Conference Special Daily Politics


Conference Special

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest from Liberal Democrat conference, including Nick Clegg's speech live and reaction from guests including Lord Ashdown.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to our final Daily Politics conference

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special on the Liberal Democrats in Brighton, where all eyes will be on

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Nick Clegg. The Lib Dem leader is conference speech just after 3.00pm

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to the party faithful, for whom he will have an uncompromising

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message: the party needs to grit its teeth and bear it until voters

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realise they are doing the right thing. Whether they ever do, of

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course, is the dark cloud hanging over this conference. Mr Clegg and

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his wife Miriam walked into the conference hall a few minutes ago

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on their way from the Grand Hotel, passed the exhibitions where the

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parties make all their money at conferences. This is Clegg -- Mrs

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Clegg is wearing a dreg by Henrietta Ludgate, a Scottish

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designer. The shoes are from Zara, that's only fitting. It is a

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Spanish company and she is Spanish. For some reason they haven't

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briefed us on where Mr Clegg got his suit. Let's go to the inside of

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the hall. There is the Lib Dem faithful gathering for this annual

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speech. They've been queuing up outside. Had a quick lufrpblgt some

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of them coffee and sandwiches on the way in. It won't -- lunch. Some

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of them had coffee and sandwiches on the way in. There's a sense that

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the economic policy has yet to work its magic, if it had any magic. As

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everybody takes their seats in the hall we'll be talking to two former

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leaders, VIPs no less, Paddy Ashdown on the right and Ming

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Campbell on the left. And Adam will be talking to Lib Dem plebs - did I

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say that? At least I didn't swear. I mean the rank and file of the

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party. And I will be prowling the floors of the conference to get

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predictions and reaction from conference delegates.

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All that in the next couple of hours. And with us for the duration,

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two of our favourite pollsters - Ben Page from Ipsos MORI and Peter

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Kellner from YouGov. So, if you have any thoughts or comments on

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Nick Clegg's speech, you can send them to us at

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[email protected] Or tweet your comments using the hashtag

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#bbcdp. There was talk of a challenge to Mr

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Clegg's leadership on the eve of this conference, but that has

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clearly failed to materialise. But there is a sense in which Mr Clegg

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is living on borrowed time. His personal and poll ratings are dire

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and if they stay that way for another year, his leadership could

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well be on the line, especially since there is now a clear

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frontrunner to replace him - 69- year-old Vince Cable. The Lib Dems

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are in a double bind. Unless the coalition's economic policy starts

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to work, the Lib Dems will be in for a hammering. And even if it

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does, the Lib Dems might not get the credit. That's between a rock

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and a hard place isn't it? Yes, and last week our YouGov poll, where we

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measure party leaders' ratings every week, Nick Clegg dipped below

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Gordon at his worst. He is the main party, the least popular leader

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since Michael Foot. Is there examples from modern times of

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someone having poll ratings this bad but coming back? I can't think

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of any. One of the problems that third parties like the Lib Dems

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seem to get hammered when they go into coalition with a bigger party.

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You can see this in European politics all the time. Never say

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never but I can't think of one where somebody like Clegg has come

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back from the abyss. There's been a sense, Peter Kellner, this week

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that Mr Clegg and the party leadership haven't really been

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talking to us and the wider public. They've got so many problems of

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their own that they are talking to themselves. I think that's right.

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Look, I'm rather than -- I rather admire Nick Clegg. He did,

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unusually for a politician, put country before country. When I was

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in Brighton on Monday, the people I spoke to were either in depression

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or denial. That bad? I found very literally optimism. Express

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optimism, they to. Nick Clegg says he will go on into the next

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election. He has to, or become a lame duck. But I don't think

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anybody, the other thing that Nick Clegg will step down before the

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next election, or if he leads them, they will get seriously slaughtered.

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Should we take seriously or with a large bag of salt the polls which

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say if Vince Cable was leader the Lib Dems would be 5% up? I remember

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when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister we would ask if Michael

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Heseltine was leader or somebody else, the Tories would do much

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better, in the late 1980s do. We take them serious stphri They tell

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you something that you can only tell when it happens. So often in

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recent British political history the person that ends up replacing

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the leader is somebody that none of us are talking about at the moment.

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You were saying that the message that has come out from this

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conference, all this way we used to put them down as sandal-wearing, we

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the Lib Dems are now a party of Government and you neat to trade us

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seriously. Do you think that's the wrong strategy? I think it is. I

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understand why they do it, as they want to be seen as big boys playing

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big boys' games. If you think of Lib Dems in marketing terms,

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throughout my lifetime they've been a niche product. Imagine if thengs

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I don't know, a niche delicatessen on Hampstead high street, the last

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thing you would do is compete with Tesco and Sainsbury's. It is a

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marketing disaster. You can't compete in that league. In terms of

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maximising support in the next election, to maximise support the

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last thing you do is say, we are just as good as Labour and the

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Tories. You do agree with that or not? The challenge they've got is

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to get back the voters who left them and have gone back to Labour.

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But the difficulty is, if you have gone back to Labour, at this point,

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with Ed Miliband, who has his own problems, will you get them back?

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We'll see. A recent poll in the Guardian suggests that the apology

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is playing well. The Guardian suggested not. At YouGov we are

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finding the same thing. It has not had an effect. We compared it with

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Gordon's apology with Bigot-gate and more people think Nick Clegg is

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more sincere now than Gordon was then. But his party ratings this

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week through the conference, and would expect an uplifrbgts but so

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far they are flat lining. -- up lift, but so far they are flat

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lining. Let's go to the form leader of the Lib Dems, Paddy Ashdown.

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Welcome to the Daily Politics. to be with you Andrew. Two gay old

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grizzled heads together. shouldn't speak about yourself and

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Peter like that! That's very rude to our guests. You've described

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Nick Clegg as the best leader the party's had for 100 years. Why?

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Better than me, by the way, that means, which is quite tough for me

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to say. I'm a quite little fellow. That isn't difficult. He led the

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party into Government, has led it in Government, and that's something

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that nobody has done for 100 years. He's done it with unbelievable

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grace under fire and he's done a very good job. You are on proper

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network television now. extremely good job. Doesn't that

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show just how out of touch you are? The polls show 68% think he is

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untrustworthy and 75% think he is weak. How long have you been

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commentating on politics? About three years. Anything you can do

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with opinion polls midterm has no relevance. If you are doing tough

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things, and he is, with the party and for the country, you ain't

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going to be popular. You know that as well as me. If you remember, and

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I'm sure your memory goes back that far, at the first part in the

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Thatcher Government she was the most unpopular British Prime

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Minister, but she won the next election. Forget it. It is great

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fun for you guys to do an opinion poll because it saves you a story,

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but one in the middle of the Parliament is completely irrelevant.

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Thank you for being rude for a second time to our guests, who are

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both pollsters. I love Peter Kellner. I will bring Peter in this

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a moment. Who has been the second best leader of your party in 100

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years? Who who do you think Andrew Mitchell... I know I'm posh but I'm

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not one who swears. I have never accused you of being posh. Who is

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the second most popular? Me, Andrew. Is it Lloyd George? By my

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arithmetic it takes you to 1912. was a great Prime Minister in the

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early days no, doubt about that. Let's get Back To The Future.

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get back to the present, if I may. Is Vince Cable the best leader in

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waiting? I don't know, because there isn't a leader in waiting. It

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is not a question. I know you guys came here wanting to make this a

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question and as soon as you found you couldn't you said we are all

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miserable. Grimly determined, certainly, but miserable? Not.

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this coalition was formed, you were pretty sniffy about the whole idea.

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Now you are a big fan. What's changed? I was concerned about it

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for about the first two hours, Andrew. Then I saw that NEC's

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judgment was absolutely correct. He understood as perhaps some of us

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who had fought the old Tory Party hadn't, but that party had changed.

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He understood and we have seen it just the depth of the appalling

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mess that the last Government left us in. Let me give you two figures.

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If we hadn't gone into the coalition, we were carrying then a

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debt in Britain equivalent per capita roughly to that of Greece

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and Spain. We now have interest rates half of those in Germany. Why

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do you think that is? It is because you've got a majority Government

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doing tough things. If you hadn't, if we had not done that in the

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national interest, your hospitals, your schools, your welfare would

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have been slashed far more than they are now but not by accountable

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politicians but the marketplace. I didn't want that, the party didn't

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want it and we've made sure we evaded on. I would suggest the

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interest rates on our bonds are so low is that the Bank of England is

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printing money to buy them. You couldn't do that in Europe, which

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is where you would have had us if you had your way. You are a fair

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man, I don't doubt that quantitative easing is a factor in

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that, but if you had a Government almost of any hue, and the only

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alternative would have been terrifyingly worse than the present

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one, in terms of what's happened to the poor in this country, we would

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be in a very much worse situation than we currently are. Look, here

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is the point. Nick is I think stig the party, no looking back. He is

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dead right to do so. He is saying that our future is inextricably

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bound up with that of the country. He is dead right to say so. He is

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saying we are one of the three parties of Government, and so we

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are. He has said throughout this week that when it comes to taking

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the decisions about the scale of the cuts that has to come to

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continue to cut the deficit we are determined as Lib Dems to make sure

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that we deal with that from the top down, not the bottom up. So just to

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clarify, you are in no doubt that Mr Clegg will lead your party into

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the next election? No doubt. Alright. What role would you like

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to play in the next election? Anything I can that my leader would

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like me to do. Do you think you are going to be offered a role in the

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next election? And now doubt I will hear that from the leader when he

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thinks I should. So you probably will be offered a role in the next

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election? No, Andrew, you just heard my answer. When the leader of

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my party, who I am devoted for, the best political leader in Britain at

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the moment, shown tremendous foresite and determination, when he

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wants me to help, I will be on hand to help. When they do that, if they

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do that and if I did that, and when they announce that is up to them,

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not you and me. I know that. We are just waiting for the announcement.

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:15:17.:15:18.

