. These are

:19:08.:19:13.

investments that will take years or even decades to pay off. By the

:19:13.:19:17.

time the two year-olds that we have next year come to vote, I will be

:19:17.:19:23.

60. It is even possible that I will no longer be leader by then! At

:19:23.:19:30.

least, that is what I have told Miriam. So why are we doing it when

:19:30.:19:35.

it cost so much and take so long? Because investing early makes such

:19:35.:19:40.

a huge difference. Especially for the poorest children. Not easy. Not

:19:40.:19:50.
:19:50.:20:08.

So hold your heads up. Look our critics squarely in the eye. This

:20:08.:20:12.

country would be in deep trouble today if we had not gone into

:20:12.:20:18.

Government last year. And Britain will be a fairer nation tomorrow

:20:18.:20:24.

because we are in Government today. Never apologise for the difficult

:20:24.:20:31.

things we are having to do. We are serving a great country at the time

:20:31.:20:40.

of great need. There are no short cuts, but we won't flinch. Our

:20:41.:20:44.

values are strong, our instincts are good. Reason, not prejudice,

:20:44.:20:54.
:20:54.:21:08.

compassion not greed. Hope, not After the summer riots message

:21:08.:21:13.

boards sprang up. They became known as peace walls. And on the one in

:21:13.:21:22.

Peckham there was a note that simply said - our home, our

:21:22.:21:27.

children, our future. Six words that say so much more than 600

:21:27.:21:36.

speeches. Our home, our children, our future. Britain is our home. We

:21:36.:21:42.

will make it safe and strong. These are our children. We will tear down

:21:42.:21:48.

every barrier they face. And this is our future. We start building it

:21:48.:21:58.
:21:58.:22:07.

JUDO: Nick Clegg finishes his address. His wife Miriam on her

:22:07.:22:10.

feet with the rest of the conference will a statutory

:22:10.:22:13.

standing ovation that all party leaders get at this stage. He spoke

:22:13.:22:22.

for about 45 minutes. It was a pretty are repentant Lib Dem leader.

:22:22.:22:26.

-- unrepentant. He would not apologise for joining in the

:22:26.:22:29.

coalition with the Tories because they had to act in the interests of

:22:29.:22:36.

the nation. The Deputy Prime Minister even DUP the previous

:22:36.:22:40.

attacks on the Tories by criticising Ed Miliband and Ed

:22:40.:22:44.

Balls as the backroom boys. Never trust Labour again on the economy,

:22:44.:22:49.

he said. Words that may come back to haunt him a little bit iffy as

:22:49.:22:57.

to form a coalition with them in the future. -- if he has to form a

:22:57.:23:02.

coalition. And on a Human Rights Act, a lot of Conservatives want to

:23:02.:23:11.

replace that with a British Human to stay. He told quite a bit about

:23:11.:23:18.

social mobility as well. He said quite a lot about the rioting. He

:23:18.:23:22.

announced a �50 million initiative to send children from the more

:23:22.:23:29.

deprived parts of our cities and elsewhere into two weeks' summer

:23:29.:23:33.

schools in the gap between leaving primary school and going to

:23:33.:23:37.

secondary school so they could catch up on maths and English. Many

:23:37.:23:40.

people will wonder what difference that might make. When we see the

:23:40.:23:44.

details, it will no doubt be debated. He is going through the

:23:44.:23:49.

hall. It was not packed. You may have seen from our coverage quite a

:23:49.:23:55.

few empty seats. But he seems to have done the business. Sam Coates

:23:55.:24:00.

from the Times is with me. What did you make of that? It was

:24:00.:24:03.

interesting that he was making an appeal to the hall, rather than to

:24:03.:24:08.

the country. The slogan of the speech was not easy but right and

:24:08.:24:12.

he said it over and over. It was an appeal to activists to stay

:24:12.:24:16.

together and pull together. I think he knows this is not a front page

:24:16.:24:20.

speech. I think he knows that the job of today was to reassure

:24:20.:24:25.

activists that it would be all right in the end, and to

:24:25.:24:30.

essentially give them... Praising the people around him, at their

:24:30.:24:34.