Could you explain to us, what's In the modern age, it is what you

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do in the modern age, the most important part of what you do is

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what you do with others. It is the interconnections with nations,

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businesses, even between political parties that make you succeed. We

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have to get hold of the idea that government is less and less, or

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should be less and less, a doer and more and Enabler of networks that

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extend beyond governments. It's not quite John F Kennedy, is it? John F

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Kennedy was right most of the time. But this is about a new way of

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thinking about government. You are interested in that kind of thing.

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Have me on the programme later and we will go through it on detail.

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I'm not sure we could bear that! What is the third and second?

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know me well enough that I was sending myself up ever-so-slightly.

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There is no first Ashdown law, no second one. It sounds better if

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there is a third one. I will make one or two up for you. Just to help

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you along! I have no doubt you will! Peter Kellner would like to

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tell you why pollsters matter when there is not an election. Firstly,

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what do polls do? They tell you what the public think. I don't

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think any politician of any substance, and you are a politician

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of substance, you don't really mean it when you say they are worthless.

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If you are saying they do not predict the next election, that is

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true. If we had subtitles when the politician said I did not take

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notice of opinion polls, it should say, I do take notice, but we are

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doing badly. You take notice of them, because your party pays to

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have them done! We take notice, we look at them. The point about an

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opinion poll is that they tell you where you are, not way you're going.

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I was careful to say that I do not say they are rubbish sure we are

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not paid attention to them. I do say that when looking at a poll,

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predicting the outcome of a General Election, which is what has been

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going on all week, I agree that they did not predict that outcome.

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You and I agree? Thank you. On that point of agreement, I am forced to

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bring this to a halt. Agreement is not what we are in the business of.

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Go and get your seat and see if you can pick up the first and second

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floors. Let's see if you have thought of

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them by the end of the programme. One poll has Nick Clegg with the

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lowest personal rating of any leader since Michael Foot. That

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means it is safe to say that it has not been a great year for him. The

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great apology, instantly set to music, was meant to draw a line

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under the bad stuff. So far, no sign of that. Here is our look back

:18:05.:18:15.
:18:15.:18:16.

There are no easy years when you are in government. We have had to

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show real strength in 2011. The next year will be one that poses

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:18:32.:18:50.

many great talent is for everyone. A bill will be brought forward to

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reform the composition of the House Members will be aware that the

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Government has decided not to proceed with the Lords Reform Bill

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during this Parliament. I can confirm that the Government has

:19:06.:19:16.
:19:16.:19:19.

I think there is a kind of chemistry. I can see a little bit

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:19:29.:19:30.

There is no easy way to say this. We made a pledge, we did not stick

:19:30.:19:40.
:19:40.:19:41.

to it. For that, I am sorry. will fight the 2015 election as Lib

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:19:51.:19:54.

Let's talk about Nick Clegg's year with Kevin Maguire from The Marach

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and Quentin Letts from the Daily Mail. A difficult year for Nick

:19:58.:20:02.

Clegg. What has the atmosphere been like? All of the reports say it has

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been downbeat. I'm not sure there has been any atmosphere! It has not

:20:07.:20:12.

exactly been riveting. It's not really been clear why we have been

:20:12.:20:16.

here. We might be reaching the point that we have in America,

:20:16.:20:22.

where they have conventions once every political cycle, rather than

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every year. There is no real political need for this conference

:20:25.:20:30.

to be happening. Dare I ask, have you had a best moment of the week?

:20:30.:20:34.

I've had a nice time, nice of you to ask. Have I had a best moment,

:20:34.:20:41.

apart from talking to you? Probably Nick Clegg's Q&A has been the most

:20:41.:20:46.

interesting moment. He himself remains the key person in his party.

:20:46.:20:50.

But he is the person way over to the right of the rest of the party.

:20:50.:20:54.

The Lib Dems as a whole still feel a very left-wing collection of

:20:54.:20:57.

people, in government with the Tories, rather against their

:20:57.:21:01.

instincts. Kevin Maguire, you can think about your best moment of the

:21:01.:21:07.

week. Who has made the best speech? Actually, I will tell you my best

:21:07.:21:12.

moments straight away. It was actually seeing Vince Clegg

:21:12.:21:17.

sprinting in the rain... Vince Cable, sorry! He is not too old for

:21:17.:21:22.

the leadership. He had a fair pace on him, when I saw him. It has been

:21:22.:21:26.

very flat. I think there will be more people here next week for the

:21:26.:21:30.

Tesco Wine Show. If you look at the speeches, a lot of them have been

:21:30.:21:35.

flat. They had a good debate on secret justice, justice is

:21:35.:21:41.

listening to security evidence in private, rather than public. Paddy

:21:41.:21:45.

Ashdown, when we were listening to him in earlier, having his banter

:21:45.:21:48.

with Andrew, the big announcement is going to be that Paddy Ashdown

:21:48.:21:52.

is going to render Liberal Democrat election campaign in 2015. That

:21:52.:21:56.

sums up what the week has been about. It's all about Nick Clegg

:21:56.:22:00.

talking to his party, because he knows the country is not listening.

:22:00.:22:03.

He needs his party behind him before he can speak to the

:22:03.:22:10.

electorate. Thank you for revealing that! In terms of the speech, now

:22:10.:22:17.

it has been brought up. How does he win over his troops? I don't think

:22:17.:22:21.

he really makes that much effort. He's just telling them, we are

:22:21.:22:24.

going to continue as before. We are in the middle of a parliament, you

:22:24.:22:28.

cannot get rid of me, we cannot get rid of the coalition, we have to do

:22:28.:22:32.

this for the national interest. It is somebody in the middle of a

:22:32.:22:36.

dental operation, they do not try to change the prognosis. You just

:22:36.:22:40.

have to stay there and take the pain. That is what his message is

:22:40.:22:46.

going to be. With all of that pain, has anything got Lib Dems smiling

:22:46.:22:52.

this week? No. Other than what has been happening to Andrew Mitchell,

:22:52.:22:58.

the Great Gate-Gate and plebs. They are in coalition with the

:22:58.:23:01.

Conservatives, I think in Nick Clegg's speech he will attack

:23:01.:23:06.

Labour Accra more than his coalition partners. They have all

:23:06.:23:09.

felt here a sense of social superiority to the Tories by saying

:23:09.:23:13.

that we are not snobbish and sneering like a Arc. We do not see

:23:13.:23:18.

the electorate as pleb us. They will try to say everything that is

:23:18.:23:22.

good about the coalition was Liberal Democrat and everything

:23:22.:23:26.

that was Tory. Andrew Mitchell plays that brilliantly. Is there a

:23:26.:23:31.

danger of pushing Tory bashing too far? I don't think so. There has

:23:31.:23:38.

been a bit of childish comment from some delegates. On the whole, it

:23:38.:23:45.

doesn't amount to more than a bit of name-calling. Mr Clegg is quite

:23:45.:23:50.

a serene presence, he seems a bit spaced out and he doesn't seem too

:23:50.:23:53.

concerned about poll ratings. You could argue it means he will be in

:23:53.:23:58.

more danger. Perhaps he is not counting on being a big figure in

:23:58.:24:05.

British politics after 2015. What about this identity crisis? Nick

:24:05.:24:09.

Clegg to the right, the rest of the party to the left? Is that how you

:24:09.:24:13.

characterise it? You can see the divide opening up between the

:24:13.:24:19.

Liberals, Nick Clegg and David Laws. The Democrats, Vince Cable and

:24:19.:24:23.

Others. I think all parties are coalitions in themselves, the same

:24:23.:24:27.

with Labour and the Conservatives. You are beginning to see that

:24:27.:24:30.

opening up in the Liberal Democrat party. He's going to find it harder

:24:30.:24:33.

and harder to keep that together. This conference has been flat. It's

:24:33.:24:37.

not been brilliant. Maybe he gets away with it this year. You might

:24:37.:24:43.

get away with it next year. If you get to 2014 and they are still

:24:43.:24:47.

struggling in the polls, it looks like he is going to be sending his

:24:47.:24:51.

MPs over the top to be mown down at the General Election, it's going to

:24:51.:24:55.

get really interesting. There must interesting debate was probably

:24:55.:24:58.

about assisted dying. In 2014 it may not be assisted, it might be

:24:58.:25:08.
:25:08.:25:10.

more violent! On that happy, jovial They will not know about Miriam's

:25:10.:25:18.

dress. It split the news room. what side are you on? I have no

:25:18.:25:24.

views on that, as you know. They are very fashion savvy, the Daily

:25:24.:25:30.

Politics team. Are they?! Oh, yes, they are. Let's get a sense of the

:25:30.:25:38.

It as traditional as the leader's speech itself, milling around

:25:38.:25:41.

outside the auditorium waiting for it to start. Let's speak to some of

:25:41.:25:46.

the delegates that Ikea. Who have we got here, what kind of we

:25:47.:25:51.

Khadija had? A good week. I think Nick has had a difficult week, but

:25:51.:25:57.

I'm looking forward to it now. do you want to hear from him?

:25:57.:26:04.

want him to stand up for what Liberal Democrats stand up for. He

:26:04.:26:08.

has to say that we are going to stick to our policies, not be

:26:08.:26:13.

wishy-washy. Where are you from? Cheltenham. What are you going to

:26:13.:26:16.

be listening for? I want to hear him saying that we are going to

:26:16.:26:20.

carry on steady, carried out on the course we have set in coalition.

:26:20.:26:27.

Stick to our guns. We will go and speak to some odd delegates. Excuse

:26:27.:26:35.

me, you are wrong at the Daily Politics Conference Special. -- You

:26:35.:26:37.

on the Daily Politics Conference Special. He's going to say you have

:26:37.:26:40.

to go back to your constituencies and prepare to be shouted at. What

:26:40.:26:45.

do you feel about that? We are used to being shouted at, we are Liberal

:26:45.:26:49.

Democrats. The mood has been upbeat. I'm lucky for it to hearing what he

:26:49.:26:53.

has to say. As it really been that upbeat? The atmosphere has not been

:26:53.:27:01.

great. It depends what you mean. We are a debating party. For us, being

:27:01.:27:04.

upbeat means getting our policies across, it's not a stage-managed

:27:04.:27:12.

thing like the other parties where they do not actually say anything.

:27:12.:27:16.