resilience and determination. Politically, one line steered

:24:34.:24:38.

through. The line about Labour, never trust Labour on the economy

:24:38.:24:43.

again. Surely that will mean that they can never go into coalition

:24:43.:24:47.

with the Labour Party. We said that to them and they said not at all

:24:47.:24:51.

because they would make it all right if they did. I am not sure he

:24:51.:24:55.

can escape from that line. It is kind of they get out of jail free

:24:55.:24:59.

card because you cannot trust Labour on their own, they will need

:24:59.:25:02.

to be there to keep them on the right tracks. They have basically

:25:02.:25:06.

been saying that about the Tories as well. In a sense, this may not

:25:06.:25:11.

resonate, but will it make your front page tomorrow? It is in the

:25:11.:25:15.

balance. There is a lot of bad economic news out today. The worst

:25:15.:25:20.

borrowing figures ever, the speeches later on today, and the

:25:20.:25:24.

development in Athens with the eurozone crisis. What Nick Clegg

:25:24.:25:27.

had to say on the economy is actually worth highlighting. He

:25:27.:25:31.

said they would do more growth. Again, in the briefing before the

:25:31.:25:35.

speech we asked what that would be. But there is no new money, it

:25:35.:25:40.

appears. A message for the hall, again, but not underpinning it as

:25:40.:25:49.

you might want. He can regard Birmingham as a reasonable success

:25:49.:25:53.

for him. There were rumblings that they wanted to ditch Nick Clegg,

:25:53.:25:57.

because going into the bed with the Tories was a disaster. They may not

:25:57.:26:01.

be very happy about it, but nobody is saying that Nick Clegg's

:26:01.:26:05.

position is in jeopardy. He lives to fight another day as leader of

:26:05.:26:09.

the Liberal Democrats. One of the interesting things about the

:26:09.:26:12.

conference as a whole is that Nick Clegg has got his mojo back. The

:26:12.:26:17.

top senior people all acknowledge that. That is interesting because

:26:17.:26:21.

before the summer they may not have been so sure. Now he is determined

:26:21.:26:25.

to fight into the next election and through it as well. And he promised

:26:25.:26:35.

Mary and that he would not just be serving for one turn. -- Miriam.

:26:35.:26:41.

That is the big if. Thank you. We have got more with some Lib Dem

:26:41.:26:44.

activists now. Yes, I have. You may be able to

:26:44.:26:48.

hear the noise of delegates streaming out of the Conference

:26:48.:26:52.

Centre after the speech. We have managed to grab two of them for the

:26:52.:26:56.

moment and we might get some more. Paul Hodgkinson and Neil McGovern,

:26:56.:27:01.

both councillors. Welcome to you both. Your first impression? Really

:27:01.:27:06.

good. What I liked about it was that Nick was unapologetic about

:27:06.:27:10.

making tough decisions. He was really trumpeting our liberal

:27:10.:27:14.

values. Things like the vested interest. They really liked that.

:27:14.:27:20.

Yes, they did. And the stuff about the Green Investment Bank, taking

:27:20.:27:27.

people out of tax at the bottom of the scale. He is really good and he

:27:27.:27:31.

needs to say more. There are two things that he needs to do. One of

:27:31.:27:34.

them was dealing with the issues that face us at the moment, so

:27:34.:27:39.

cutting the deficit and making sure we get a good green recovery. And a

:27:39.:27:42.

second one is that he has differentiated the Lib Dems on the

:27:42.:27:49.

Tories and Labour. He mentioned that we have Labour and the Tories,

:27:49.:27:53.

and we are different. It is clear what difference we are making to

:27:53.:27:56.

this Government. He said this was less about Conservative bashing and

:27:56.:28:02.

much more about firing at the Labour Party. Would you support

:28:02.:28:06.

that? Would you say that on the doorsteps? I think it is very much

:28:06.:28:11.

about what we are bringing to the Government. The things we are doing.

:28:11.:28:15.

You heard him say very clearly then that the Human Rights Act will not

:28:15.:28:20.

go. That was a real warning to the Conservatives. For me that is an

:28:20.:28:26.

important thing. You are refused fan? Yes, and lots of Liberal

:28:26.:28:33.

Democrat staff. -- a huge fan? So what is it like on the doorstep?

:28:33.:28:36.

is different in the Cotswolds because we had a great result in

:28:36.:28:40.

Labour and the best result in the country. Then we don't want to talk

:28:40.:28:46.

to you! And in Cambridge? There has been a lot of anger but not from

:28:46.:28:49.

people that vote Liberal Democrat. The Labour vote now think it is OK

:28:49.:28:53.

to vote Labour again. They have forgotten a 10 pence tax rate,

:28:53.:28:57.

things like that, and we are seeing lot of people coming out again.

:28:57.:29:01.

Among the voters that we have got, they are still strong and it is

:29:01.:29:08.

growing day-by-day, we have had members joining all the time.

:29:08.:29:11.

experience was completely different. In those areas that have been

:29:11.:29:14.

Conservative in the past, they are very comfortable with the coalition,

:29:14.:29:18.

and we bring a break to those more extreme views. You are lucky enough

:29:18.:29:23.

to be able to take a bad review. Which one would you like? I will

:29:23.:29:31.

take the one which says I Love high-speed rail. It is not going

:29:31.:29:36.

through your constituency! And you? I love the 50 pence tax rate.

:29:36.:29:42.

controversial. We will return at the end of the programme and speak

:29:42.:29:50.

to more delegates. Now back to We are joined by Nick Robinson,

:29:50.:29:54.

what is your overview? In a sense, it was less of a speech and more of

:29:55.:29:58.

a plea to the country to understand why he and his party had done what

:29:58.:30:02.

they had done. There was that passionate moment, he said, we had

:30:02.:30:06.

to go into government. That constant refrain, it's not easy,

:30:06.:30:11.

but it is right. I think, in a sense, that is all the speech was.

:30:11.:30:14.

There were lots of bits that pleased but all that didn't

:30:14.:30:19.

actually sing off the page when we read the script before. They liked

:30:19.:30:23.

the insistence that the party was in nobody's pocket, that they had

:30:23.:30:27.

been that people that warned about the banks, but Rupert Murdoch and

:30:27.:30:31.

the state of Parliament before expenses crisis. That gave them a

:30:31.:30:35.

sense of who they were. They liked the stance about the human rights

:30:35.:30:41.

act, his commitment, let me spell it out, he said, it is here to say

:30:41.:30:44.

-- stayed. They liked the list of liberal achievement in government.

:30:44.:30:49.

To the country, the message was, I did this for a reason you have to

:30:49.:30:52.

understand. You might not like me, you might think I broke my word,

:30:52.:30:57.

you might wish I hadn't done it, but accept why I did it. A little

:30:57.:31:01.

bit like Tony Blair, again and again, he said, you may disagree

:31:01.:31:05.

with me on Iraq but at least accept that I did it for the reasons I

:31:05.:31:10.

believed in. They were never in Rupert Murdoch's pocket, but then

:31:10.:31:13.

he never invited them into his pocket and we don't know what they

:31:13.:31:18.

would have done if he had. Is it best to see this... Although he was

:31:18.:31:22.

speaking to the wider audience as well, overwhelmingly to me it

:31:22.:31:26.

seemed it was a speech to consolidate, almost re consolidate

:31:26.:31:31.

his position with his own party. To that extent, he succeeded?

:31:31.:31:35.

Absolutely. In a sense, he had succeeded before the speech was

:31:35.:31:39.

delivered. Back in May, when he lost the election so badly, not

:31:39.:31:43.

just the English locals, but in Scotland and Wales, when he lost

:31:44.:31:49.

the referendum on voting change, the great Liberal Democrat dream

:31:49.:31:53.

for so many years, when he was the target for so much personal abuse,

:31:53.:31:56.

you might have believed that this was a day when he was pleading for

:31:56.:32:00.

his leadership, for a continuance of the coalition. In truth, he is

:32:00.:32:05.

not. In part, that's because his main rivals have been damaged on

:32:06.:32:10.

the way. Vince Cable for political reasons, his comments that were

:32:10.:32:13.

recorded by the Daily Telegraph, Chris Huhne for personal reasons.