Let's talk to some odd delegates around here. What is your name?

:27:16.:27:21.

Harry, from Haringey. Nick Clegg will say that you cannot be a party

:27:21.:27:25.

of protest anymore, you have to be serious about being a party in

:27:25.:27:30.

government, what do you think about that? It resonates, we have been a

:27:30.:27:35.

party for decades not saying anything, really. Now we have the

:27:35.:27:38.

Deputy Prime Minister in this government. It doesn't mean we

:27:38.:27:43.

always get our way. Obviously he is not the Prime Minister, this is not

:27:43.:27:46.

a Liberal Democrat government. But showing the public and the party

:27:46.:27:50.

that we are growing into the role of government in a adult way, that

:27:50.:27:54.

we were not 10 years ago, it is quite an important thing. We have

:27:54.:27:59.

to convince the country that we are not just a junior coalition party,

:27:59.:28:04.

but a party capable of taking on the responsibilities of government.

:28:04.:28:11.

He has to convince the activists. other going to enjoy that?

:28:11.:28:17.

Obviously, we do not enjoy all that. Even the most hardcore activist,

:28:17.:28:20.

who remember the days that we can say whatever we wanted without

:28:20.:28:24.

having to pass it through David Cameron, even they accept the need

:28:24.:28:29.

to show that we are serious about being in government. At see if we

:28:29.:28:33.

can find some female activists. What is your name and where right

:28:33.:28:41.

you from? I am Hannah, from Stoke- on-Trent. Is this a tricky speech

:28:41.:28:48.

for Nick Clegg? I think it will be a positive message about the Lib

:28:48.:28:51.

Dems coming-out. I think it will define. That is the positive side.

:28:51.:28:57.

Do you hope he is going to do so means that about the Tories? No, I

:28:57.:29:01.

don't think that is helpful. A lot of activists would want him to, but

:29:01.:29:06.

I don't think it is very helpful. Thank you very much. Let's go and

:29:06.:29:11.

talk to these guys. How key a moment is this for Nick Clegg?

:29:11.:29:14.

are halfway through the parliament, people are beginning to see There

:29:14.:29:18.

is a bit of a slog until the General Election. What we have to

:29:18.:29:22.

do is get our message across to people and show that we are not

:29:22.:29:26.

squabbling lefties, worried about peripheral issues. There is serious

:29:26.:29:30.

business to be done and we are the guys to do it. There has been some

:29:30.:29:35.

talk about challenges, not very concrete. Are you going to watch

:29:35.:29:40.

Vince Cable's reactions? Everybody will be watching for reactions. But

:29:40.:29:46.

I don't think there will be any leadership challenges. We need to

:29:46.:29:49.

support the party leader in everything he tries to do. He is

:29:49.:29:53.

going to talk about how you have to be serious about being in

:29:53.:29:57.

government, not just a protest party. How do you feel about that?

:29:57.:30:00.

Lots of us have a lot of concerns about what has happened nationally

:30:00.:30:06.

and in government. But we cannot achieve everything in only part of

:30:06.:30:08.

government, and we have to be serious about what we can get out

:30:08.:30:13.

of it. Somebody wants to have the last word. Would you like to have

:30:13.:30:16.

the last word on the Daily Politics Conference Special before the

:30:16.:30:21.

speech starts? Do you think we added to get some pleb jokes?

:30:21.:30:25.

should hope so. It will go down very well with the security guards.

:30:25.:30:30.

You are in the mood for Tory passion? Absolutely. We will let

:30:30.:30:34.

you get a good seat in the auditorium. That is a taste of some

:30:34.:30:43.

of the views here at the Lib Dem Thank you Adam. If Mr Clegg is on

:30:44.:30:49.

time he will be on his feet in about five minutes. Tim Farron, the

:30:49.:30:54.

party President we interviewed this morning, has been speaking to

:30:54.:30:58.

conference. And they've been handing out awards. Someone got an

:30:59.:31:03.

award for a best press release drafter for an opposition County

:31:03.:31:08.

Council. I wanted to win that award. Nick Robinson is in Brighton. Nick,

:31:08.:31:13.

is Mr Clegg going to tell the party faithful in Brighton anything that

:31:13.:31:19.

they don't already know? This one thing, Andrew, I think. He is

:31:19.:31:24.

basically going to say to them, in a version of the old football song,

:31:24.:31:28.

people don't like us but we don't care. In other words, saying to

:31:28.:31:33.

them, look, our unpopularity is what comes with moving on the

:31:33.:31:38.

journey, he will describe, from being a party of opposition to a

:31:38.:31:42.

party of government. He will try to say to them you can't have all that

:31:42.:31:46.

stuff back that you like so much. You can't go back to the past

:31:46.:31:52.

before the deal with the Tories, before the compromises, yes, before

:31:52.:31:57.

the broken promise for which he had to say sorry. The only way forward

:31:57.:32:02.

is a future that the Lib Dems can say they are one of the three

:32:02.:32:06.

parties of government. Do you think the Lib Dem activists have ever

:32:06.:32:10.

thought of themselves as Millwall supporters? Let's see if they chant

:32:10.:32:14.

today. No, but what they have thought themselves, Andrew, and

:32:14.:32:18.

that is why the metaphor came to mind, they are used to being liked.

:32:18.:32:23.

I think what Nick Clegg's message to them is, you are always liked

:32:23.:32:28.

when frankly you are irrelevant. When you matter, when you're

:32:28.:32:30.

powerful, when you take decisions, then people have a reason to hate

:32:30.:32:35.

you. He is not going to use this language, let me stress, there

:32:35.:32:40.

won't be a Millwall chant, but what his broad message is, this is how

:32:40.:32:45.

it was going to be if we were ever going to get from being a party of

:32:45.:32:50.

opposition to a party of government, so embrace it, move on and try to

:32:50.:32:56.

stay a party of government. Your first question implied, would he

:32:56.:33:02.

say anything new? On policy, they won't. He regards this as a

:33:02.:33:05.

conversation with the party on how they are changing, and with the

:33:05.:33:09.

country it is hoped how lit change, not a time to release policy. We

:33:09.:33:15.

saw one this morning, a premium for kids who are struggling when they

:33:15.:33:22.

left primary school, a �500 premium to help them into secondary school.

:33:23.:33:27.

All speeches at these events, they have to address the party faithful

:33:27.:33:32.

and through television they have to speak to the wider public. But in

:33:32.:33:37.

your view, will this speech be more directed towards the party faithful

:33:37.:33:45.

than to the rest of us, the voters? I think it is to this extent. Nick

:33:45.:33:52.

Clegg came to this conference very well aware that many of his own

:33:52.:33:55.

activists feared that they were electorally doomed. That they were

:33:55.:33:59.

in a car racing at 100 miles per hour for an electoral brick wall

:33:59.:34:03.

and there is no way they could get the driver out of the driving seat

:34:03.:34:07.

and they had to live with it. He is trying to tackle that fatalism, if

:34:07.:34:11.

you like. He is trying to say, that is wrong, that is to look at it in

:34:11.:34:16.

the wrong way, that if this Government can turn round the

:34:16.:34:20.

economy, if as he claims the Lib Dems can do it in a way that is

:34:20.:34:26.

fair, then even though the polls don't show it, even though he is

:34:26.:34:29.

unpopular, and many people predict electoral doom for them, they can

:34:30.:34:35.

turn it round. You are right, first and foremost it is for them. But

:34:35.:34:40.

there are long passages in this speech, where they are looking at

:34:40.:34:44.

the world, basically saying that Britain faces a unique set of

:34:44.:34:47.

challenges, not just the ones we know about, the eurozone crisis,

:34:47.:34:53.

the collapse of the banks and the like, but the rise of the East and

:34:53.:34:57.

the ageing population, and creating a new economy, as he will refer to

:34:57.:35:01.

it from the ashes of an old one could prove difficult. Do Mr

:35:02.:35:06.

Clegg's people fear even if the economy starts to turn around, I

:35:06.:35:10.

know they can't use the phrase, even if the green shoots, if there

:35:10.:35:14.

are green shoots and they grow into something bigger, are they not

:35:15.:35:19.

afraid even if that happens they might not get the credit for it? Sn

:35:19.:35:24.

that the Conservatives will sweep up all the credit. Sure, I'm sure

:35:24.:35:30.

they are afraid, Andrew, but you can only deal with one fear at once.

:35:30.:35:33.

Worrying about electoral o believe onprobably comes first, I would

:35:33.:35:37.

have thought. My sense is, what they are trying to do here is deal

:35:37.:35:41.

with that sense that there is no way out. Of course they know that's

:35:41.:35:45.

an anxiety. When you talk to a lot of Lib Dems behind the scenes

:35:45.:35:48.

there's a degree of relief here that there wasn't from a few months

:35:48.:35:52.

ago. It is for a reason that hasn't been talked about at this

:35:52.:35:56.

conference, it's the ends of proposals for boundary changes.

:35:56.:36:00.

Most people thought they were bad news for the Conservatives. David

:36:00.:36:03.

Cameron said it would be fairer if there were the same number of

:36:03.:36:10.

voters in every seat. Would have given a real boost to his party in

:36:10.:36:13.

the legislation. But Lib Dems do best where they have had the same

:36:13.:36:19.

MP for years. It is call to do so incumbency effect. But the fear was

:36:19.:36:23.

if the boundaries changed and the electors didn't know them, they

:36:23.:36:29.

would be vulnerable. Many now feel that if they are in a seat where

:36:29.:36:32.

they face the Conservatives, many will say you still prefer us to the

:36:32.:36:37.

Tories, keep us in. I want to dip into the hall to see how things are

:36:37.:36:41.

building up. They are correcting money. Money is always important

:36:41.:36:45.

for parties. The Lib Dems are no different from anybody else in that.

:36:45.:36:49.

They are raising money now, passing around the bucket, the men and

:36:49.:36:53.

women in their Yellow Shirts. Peter, you are listening to Nick and you

:36:53.:36:56.

were saying to me that you think Mr Clegg clearly lives to fight

:36:56.:37:00.

another day. There's been no leadership talk of any importance

:37:00.:37:05.

at this conference. There may not even be next year, but you were

:37:05.:37:12.

saying that the summer of 2014 could be a dangerous time for the

:37:12.:37:14.