:32:13.:32:16.

They are not the kind of threat they might have been a few months

:32:16.:32:20.

ago. I think you are right, he was trying to say, there are things we

:32:20.:32:23.

believe in that we are fighting for and we are winning. You don't have

:32:23.:32:28.

to spend the whole time thinking you're only job is simply to find

:32:28.:32:34.

things you don't like that the Tories are to and say no. Let's go

:32:34.:32:37.

back to Jo for some more reaction from her end of things.

:32:37.:32:42.

Janet Morgan has been a councillor in Abingdon in Oxfordshire. Your

:32:42.:32:46.

impressions of the atmosphere, first of all, what was it like in

:32:46.:32:52.

that all? I thought it was very positive for their speech. A very

:32:52.:32:58.

comprehensive speech. Not showy, but really down-to-earth.

:32:58.:33:03.

didn't think it was too sombre, too much about the fight ahead? All of

:33:03.:33:08.

the decisions are difficult? Was it uplifting enough? Yes, I think it

:33:08.:33:12.

was realistic and uplifting. Particularly at the end, the

:33:12.:33:16.

concentration on children, John people, one of them being the

:33:16.:33:22.

future. That was definitely uplifting. Did you agree with Nick

:33:22.:33:25.

Clegg in the staunch defence of the economic programme? That being in

:33:26.:33:28.

coalition with the Conservatives is right and that they have to stick

:33:28.:33:32.

to the plan of spending cuts? think so, provided it goes with the

:33:32.:33:37.

other things like the emphasis on, particularly, looking at young

:33:37.:33:42.

people for the future. What would you like to see? What would be the

:33:42.:33:45.

most important thing you would like to see the Liberal Democrat achieve

:33:46.:33:53.

in government now? The whole thing about tax, we started the progress

:33:53.:33:56.

of taking people out of tax at the bottom of the scale. We need to go

:33:56.:34:00.

fully ahead with that, by 2015 I want to see that everybody on the

:34:00.:34:04.

minimum wage pays no tax at all. The other thing I would like to see

:34:04.:34:09.

is more taxation for the bankers. I don't think we have gone far enough

:34:09.:34:14.

on that. The bids is very strong on that. -- Vince Cable is very strong

:34:14.:34:21.

on that. What would you like to see? More on more excessive bonuses,

:34:21.:34:25.

more money coming back to us from the money we put into the banking

:34:25.:34:28.

system in the first place. We've gone some way, but we need to go

:34:29.:34:34.

further. In terms of tax, you have a badge saying I love the 50 pence

:34:34.:34:39.

tax rate. It is staying for the moment. Is that something you would

:34:39.:34:43.

like to see permanently? I think it is. I don't think it's the argument

:34:43.:34:48.

that if we suddenly get some of the richest people a bit of a tax break,

:34:48.:34:53.

it means they will leave the country and will lose thousands of

:34:53.:34:57.

pounds. It's about sending a message, the people that pay the

:34:57.:35:00.

most should be able to help the most. Are you invigorated to go

:35:00.:35:04.

back out on the doorsteps, all three of you? Absolutely.

:35:04.:35:10.

Absolutely. All three of you, thank you very much. We'll let you go in

:35:10.:35:14.

a few minutes' time. At it from us with the delegates. Actor you.

:35:14.:35:18.

We are joined by the Business Secretary Vince Cable. Welcome back

:35:18.:35:23.

to the Daily Politics. Have you lost the stimulus argument in this

:35:23.:35:27.

government? Absolutely not. I spoke on Monday about the need for

:35:27.:35:33.

financial stability, stepping -- staying with our deficit-reduction

:35:33.:35:38.

targets. This is partly about the measures to attract investment,

:35:38.:35:41.

apprenticeship technology. In the short term, some of the things that

:35:41.:35:49.

can happen, the modest support for infrastructure that Danny Alexander

:35:49.:35:54.

had. At the weekend you called for a new deal style stimulus? I set

:35:54.:35:57.

out a set of measures on how government can stimulate and

:35:57.:36:01.

encourage growth, without at the same time undermining of

:36:01.:36:07.

sacrificing... Well, there are new deals throughout our economic

:36:07.:36:13.

history, that means a substantial increase in government investment.