Liberal leader? I think that's right. And why? Because in that

:37:14.:37:16.

months, 11 months before the general election, we have the

:37:16.:37:21.

European Parliament elections. These are strange things. They are

:37:21.:37:27.

proportional elections. Last time, 2009, the Lib Dems came fourth.

:37:27.:37:34.

Conservatives, UKIP, larks then the Lib Dems. They got -- Labour, and

:37:34.:37:37.

then the Lib Dems. The way they are at the moment I wouldn't be

:37:37.:37:43.

surprised if they ended up fifth, behind the Greens. Instead of just

:37:43.:37:47.

about winning short in every region they fall short, so instead of

:37:47.:37:51.

having a dozen euro MPs they go down to three or four. Think about

:37:51.:37:54.

the politics of the party in those circumstances. We've got less than

:37:55.:37:58.

a year to go until the general election, we have been thrashed.

:37:58.:38:04.

The public clearly don't like us. It is not merely uppity folk like

:38:04.:38:10.

Ben Page and I looking at polling numbers. This is millions of votes

:38:10.:38:16.

around the country. That says that we need to pull out of the

:38:16.:38:20.

coalition, that summer they will put pressure on Nick Clegg to stand

:38:20.:38:26.

down and get a new leader for that party conference in September.

:38:26.:38:29.

think they will be like the Labour Party of Gordon. Lots of them

:38:29.:38:34.

thought about it but at the last mint they couldn't bring themselves.

:38:34.:38:39.

Wait and see. Nick, no leadership challenge at this conference,

:38:39.:38:44.

although there had been speculation there might be. Have you had the

:38:44.:38:46.

sense if there was to be a leadership challenge, because

:38:46.:38:50.

things aren't getting better, because they get a terrible kicking

:38:50.:38:53.

in the European elections, am I right in thinking that it is quite

:38:53.:39:01.

clear that Mr Cable is now the clear Ayr apparent, the

:39:01.:39:06.

frontrunner? Yes -- heir apparent, the frontrunner? Yes, and looking

:39:06.:39:12.

ahead to 2014, if Peter is right and the elections are that dire for

:39:12.:39:16.

the Lib Dems, there is another possibility in the air, that the

:39:16.:39:21.

Labour Party and Ed Miliband win. Could Nick Clegg possibly do a deal

:39:21.:39:25.

with him? After all, he's been living in this marriage with David

:39:25.:39:30.

Cameron for so long. Some Lib Dems would say, let's get a Labour-

:39:30.:39:38.

facing leader, and Vince Cable is man to wield the knife? I've been

:39:38.:39:41.

talking to a lot of senior Lib Dem here and they don't believe he is.

:39:41.:39:46.

In order he is a man who wants to be there and seen to be there if

:39:46.:39:50.

people come calling but is not willing to stage a coup and shows

:39:50.:39:56.

no sign of doing it. If Nick Clegg shows, as he is trying to at this

:39:56.:39:59.

conference niche speech, a determination to ballot on come

:39:59.:40:04.

what may, he will be pretty difficult to get rid of.

:40:04.:40:10.

The wise old men, Nick say it would be difficult to get rid of Nick

:40:10.:40:17.

Clegg but the party has shown some met until getting rid of leaders.

:40:17.:40:22.

True. Some Tories say to me they want to encourage Vince Cable for

:40:22.:40:26.

the interesting reason they think Vince Cable would be more likely to

:40:26.:40:30.

attract back essentially long-time Labour voters who had voted Lib Dem,

:40:30.:40:36.

gone back to Labour but may be more inclined to go back to the Lib Dems

:40:36.:40:41.

if Vince Cable was leading them? That is possible. Where the third-

:40:41.:40:44.

placed Labour votes switchs to the Lib Dems, they need to get that

:40:44.:40:47.

back to the Lib Dems. Incidents lyrics I'm not sure there'll be a

:40:47.:40:51.

coup. I think what will happen, it will happen behind closed doors,

:40:51.:40:55.

Nick Clegg will be persuaded to stand aside and to seek his future

:40:55.:41:02.

in Europe or the United Nations or whatever. Or Spanish politics.

:41:02.:41:06.

it was blood on the carpet I suspect it would be Dev

:41:06.:41:09.

statementing for them. It has to be a smooth transfer and Nick Clegg

:41:09.:41:14.

will have to play his path. If he is genuinely determined to stay on,

:41:14.:41:21.

he will be hard to get rid of. a pretty big if, Andrew. One thing

:41:21.:41:26.

we do know is that things rarely go to schedule at Lib Dems conferences.

:41:26.:41:32.

They haven't even started the video yet, which is going to precede Mr

:41:32.:41:38.

Clegg's speech. We are told he is going to speak for about 45 minutes

:41:38.:41:45.

and have some quite harsh words, harsh is maybe not the right word,

:41:45.:41:48.

but straight-talking words to his party faithful, that they are in

:41:48.:41:51.

what they are in and there is no way of getting out of it is. There

:41:51.:41:56.

a sense of fatalism that they are where they are, the die is cast,

:41:56.:42:02.

they can't do a runner, they are going to hope the coalition

:42:02.:42:06.

economic policies go right and live with the consequences? That is a

:42:06.:42:09.

very good sum-up of what's here. People have come to these

:42:09.:42:15.

conference as couple of years running and saying maybe there is a

:42:15.:42:18.

leadership challenge, anger on the floor. There hasn't been. Yes

:42:18.:42:23.

there's been concern. Yes you can find people who say, I wish we

:42:23.:42:27.

weren't in bed with the Tories, but there isn't that spirit of

:42:27.:42:32.

rebellion. Anybody who is really angry isn't here. They've left,

:42:32.:42:37.

resigned, they want nothing to do with this party. That is probably

:42:37.:42:40.

why their vote that dramatically halved the way it has, but it means

:42:40.:42:45.

the party is more united. It reflects on the what if about a

:42:45.:42:49.

leadership challenge. When Ming Campbell was moved as leader it was

:42:49.:42:52.

partly because the next generation, the young people in the Lib Dems,

:42:52.:42:56.

young shadow Ministers, said, "Our future is not with Ming." You look

:42:56.:43:00.

around the people now in the Lib Dems, it is hard to see prominent

:43:00.:43:07.

allies of Vince Cable. I see a lot of people like the David Laws and

:43:07.:43:11.

the Jeremy Brownes and others who are clear allies and have been put

:43:11.:43:15.

there for that reason. Interesting that Paddy Ashdown is coming to the

:43:15.:43:18.

foreagain. That is saying to the party, look, you might not like me

:43:18.:43:23.

but you love Paddy. He is on board. Ming Campbell is clearly on board

:43:23.:43:26.

for the Clegg project. There would have to be a mass collective sense

:43:26.:43:30.

of doom I think for them to go to Nick Clegg and ask him to go. As

:43:30.:43:34.

well as a sense that they all knew who would replace him. What we've

:43:34.:43:39.

always discovered in politics, and that is what kept Gordon in his

:43:39.:43:44.

place, they can all agree it is a disaster but not what's next.

:43:45.:43:48.

Kellner? This point about Paddy Ashdown, if he is going to lead the

:43:49.:43:53.

election campaign, that is interesting. Paddy Ashdown was not

:43:53.:43:57.

only an effective leader, a popular leader, which led to its

:43:57.:44:02.

breakthrough in 1997 when its doubled the number of MPs. But

:44:02.:44:07.

Paddy was the man who led the pro- Labour argument inside the Lib Dem

:44:07.:44:11.

leadership. Paddy wanted to see if it was possible to do a deal with

:44:11.:44:16.

Gordon or another Labour leader. It wasn't possible and Paddy accepted

:44:16.:44:21.

that it wasn't, but Paddy is with Vince Cable on the progressive

:44:21.:44:25.

realignment side of the Lib Dems rather than the straight down the

:44:25.:44:29.

middle let's talk to the right side that Nick Clegg is in. So putting

:44:29.:44:34.

Paddy in to the leadership means that if Nick Clegg does lead them

:44:34.:44:38.

into the next legislation he is bolting in an important part of the

:44:38.:44:47.

Labour-inclined faction into that Had there been signs in which the

:44:47.:44:50.

activist in particular are positioning themselves to say, if

:44:50.:44:53.

we have to go into coalition next time, can we make it the Labour

:44:53.:45:02.

Party? Let's make it a position to be in bed with them instead? Every

:45:02.:45:05.

aspect of this conference has been advertising differences with the

:45:05.:45:09.

Tories that make the Lib Dems look more like a party of the Left,

:45:09.:45:12.

whether it is the environment, mocking the Tories were saying you

:45:12.:45:16.

can vote blue and go green, fairness, wealth taxes or helping

:45:16.:45:23.

the poor. But this conference debated the central issue in

:45:23.:45:27.

British politics, the economy. And Vince Cable, the man of the left,

:45:27.:45:30.

who we are told wants to get in bed with the Labour Party, secretly,

:45:31.:45:36.

stood up and said he had personal sympathy for George Osborne, stay

:45:36.:45:41.

to the course. There we can see Nick Clegg going to the podium,

:45:41.:45:46.

taking the applause of the party faithful as he begins his address

:45:46.:45:49.

to the Liberal Democrat Party conference. The Deputy Prime

:45:49.:45:59.
:45:59.:46:00.

Minister, Nick Clegg, leader of the Colleagues, this summer, as we

:46:00.:46:06.

cheer our athletes to gold, after gold, after gold, Britain

:46:06.:46:11.

remembered how it feels to win again. But, more importantly, we

:46:11.:46:16.

remembered what it takes to win again. Whether from Jess Ennis, Mo

:46:16.:46:22.

Farah or, Sarah Storey or David Weir, the message was the same. We

:46:22.:46:28.

may be the ones on the podium, but behind each of us stands at coach.

:46:28.:46:33.

Behind the coach stands 18. Behind the team, the organisers, the

:46:33.:46:40.

volunteers, the supporters. Behind them, a whole city, an entire

:46:40.:46:49.

country. The UK nations, united behind one goal. What a contrast

:46:49.:46:56.

from a year ago. When England's cities burned in a week of riots.

:46:56.:46:59.

When the images beamed to the world would not of athletes running for

:46:59.:47:06.

the finishing line, but the mob, running at police officers. When

:47:06.:47:10.

the flames climbed, not from the Olympic torch in east London, but a

:47:10.:47:17.

furniture shop in south London. A 140-year-old, family run business

:47:17.:47:22.

which survived two world wars and countless recessions, raised to the

:47:22.:47:30.

ground. Of course, even then, amid the smoke and embers, we saw our

:47:31.:47:35.

country's true character when residents came out onto the streets

:47:35.:47:41.

to clear up the mess. And we saw it again this summer, when the Reeves

:47:41.:47:47.

furniture shop in Croydon reopened in new premises, the walls decked

:47:47.:47:52.

with photos of young people holding up messages of hope. Who put those

:47:52.:47:59.

pictures up? Young volunteers from Croydon and and 81-year-old man

:47:59.:48:03.

called Maurice Reeves. Like three generations before him, he ran the

:48:03.:48:09.

shop before handing it over to his son. Maurice, your example should

:48:09.:48:19.
:48:19.:48:31.

You see, what Maurice has shown, what our Olympians and Paralympians

:48:31.:48:37.

have reminded us is that, for most people, success does not come easy

:48:37.:48:45.

or quick. That is what our culture of instant celebrity obscures. That

:48:45.:48:50.

real achievement, in the real world, takes time, effort, perseverance

:48:50.:48:57.

and resilience. The war veteran, a victim of a roadside bomb in

:48:57.:49:01.

Afghanistan, competing at the Paralympics. The businessman, a

:49:01.:49:07.

victim of an arson attack in south London, serving his customers again.

:49:07.:49:11.

The millions of people up and down the country who, no matter how

:49:11.:49:15.

heroic or mundane their battles, keep going, keep trying, keep

:49:15.:49:24.

working, whatever life throws at them. These are the qualities that

:49:24.:49:30.

will see our country through these tough times. These are the

:49:30.:49:35.

qualities that will guide our party through tough times as well. So,

:49:35.:49:42.

let's take our example from the British people, as, together, we

:49:43.:49:47.

embark on the journey ahead. Our party, from the comforts of

:49:47.:49:54.

opposition, to the hard reality of government. Our country, from the

:49:54.:49:57.

sacrifice is a war austerity to the rewards of shared prosperity. Two

:49:57.:50:01.

journeys, linked. The success of each, depending on the success of

:50:01.:50:08.

the other. Neither will be easy and neither will be quicker. But it

:50:08.:50:15.

will be worth it. And be in no doubt, if we secure our country's

:50:15.:50:25.
:50:25.:50:38.

As a politician, you get used to receiving criticism and praise from

:50:38.:50:43.

the strangest quarters. But even I was taken a little by surprise by

:50:43.:50:47.

the fulsome backing a received on the comment pages of the Daily

:50:47.:50:55.

Telegraph on Monday. The article praised my judgment, my policies,

:50:55.:51:02.

Marian, of course. And then I saw who it was by. A certain Alexander

:51:02.:51:07.

Boris Johnson. At least he has found one party leader he is

:51:07.:51:17.
:51:17.:51:23.

Colleagues, we live in a time of profound change. Almost

:51:23.:51:28.

revolutionary in its pace and scale. Here in Britain, we are faced with

:51:29.:51:33.

a gargantuan task of building a new economy from the rubble of the old.

:51:33.:51:38.

We are doing so at a time when our main export market, the eurozone,

:51:38.:51:42.

is facing its biggest crisis since it was formed. While the European

:51:42.:51:47.

economy has stalled, countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, India and

:51:47.:51:54.

China continue to grow, and at a phenomenal rate. The potential

:51:54.:51:58.

consequences of this shift in power, should we in the West failed to

:51:58.:52:05.

respond, cannot, in my view, be overstated. Our influence in the

:52:05.:52:09.

world, our standard of living, our ability to fund our public services

:52:09.:52:15.

and maintain our culture of openness and tolerance. All are in

:52:15.:52:22.

the balance. Power would move, not only away from the liberal and

:52:22.:52:29.

democratic world, but we did it, too. From moderates to hardliners.

:52:29.:52:32.

From international this too isolationist. From those committed

:52:32.:52:37.

to the politics of co-operation to those hell-bent on confrontation.

:52:37.:52:42.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the extremists thrive in

:52:42.:52:47.

tough times. Yes, if we fail to deal with our debts and tackle the

:52:47.:52:51.

weaknesses in our economy, our country will pay a heavy political

:52:51.:52:59.

price. But the human cost would be higher still. Not only would we

:52:59.:53:01.

fall behind internationally, we would leave a trail of victims at

:53:01.:53:09.

home as well. So, to those who ask, incredulously, what we, the Liberal

:53:09.:53:16.

Democrats, are doing cutting public spending, I simply say this. Who

:53:16.:53:22.

suffers most when governments go bust? When they can no longer pay

:53:22.:53:26.

salaries, benefits and pensions? Not the bankers and the hedge fund

:53:26.:53:33.

managers, that is for sure. No, it would be de Paul, the old, the

:53:33.:53:37.

infirm, those with police to fall back on. -- the poor. Labour might

:53:37.:53:42.

have thought it was funny, after crashing the economy and racking up

:53:42.:53:48.

record debts, to leave a note on David Bowles' desk, saying there is

:53:48.:53:52.

no money left. But it is no joke for the most vulnerable in our

:53:52.:53:56.

society, the people that Labour claim to represent, but let down

:53:56.:54:00.

the most. Let's take no more lectures about betrayal. It was

:54:01.:54:05.

Labour who plunged us into austerity and it is we, the Liberal

:54:05.:54:15.
:54:15.:54:33.

You know, it is easy to forget sometimes that the debate we are

:54:33.:54:39.

having in this country is actually playing out across our continent.

:54:39.:54:44.

It is a debate between those who understand how much the world has

:54:44.:54:48.

changed and those who don't. Between those who understand the

:54:48.:54:54.

need to adapt to those changes and those who balk at the size of the

:54:54.:55:00.

challenge. The fate of every European country, ours included,

:55:00.:55:04.

will depend on the outcome. In the coming years, some countries will

:55:04.:55:10.

get their own house in order. But some will mark. Those that do will

:55:10.:55:14.

continue to write their own budgets, set their own priorities and to

:55:14.:55:21.

shape their own futures. Those that do not will find their right to

:55:21.:55:24.

self-determination withdrawn by the markets and new rules imposed by

:55:24.:55:32.

their creditors without warning or clemency. That it will never happen

:55:32.:55:36.

to us is just blithely assumed. The comparisons with Greece, breezily

:55:36.:55:42.

dismissed. Yet it is the decisions we take, and as a government, as a

:55:42.:55:49.

party, that will determine whether we succeed or fail. For the first

:55:49.:55:59.
:55:59.:56:08.

time, the future is ours. Hours to Now, hour journey from austerity to

:56:08.:56:12.

prosperity starts, of course, with economic rescue. Dealing with our

:56:12.:56:15.

debts and delivering growth. If you listen to Labour, you can be

:56:15.:56:20.

forgiven for thinking that austerity is a choice, that the

:56:20.:56:24.

sacrifices it involves can be avoided. If we only had acted Ed

:56:24.:56:29.

Balls's latest press release, we would be instantly transported to

:56:29.:56:31.

that fantasy world where there is no boom-and-bust and the money

:56:31.:56:40.

never runs out. But the truth is this. There is no silver bullet

:56:40.:56:45.

that will instantly solve all of our economic problems. Some of our

:56:45.:56:50.

problems are structural. Others, international. All will take time

:56:50.:56:56.

to overcome. We are dealing with an ongoing surge in global energy,

:56:56.:57:01.

food and commodity prices. And extends to ensure crisis in the

:57:01.:57:08.

eurozone. A banking collapse that, more than four years on, is still

:57:08.:57:12.

blocking the arteries of our entire economic system. Against these

:57:12.:57:19.

forces, the idea that if government deregulated a bit more, as Lin Fox

:57:19.:57:22.

proposes, or borrowed and spent a bit more, like Ed Balls proposes,

:57:22.:57:27.

that we would, at a stroke, achieve long and lasting growth is just not

:57:27.:57:31.

credible. In my experience, if you are being attacked by Liam Fox from

:57:32.:57:36.

one side and Ed Balls from the other, you are in the right place,

:57:36.:57:46.
:57:46.:57:48.

You see, what is needed, and what we are delivering, is a plan that

:57:48.:57:53.

is tough enough to keep the bond markets of our backs. Yet, flexible

:57:53.:57:58.

enough to support demand. A plan that allowed us, when the forecast

:57:58.:58:02.

worsened last year, to reject calls for further spending cuts or tax

:58:02.:58:06.

rises and balance the budget over a longer timescale. A plan that, even

:58:07.:58:11.

at the end of this Parliament, will see public spending account for 42%

:58:11.:58:19.

of GDP. Higher than at any point between 1995 and 2008, when the

:58:20.:58:24.

banks collapsed. A plan that, because it commands the confidence

:58:24.:58:29.

of the markets, has given those room to create a business bank,

:58:29.:58:34.

provide billions of pounds of infrastructure and housebuilding

:58:34.:58:36.

guarantees and and �80 billion Funding for Lending scheme, the

:58:36.:58:42.

biggest of its kind anywhere in the world. Of course, so much of this

:58:42.:58:45.

is about perception. People keep telling me we should be doing what

:58:45.:58:50.

Barack Obama did with his fiscal stimulus. What they do not tell you

:58:50.:58:53.

is that much of what the President had to legislate for we are already

:58:53.:59:02.

doing automatically. So, let's not allow the caricature of what we are

:59:02.:59:08.

doing to go unchallenged. If Plan A really was as rigid and dogmatic as

:59:08.:59:13.

our critics claim, I would be demanding a Plan B and getting

:59:13.:59:20.