:36:13.:36:20.

You're not going to get that. didn't used that phrase, New Deal.

:36:20.:36:26.

Someone glamorised it. It wasn't inaccurate? Of course, we need as

:36:26.:36:31.

much commitment as we can for investment in the economy.

:36:31.:36:33.

Government money can leverage in a substantial amount of private

:36:33.:36:37.

capital. We are doing that with the Green Investment Bank, but we

:36:37.:36:41.

mustn't compromise our public expenditure commitments and our

:36:41.:36:46.

deficit reduction. Do you accept that there cannot be a substantial

:36:46.:36:51.

amount of new capital investment without reaching your budget

:36:51.:36:57.

targets and spending limits? You accept that? We are having to stick

:36:57.:37:00.

to the commitments. But we are dealing with a moving target. As

:37:01.:37:03.

far as capital expenditure is concerned, the Government has

:37:03.:37:07.

already increased it. It was savaged under the outgoing

:37:07.:37:12.

government. It clearly plays an important role in private-sector

:37:12.:37:16.

investment. Danny Alexander has put in an additional commitment to that

:37:17.:37:20.

during the conference. Your leader said today, deficit-reduction lays

:37:20.:37:24.

the foundation for growth. We are getting the deficit reduction,

:37:24.:37:28.

where is the growth? Deficit reduction leads to growth through

:37:28.:37:31.

the following mechanisms. If you have external confidence... But we

:37:31.:37:36.

haven't got the growth. That is a common problem throughout the

:37:36.:37:40.

Western world. So, one isn't following the other? The growth we

:37:40.:37:44.

need to have is beginning to become apparent in exports, manufacturing,

:37:44.:37:47.

business investment. The biggest thing that happened on the first

:37:47.:37:51.

day of the conference is the commitment to a big engine plant

:37:51.:37:55.

that is happening throughout the manufacturing sector. That is the

:37:55.:38:01.

kind of growth that is sustainable. Who are, to quote you, the

:38:01.:38:06.

ideological descendants of those who sent children up chimneys?

:38:06.:38:11.

There are people that are trying to suggest... Who? Well, I'm not

:38:11.:38:17.

naming individuals... At why not? Let's just say segments of the

:38:17.:38:27.

press... Depressed? -- the press? Not the Tories? I'm not criticising

:38:27.:38:30.

the Conservatives... Which newspapers are in favour of sending

:38:30.:38:40.
:38:40.:38:41.

children up chimneys? I didn't actually say that... Or the

:38:41.:38:48.

ideological? I'm trying to reform... Who was it that ended children

:38:48.:38:53.

going up children -- tinnies? expected was one of the most

:38:53.:38:57.

enlightened Prime Ministers... lord Shaftesbury, a Tory. Who

:38:57.:39:05.

opposed the ending? Probably one our people! Yes, prominent...

:39:05.:39:10.

Nobody is arguing... In a sense, you live the ideological descendent.

:39:11.:39:15.

Nobody is really arguing about trim -- children going up chimneys.

:39:15.:39:22.

mentioned it, not Mable stock -- not me. When your leader went on

:39:22.:39:26.

and on about social mobility, steps that would be taken to improve it,

:39:26.:39:30.

including cleaning up internships. As you will know, internships and

:39:30.:39:34.

work experience are the way that privileged people can get a leg up.

:39:34.:39:38.

They are often not paid and they depend on contract. From your own

:39:38.:39:43.

website, I have a list of jobs for interns from Lib Dem MPs and your

:39:44.:39:49.

own party headquarters. All of them are offering unpaid internships.

:39:49.:39:54.