Danny and Vincent to design it. But it isn't. Which is why you were

:59:20.:59:25.

right, earlier this week, to overwhelmingly reject the call for

:59:25.:59:31.

us to change our economic course. We have taken big and bold steps to

:59:31.:59:37.

support demand and boost growth. And we stand ready to do so, again,

:59:37.:59:47.
:59:47.:59:54.

again and again until self- APPLAUSE

:59:54.:59:57.

Of course, arguments about economic theory are of no interest to the

:59:57.:00:07.

millions of people just struggling to get by right now. The home-help

:00:07.:00:10.

whose earnings barely cover the cost of childcare. The builder who

:00:10.:00:14.

knows the company will be laying people off, but doesn't yet know if

:00:14.:00:18.

he'll be one of them. The couple who want to buy their first home

:00:18.:00:24.

but can't raise the money for a deposit. To them and to all the

:00:24.:00:32.

other hard working families just trying to stay afloat, I say this:

:00:32.:00:40.

the Liberal Democrats are on your side. You are the ones we are in

:00:40.:00:45.

Government to serve. Not with empty rhetoric but real practical help.

:00:45.:00:49.

That is why we promised to cut your income tax bills by raising the

:00:49.:00:54.

personal allowance to �10,000. So you can keep more of the money you

:00:54.:00:57.

have worked for. So your effort will be properly rewarded. So the

:00:58.:01:06.

task of making ends meet is made that little bit easier. At the last

:01:06.:01:16.
:01:16.:01:22.

Budget, we made two big announcements: that we were

:01:22.:01:24.

spending �3,000 million increasing the tax-free allowance, and just

:01:25.:01:27.

�50 million reducing the top rate of tax while recouping five times

:01:28.:01:30.

that amount in additional taxes on the wealthiest. I insisted on the

:01:31.:01:35.

first. I conceded the second. But I stand by the package as a whole.

:01:35.:01:44.

Why? Because as Liberals, we want to see the tax on work reduced, the

:01:44.:01:47.

tax on unearned wealth increased, and the system as a whole tilted in

:01:47.:01:55.

favour of those on low and middle incomes. The Budget delivered all

:01:55.:02:01.

three. But let me make one thing clear: Now that we have brought the

:02:01.:02:05.

top rate of tax down to 45p - a level, let's not forget, that is

:02:05.:02:08.

still higher than throughout Labour's 13 years in office - there

:02:08.:02:13.

can be no question of reducing it further in this Parliament.

:02:13.:02:23.
:02:23.:02:30.

All future cuts in personal taxation must pass one clear test:

:02:30.:02:34.

do they help people on low and middle incomes get by and get on?

:02:34.:02:41.

It's as simple as that. At the next election, all parties will have to

:02:41.:02:46.

acknowledge the need for further belt tightening. That much is

:02:46.:02:51.

inescapable. But the key question we will all have to answer is who

:02:51.:02:58.

will have to tighten their belts the most? Our position is clear. If

:02:58.:03:02.

we have to ask people to take less out or pay more in, we'll start

:03:02.:03:06.

with the richest and work our way down, not the other way around. We

:03:06.:03:12.

won't waver in our determination to deal with our debts. But we will do

:03:12.:03:20.

it in our own way, according to our own plans, based on our own values.

:03:20.:03:23.

So we will not tether ourselves to detailed spending plans with the

:03:23.:03:29.

Conservatives through the next Parliament. Colleagues, we should

:03:29.:03:31.

be proud of the fact we have delivered fairer taxes in tough

:03:31.:03:38.

times. We should be proud of the fact that we're taking 2 million

:03:38.:03:41.

people out of income tax altogether and delivering a �700 tax cut for

:03:41.:03:46.

more than 20 million others, and should never miss an opportunity to

:03:46.:03:53.

tell people about it. But as we do so, remember this: our tax cuts,

:03:53.:03:55.

like our extra support for childcare, for schools, for

:03:55.:04:02.

pensioners - these are not stand- alone consumer offers. They are

:04:03.:04:05.

part of a broader agenda of economic and social reform to

:04:05.:04:07.

reward work, enhance social mobility and secure Britain's

:04:07.:04:16.

position in a fast changing world. In short, national renewal. That is

:04:17.:04:22.

our mission. Our policies either serve that purpose, or they serve

:04:22.:04:32.
:04:32.:04:42.

One of the things about governing is it forces you to confront the

:04:42.:04:47.

inconvenient truths oppositions choose to ignore. Like the fact

:04:48.:04:50.

that, over the last 50 years, our economy has grown threefold, but

:04:51.:04:59.

our welfare spending is up sevenfold. Or the fact that, to

:04:59.:05:03.

sustain our spending, we are still borrowing �1 billion every three

:05:03.:05:09.

days. Or that, as a result of that borrowing, we now spend more

:05:09.:05:16.

servicing the national debt than we do on our schools. In combination,

:05:16.:05:22.

these three facts present us with a fundamental challenge: to not only

:05:22.:05:25.

regain control of public spending, but to completely redirect it so

:05:25.:05:31.

that it promotes, rather than undermines, prosperity. How we do

:05:31.:05:34.

that - how we reshape the British state for the economic challenges

:05:34.:05:43.

of the 21st century - is a debate I want our party to lead. For there

:05:43.:05:47.

are only two ways of doing politics: by following opinion, to

:05:47.:05:50.

get yourself on the populist side of each issue, or by leading

:05:50.:05:58.

opinion, and standing on the future side of each issue. The first

:05:58.:06:03.

brings short-term rewards, of course it does. But the big prizes

:06:03.:06:07.

are for those with the courage and vision to get out in front, set the

:06:07.:06:15.

agenda and point the way. So let us take the lead in building a new

:06:15.:06:18.

economy for the new century. An open, outward-looking economy in

:06:18.:06:21.

the world's biggest single market. A strong, balanced economy built on

:06:21.:06:28.

productive investment, not debt- fuelled consumption. An innovative,

:06:28.:06:32.

inventive economy driven by advances in science and research.

:06:32.:06:35.

And yes, a clean, green economy too, powered by the new low-carbon

:06:35.:06:45.
:06:45.:07:00.

technologies. Britain leading the But I have to tell you, we will not

:07:00.:07:03.

succeed in this last task unless we can see off that most short-sighted

:07:03.:07:08.

of arguments: that we have to choose between going green and

:07:08.:07:15.

going for growth. Decarbonising our economy isn't just the right thing

:07:15.:07:20.

to do, it's a fantastic economic opportunity. The green economy in

:07:20.:07:23.

Britain is growing strongly right now, bringing in billions of pounds

:07:23.:07:26.

and creating thousands of jobs - in wind, solar and tidal energy; the

:07:26.:07:34.

technologies that will power our economy in the decades to come.

:07:34.:07:39.

Going green means going for growth. But more than that, it means going

:07:39.:07:42.

for more energy that we produce ourselves and which never runs out;

:07:42.:07:45.

it means going for clear air and clean water and a planet we can

:07:45.:07:55.
:07:55.:07:56.

proudly hand over to our children. Going green means going forward. So

:07:56.:08:01.

let the Conservatives be in no doubt. We will hold them to their

:08:01.:08:11.
:08:11.:08:12.

promises on the environment. APPLAUSE

:08:12.:08:21.

Of course, there was a time when it looked like they got it. It seems a

:08:21.:08:25.

long time ago now. When the Tories were going through their naturalist

:08:25.:08:33.

phase. The windmills gently turning, the sun shining in. As a PR

:08:33.:08:37.

exercise, it was actually quite brilliant. Until, at last year's

:08:37.:08:39.

party conference, they went and ruined it all, admitting that you

:08:39.:08:46.

can't in fact "vote blue and go green". Well of course you can't.

:08:46.:08:49.

To make blue go green you have to add yellow, and that's exactly what

:08:49.:08:59.
:08:59.:09:18.

we're doing. APPLAUSE I thought you would groan rather

:09:18.:09:23.

than clap at that one. What's a generous audience.

:09:23.:09:26.

As we plot our path from austerity to prosperity, we need to remember

:09:26.:09:29.

that nothing we do will make a decisive difference if we don't

:09:29.:09:33.

make the most important investment of all: in the education and

:09:33.:09:37.

training of our young people. For we will only fulfil our collective

:09:37.:09:44.

economic potential, if we fulfil our individual human potential. Yet

:09:44.:09:46.

the legacy of educational inequality in Britain is an economy

:09:46.:09:49.

operating at half power, with far too many young people never getting

:09:49.:09:53.

the qualifications they could get, never doing the jobs they could do,

:09:53.:10:00.

never earning the wages they could earn. The true cost of this cannot

:10:00.:10:06.

be counted in pounds and pence. Yes it's a huge drag on our economy,

:10:06.:10:09.

but more than that, it is an affront to natural justice and to

:10:09.:10:15.

everything we Liberal Democrats stand for. Because if you strip

:10:15.:10:18.

away all the outer layers to expose this party's philosophical core,

:10:18.:10:28.
:10:28.:10:30.

what do you find? An unshakeable belief in freedom. Not the tinny

:10:30.:10:34.

sound of the libertarian's freedom - still less the dead thud of the

:10:34.:10:36.

Socialist's - but the rich sound of Liberal freedom, amplified and

:10:36.:10:45.

sustained by the thing that gives it real meaning: opportunity. The

:10:45.:10:55.
:10:55.:10:59.

freedom to be who you are. APPLAUSE The opportunity to be who you could

:10:59.:11:09.

be. That, in essence, is the Liberal promise. And that is why

:11:09.:11:16.

this party has always been - and must always be - the party of

:11:16.:11:19.

education. Because just as there can be no real freedom without

:11:19.:11:22.

opportunity, so there can be no real opportunity without education.

:11:22.:11:26.