Wider to clean up your own house first? Unpaid internships can be a

:39:54.:39:58.

valid form of work experience. They can have those negative effects,

:39:58.:40:05.

that they can be valuable. We know they are valuable. That is not the

:40:05.:40:10.

issue. The issue is that if they are unpaid, if you don't come from

:40:10.:40:13.

a well-off family, especially if you don't come from London, you

:40:13.:40:17.

cannot take these jobs. You are already making sure, on your own

:40:17.:40:21.

website, that these jobs will only go to the privileged and well-

:40:21.:40:27.

connected. That is not the case. Internships work for me, I try to

:40:27.:40:31.

choose people from a wide variety of backgrounds. How can you live in

:40:31.:40:35.

London and how an internship without a salary? A lot of people

:40:35.:40:38.

are at home, they've left college, they are looking to gain experience.

:40:39.:40:45.

Excuse me, this is quite important. You talk about this all the time.

:40:45.:40:50.

If you are a bright boy or girl from Birmingham, just coming out of

:40:50.:40:54.

university, from an ordinary, working-class family, how could you

:40:54.:40:59.

afford to take any insure unshipped -- internship from the Liberal

:40:59.:41:04.

Democrat when it is unpaid? We are not going to scrap internships.

:41:04.:41:09.

did you just pay them? The major problems of social mobility have to

:41:09.:41:13.

be overcome in a variety of ways, helping people to get to university,

:41:13.:41:18.

the Pupil Premium and the rest. Internships are a valuable form of

:41:18.:41:23.

training. They perform a useful function, themselves. You said you

:41:23.:41:28.

were going to do something dramatic to curb executive pay. I didn't say

:41:28.:41:35.

anything about dramatic. You ended up only consultant. Since you

:41:35.:41:38.

control the pay of the Royal Bank of Scotland, why don't you do

:41:38.:41:48.

You talk about Mr Hester? He has a long-term contract. Well, all of

:41:48.:41:52.

them. The Government does not want to be in a position of managing

:41:53.:41:57.

every executive decision in those banks which are state-owned.

:41:57.:42:00.

even though you think that bankers are paid too much, you can do

:42:00.:42:05.

nothing about the banks that your own? Well, we can do. One of the

:42:05.:42:09.

eminence of the Merlin agreement was getting acceptance from the

:42:09.:42:13.

banks, including state-owned banks, that they would exercise moderation

:42:13.:42:18.

in their pay. In your view, have they? They are still getting

:42:18.:42:23.

millions of pounds. Not enough. That is what we are working on.

:42:23.:42:29.

will understand, as you lecture others to control their pay, in

:42:29.:42:31.

banks way you want a shareholder, you can't do anything. It's like

:42:31.:42:35.

your internships. You do one thing at a party conference, in reality,

:42:35.:42:40.

you're not doing it at all. There is a great deal of restraint in

:42:40.:42:45.

public sector pay, particularly at the top end. The banks, including

:42:46.:42:49.

state banks, are under a lot of pressure to reduce bonuses and pay.

:42:49.:42:53.

Perhaps they should do more of that. I acknowledge that in the case of

:42:54.:42:58.

people that have failed, like the former head of Lloyds Bank, we

:42:58.:43:02.

should maybe do more. In your heart of hearts, don't you think that

:43:02.:43:06.

Greece will end up defaulting? will have to be written down. I

:43:06.:43:09.

think that is acceptable. I hope they will remain within the

:43:09.:43:13.

eurozone. That is a different issue. And that it will continue. It's a

:43:13.:43:18.

while since we have been talking, I enjoyed that. Nice to see you. That

:43:18.:43:22.

is the end of our coverage from the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham.

:43:22.:43:26.

The day when Nick Clegg re- establish his credentials as Lib

:43:26.:43:29.

Dem leader and convinced his party that they had no alternative but to

:43:29.:43:33.

stick with the coalition in the national interests. We now move

:43:33.:43:37.

from Birmingham to the Good City of Liverpool, where the Labour

:43:37.:43:43.

conference will be gathering for their annual event. Join us there

:43:43.:43:45.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are in Birmingham for the final day of the Liberal Democrat conference.

In the afternoon Nick Clegg will try to make people feel better about the government's economic message in his keynote speech. It will be a tough job for the party leader, as on Tuesday the IMF downgraded the UK's growth forecast for this year to 1.1 per cent. The programme talks to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.


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