Every parent knows how it feels when you leave your child on their

:11:26.:11:33.

first day at school. That last look they give you before the door

:11:33.:11:38.

closes behind them. The instinct to go with them, to protect them, to

:11:38.:11:42.

help them every step of the way. That's how we should feel about

:11:42.:11:47.

every child. That's the responsibility we have to every

:11:47.:11:54.

parent. To support them at every stage: from nursery to primary,

:11:54.:11:57.

from primary to secondary and from secondary to college, university or

:11:57.:12:02.

work. That's why we're providing more money so the poorest two-year-

:12:02.:12:05.

olds, as well as every three and four-year-old, can now benefit from

:12:05.:12:10.

pre-school education. Delivering our Pupil Premium - �900 per child

:12:10.:12:13.

next year - so the most disadvantaged children get the more

:12:13.:12:20.

intensive, more personalised support they need. And why, when

:12:20.:12:22.

they leave school, we're providing scholarships, bursaries, grants,

:12:22.:12:24.

loans, apprenticeships and wage subsidies, to help them go on

:12:24.:12:30.

learning or start earning. But extra resources won't make a

:12:30.:12:35.

difference unless matched by greater ambition. Which is why

:12:35.:12:40.

money must be accompanied by reform. Reform to ensure all children can

:12:40.:12:45.

read and write. To make schools focus on the performance of every

:12:45.:12:51.

child. To turn around failing schools, and put more pressure on

:12:51.:12:54.

coasting schools. And yes, reform to replace GCSEs, not with an O

:12:55.:12:58.

Level, but with a new more rigorous qualification that virtually every

:12:58.:13:00.

child will be able to take, and every well taught child will be

:13:01.:13:10.

able to pass. And to ensure they do, I can announce that from this year,

:13:10.:13:13.

we will provide a new 'catch-up premium' - an additional �500 for

:13:13.:13:15.

every child who leaves primary school below the expected level in

:13:16.:13:25.
:13:26.:13:38.

English or maths. APPLAUSE If you're a parent whose child has

:13:38.:13:42.

fallen behind, who fears they might get lost in that daunting leap from

:13:42.:13:45.

primary to secondary school; and who is worried by talk about making

:13:45.:13:54.

exams tougher, let me reassure you. We will do whatever it takes to

:13:54.:14:01.

make sure your child is not left behind. A place in a summer school;

:14:01.:14:04.

catch-up classes; one-to-one tuition; we are providing the help

:14:04.:14:10.

they need. So yes, we're raising the bar. But we're ensuring every

:14:10.:14:20.
:14:20.:14:22.

I am proud of the resolve we Liberal Democrats have shown over

:14:22.:14:29.

the last two and a half years. We've had some real disappointments.

:14:29.:14:39.
:14:39.:14:39.

Tough election results, a bruising referendum. My song, not making it

:14:39.:14:45.

into the top 10... But through it all, we have remained focused,

:14:45.:14:50.

determined, disciplined. It hasn't always been easy, and, when we've

:14:50.:14:57.

made mistakes, we've put our hands up. But we've stuck to our task and

:14:57.:15:01.

to the Coalition Agreement even as others have wavered. The received

:15:01.:15:04.

wisdom, prior to the election, was that we wouldn't be capable of

:15:04.:15:07.

making the transition from opposition to government. The

:15:07.:15:12.

choices would be too sharp, the decisions too hard. The Liberal

:15:12.:15:15.

Democrats, it was said, are a party of protest, not power. Well, two

:15:16.:15:20.

years on, the critics have been confounded. Our mettle has been

:15:20.:15:23.

tested in the toughest of circumstances, and we haven't been

:15:23.:15:30.

found wanting. We have taken the difficult decisions to reduce the

:15:30.:15:33.

deficit by a quarter and have laid the foundations for a stronger,

:15:33.:15:43.
:15:43.:15:44.

more balanced economy capable of delivering real and lasting growth.

:15:44.:15:47.

But, conference, our task is far from complete, our party's journey

:15:47.:15:57.
:15:57.:15:57.

far from over. I know that there are some in the party, some in this

:15:57.:16:00.

hall even, who, faced with several more years of spending restraint,

:16:00.:16:04.

would rather turn back than press on. Break our deal with the

:16:04.:16:06.

Conservatives, give up on the Coalition, and present ourselves to

:16:06.:16:10.

the electorate in 2015 as a party unchanged. It's an alluring

:16:10.:16:14.

prospect in some ways. Gone would be the difficult choices, the hard

:16:14.:16:17.

decisions, the necessary compromises. And gone too would be

:16:18.:16:21.

the vitriol and abuse, from Right and Left, as we work every day to

:16:21.:16:27.

keep this Government anchored in the centre ground. But, conference,

:16:27.:16:31.

I tell you this. The choice between the party we were, and the party we

:16:31.:16:37.

are becoming, is a false one. The past is gone and it isn't coming

:16:37.:16:45.

back. If voters want a party of opposition, a "stop the world I

:16:45.:16:48.

want to get off" party they've got plenty of options, but we are not

:16:48.:16:58.
:16:58.:17:12.

one of them. There's a better, more Not as the third party, but as one

:17:12.:17:22.
:17:22.:17:29.

There's been a lot of discussion on the fringe of this conference about

:17:29.:17:32.

our party's next steps, about our relationship with the other parties

:17:32.:17:41.

and about what we should do in the event of another hung parliament.

:17:41.:17:44.

It's the sort of discussion politicians love. Full of

:17:44.:17:47.

speculation and rumour. But I have to tell you, it is all based on a

:17:47.:17:51.

false, and deeply illiberal, assumption. That it is we, rather

:17:51.:17:55.

than the people, who get to decide. In a democracy, politicians take

:17:55.:18:05.
:18:05.:18:14.

So let's forget all the Westminster gossip and focus on what really

:18:14.:18:17.

matters. Not our relationship with the other parties, but our

:18:17.:18:22.

relationship with the British people. Imagine yourself standing

:18:22.:18:25.

on the doorstep in 2015 talking to someone who hasn't decided who to

:18:25.:18:35.
:18:35.:18:36.

vote for. This is what you'll be able to say, we cut taxes for

:18:36.:18:43.

ordinary families and made sure the wealthiest paid their fair share.

:18:43.:18:47.

We put more money into schools to give every child a chance. We did

:18:47.:18:50.

everything possible to get people into work - millions of new jobs

:18:50.:18:54.

and more apprenticeships than ever before. And we did the right thing

:18:55.:18:58.

by our older people too - the biggest ever cash rise in the state

:18:58.:19:02.

pension. But most importantly, we brought our country back from the

:19:02.:19:12.
:19:12.:19:12.

Then ask them, are you ready to trust Labour with your money again?

:19:12.:19:17.

And do you really think the Tories will make Britain fairer? Because

:19:17.:19:20.

the truth is, only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted on the

:19:20.:19:30.
:19:30.:19:50.

economy and relied upon to deliver And to help get that message out

:19:50.:19:53.

there, I can announce today that Paddy Ashdown has agreed to front

:19:53.:20:03.
:20:03.:20:32.

up our campaign as chair of the He's pretending he doesn't like the

:20:32.:20:37.

limelight. He loves it, come on. I must admit, I'm not quite sure I'm

:20:37.:20:42.

ready for all those urgent e-mails and 5am phone calls. But I can't

:20:43.:20:46.

think of anyone I'd rather have by my side. Paddy, it's great to have

:20:46.:20:56.
:20:56.:21:00.

50, 60 years ago, before I was born, small groups of Liberal activists

:21:00.:21:07.

would meet up to talk politics and plan their campaigns. Stubborn and

:21:07.:21:12.

principled, they ignored the cynics who mocked them. They simply

:21:12.:21:18.

refused to give up on their dreams. They refused to accept that

:21:18.:21:22.

Liberals would never again be in government. And they refused to

:21:22.:21:24.

accept that Liberalism, that most decent, enlightened and British of

:21:24.:21:28.

creeds, which did so much to shape our past, would not shape our

:21:28.:21:38.
:21:38.:21:40.

We think we've got it tough now. But it was much, much tougher in

:21:40.:21:43.

their day. It was only their resolve, their resilience and their

:21:43.:21:45.

unwavering determination that kept the flickering flame of Liberalism

:21:45.:21:54.

alive through our party's darkest At our last conference in Gateshead,

:21:54.:21:58.

I urged you to stop looking in the rear view mirror as we journey from

:21:58.:22:01.

the party of opposition that we were, to the party of government we

:22:02.:22:08.

are becoming. But before we head off on the next stage of our

:22:08.:22:12.

journey, I want you to take one last look in that mirror to see how

:22:12.:22:20.

far we've come. I tell you what I see. I see generations of Liberals

:22:20.:22:26.

marching towards the sound of gunfire. And yes, I see them going

:22:26.:22:34.

back to their constituencies to It took us a while but we got there

:22:34.:22:44.
:22:44.:22:49.

These are the people on whose shoulders we stand. They never

:22:49.:22:54.

flinched, and nor should we. We owe it to them to seize the opportunity

:22:54.:23:00.

they gave us, but which they never had. Taking on the vested interests.

:23:00.:23:04.

Refusing to be bullied. Refusing to give up. Always overturning the

:23:04.:23:09.

odds. Fighting for what we believe in, because we know that nothing

:23:09.:23:15.

worthwhile can be won without a battle. A fair, free and open

:23:15.:23:25.
:23:25.:23:37.

society. That's the prize. So let's Mr Clegg's speech comes Townend.

:23:37.:23:42.

Everybody gets to their feet, including his wife, Miriam. Shorter

:23:42.:23:47.

than many parties beaches. We had been told to expect 45 minutes. No

:23:47.:23:51.

doubt be unkind would say that is because he never got the pause he

:23:51.:23:55.

expected. A pretty low-key speech. At points, it sounded more like a

:23:55.:24:02.

lecture than a party conference speech. Constant theme, whether it

:24:02.:24:06.

was the Olympics, the Liberals at a time when they only had six MPs and

:24:06.:24:09.

could all get in the same taxi, it was that to get things right takes

:24:09.:24:15.

time. The idea is that you resonate today that they cannot turn around

:24:15.:24:19.

the economy in two and-a-half years, they have to stick with it because

:24:19.:24:23.

they are on the right to path, as he claimed, and that it will come

:24:23.:24:31.

right and they will be vindicated. Indeed, he said the party's future

:24:31.:24:35.

is tied to the country. If things come right for the country, they

:24:35.:24:39.

will come right for the party. In history, that hasn't always been

:24:39.:24:45.

true, as Winston Churchill discovered in 1945. There were

:24:45.:24:51.

attacks on Labour and the Tories. But they only really on the Tories

:24:51.:24:55.

about whether they were sticking to their green credentials or not. He

:24:55.:24:58.

claimed that the Lib Dems, in coalition, had brought the economy

:24:58.:25:03.

back from the brink. And that is what mattered more than anything

:25:03.:25:08.

else. He is making his way out of the conference will now. The

:25:08.:25:12.

standing ovation continuing. Certainly cannot be called a

:25:13.:25:17.

rabble-rousing speech. And no new policy initiatives of any great

:25:17.:25:21.

significance were announced. There was some word of extra money for

:25:21.:25:25.

primary school children who have struggled to master reading and

:25:26.:25:29.

writing by the time they leave primary schools. But there was no

:25:29.:25:34.

great changes in policy or taking on of existing policy. It was very

:25:34.:25:39.

much a steady-as-she-goes speech. As I was saying to Nick Robinson

:25:39.:25:42.

before, you get a sense that they know the die is cast. They have

:25:42.:25:47.

made their bed, they have to lie in it and they have to hope that the

:25:47.:25:51.

British economy comes right and they get at least some of the

:25:51.:25:58.

credit for it coming right. What has been hanging over the

:25:58.:26:01.

conference is that it might not come right and they will be

:26:01.:26:05.

consigned to oblivion. Or it might come right all they do not get the

:26:05.:26:15.
:26:15.:26:16.

credit for it. There were a -- not a lot of e-mails coming in.

:26:16.:26:21.

reaction was rather thin. There was not much either way, in praise of

:26:21.:26:26.

criticising the speech. By La Scala guests to comment on it it was as a

:26:26.:26:29.

result of people being underwhelmed or they just didn't have anything

:26:29.:26:34.

to say. These are some of the males we got. David said, how realistic

:26:34.:26:38.

is it for the UK economy to go bust? What on earth does he mean

:26:38.:26:44.

and what hope is he giving as? Where is the hope and vision? This,

:26:44.:26:47.

from George Howlett. This was in response to the Liberal Democrats'

:26:47.:26:50.

pledge on tuition fees and the apology that we have talked about

:26:50.:26:58.

so much. It has been put to music. Interesting that the main focus of

:26:58.:27:02.

the speech was education, he talked about the Pupil Premium and money

:27:02.:27:06.

being given to struggling pupils. He says, we, as a family, feel

:27:06.:27:13.

betrayed. Our twin boys have gone to university, and we will have

:27:13.:27:18.

debts of �300,000. The apology is obviously not working there. Daniel

:27:18.:27:21.

Colgan says that the Liberal Democrats must accept that

:27:21.:27:26.

austerity is a massive failure in Britain, as in Europe, and must

:27:26.:27:30.

work harder to prevent the Tories harming the poor and vulnerable.

:27:30.:27:33.

Roger Fletcher says if the Liberal Democrats were in power, the

:27:33.:27:37.

furniture shop owner would not have been able to pass his business to

:27:37.:27:42.

his sons, as they frowned upon inherited, unearned wealth. He got

:27:42.:27:47.

a pretty good reception, as we can see. As good as we could expect in

:27:47.:27:50.

circumstances. It is a tough time for the Lib Dems. They found it

:27:50.:27:54.

difficult to make the transition from being a party of oppositional

:27:54.:27:58.

protesting to government. It's a time that is not a good time to be

:27:58.:28:02.

in government. Let's go to our political editor, Nick Robinson. He

:28:02.:28:07.

has just run back from the conference for today the politics

:28:07.:28:11.

point and the centre. What did you make of it? Maurice Reeves, the man

:28:11.:28:16.

that lost his business in the riots in Croydon, was clearly meant to be

:28:16.:28:20.

the symbol of this speech. He was the owner of that shop at the end

:28:20.:28:24.

to the ground. I thought Nick Clegg was saying, to his party, I know

:28:24.:28:29.

you think I am reducing the party to ashes, but you can rebuild. If

:28:29.:28:34.

you use words like resilience, perseverance, effort, resolve, it

:28:34.:28:40.

was peppered with references that were essentially a pet talk -- pep-

:28:40.:28:43.

talk to the troops. You're never going to be liked again, that is

:28:43.:28:47.

all gone, it's not about being liked, it's about becoming a

:28:48.:28:50.

convincing party of government. He was trying to persuade them that

:28:50.:28:55.

they could be that and it was a prize worth having. In many ways,

:28:55.:28:59.

it was very different from a Tony Blair speech, even in the way it

:28:59.:29:02.

was could doubt by the party. It contains a long sentences, long

:29:02.:29:07.

paragraphs, all of the typing is close together. It is more like a

:29:07.:29:11.

lecture, really, to the Lib Dems on the party that they are in and how

:29:11.:29:16.

there is no alternative. You and I will remember that we used to give

:29:16.:29:21.

Mr Blair's speeches, sentences without verbs, paragraphs that were

:29:21.:29:27.

only one sentence? That's true. When we get these speeches, we get

:29:27.:29:31.

them just before they are delivered, you go through them with your pen

:29:31.:29:35.

or pencil and you instantly say, there is the soundbite. It was not

:29:35.:29:39.

an easy speech when you got the text or when you heard it to pick

:29:39.:29:43.

out those easy soundbites. I think that was for a reason. He was

:29:43.:29:46.

trying to have a conversation with the country about the state of

:29:46.:29:51.

their country. He was listing more of those problems, not just the

:29:51.:29:54.

threat of the eurozone and the banking crisis, but the ageing

:29:54.:29:58.

population and all the rest of it, trying to say to the party, look,

:29:58.:30:02.

we've really got no choice now. We have made our choice as a party, he

:30:02.:30:08.

was telling them, to go into coalition with the Tories. We made

:30:08.:30:13.

our choices, we broke some promises and said sorry, the only way his

:30:13.:30:17.

forwards. Therefore, I thought it was an argument with them, a

:30:17.:30:21.

conversation with them that he was having, rather than a series of

:30:21.:30:30.

their elaborately scripted clap He did say something which would

:30:30.:30:34.

jar with a lot of people who are not Lib Dems. He said we've pulled

:30:35.:30:39.

the economy back from the brink. We were now on the right path, he said.

:30:39.:30:46.

A lot of people will look at the lack of growth in the economy, the

:30:46.:30:51.

deficit is rising again, living standards being squeezed, wages not

:30:51.:30:55.

keeping pace with inflation, and they'll say no, we are still on the

:30:55.:31:00.

brink. Hold on a second, they are going to say to that. It is

:31:00.:31:05.

interesting, in private Ministers, including Nick Clegg, would say

:31:05.:31:10.

things they would never say things they would say in public. They are

:31:10.:31:14.

well that were the data could be wrong, the the eurozone crisis

:31:14.:31:19.

could get worse and not get better. But the phrase that is so toxic

:31:19.:31:24.

that they can't say nit private does emerge in private, the green

:31:24.:31:29.

shoots. They look at the employment figures, the P mifplt data, the

:31:29.:31:34.

service sector, and say it is -- the PMI data, the service sector,

:31:34.:31:38.

and say it is getting a little better. The message was a blunt one.

:31:38.:31:43.

When he talked of two journeys, a journey for the party and one for

:31:43.:31:48.

the country, if we can get the economy moving again, his party

:31:48.:31:54.

will be OK. Implied by that is if we can't, we won't, and we'll be in

:31:54.:31:58.

real troubling. There was a dog that didn't bark. He had nothing

:31:58.:32:03.

expolice it to say to his own people about any kind of trade-off

:32:03.:32:07.

between more cuts in public spending, a freeze on welfare, a

:32:08.:32:12.

cut on some benefits and the Lib Dem demand for more taxes on the

:32:12.:32:20.

affluent and the wealthy. It has been the kind of quid pro quo

:32:20.:32:26.

that's been talked about but he nothing to say about that, did he?

:32:26.:32:30.

No, what has been striking all week is that the Lib Dems have been

:32:30.:32:33.

insist they wouldn't do a series of things I know the Conservatives

:32:33.:32:38.

aren't really pressing for. They wouldn't cut income tax, he said

:32:38.:32:42.

today, beyond 45p. I don't know a single Conservative Minister who is

:32:42.:32:48.

arguing they should cut tax below the election to 40p. They have to

:32:48.:32:50.

freeze some benefits, but the Treasury has long accepted that

:32:50.:32:55.

that is not going to happen. And he wouldn't cut �10 billion off the

:32:55.:32:59.

welfare budget. That was a figure the Chancellor used as an

:32:59.:33:04.

illustration of what would have to come off two years of budget 2015-

:33:04.:33:08.

17 to avoid cuts in other public services. And therefore if they are

:33:08.:33:12.

only going to deal on one year there is never going to be a �10

:33:12.:33:17.

billion cut in welfare. That isn't as some have suggested that the Lib

:33:17.:33:21.

Dems haven't got the policies or are hiding them. The truth is we

:33:21.:33:26.

negotiating period. It is going to last very many months. Stage one is

:33:26.:33:30.

the Autumn Statement on December 59, stage two is the Spending Review in

:33:30.:33:35.

autumn 2013, and there'll be a tug- of-war in the Government in which

:33:35.:33:40.

the Lib Dems are clear they will say, you need to do something to to

:33:40.:33:44.

show that you are putting a tax burden on the wealthy. I doubt very

:33:44.:33:48.

much it would be a mansion tax. It could be tax relief on pensions.

:33:48.:33:55.

And the Tories in return will say, that's all very well but we want

:33:55.:33:58.

some cuts on welfare that. Wrestling match behind the scenes

:33:58.:34:02.

will go on in private. What makes coalition so interesting, and it is

:34:02.:34:06.

unlike any period we've seen, is a lot of it seeps out in public.

:34:06.:34:11.

Because he leads his own party, he is not a Conservative, he has to

:34:11.:34:17.

put down his red lines and make his negotiating positions in public

:34:17.:34:23.

without giving any of the detail of what's going on in private. Lut me

:34:23.:34:28.

spatchcock two cliches together, he lives to fight another day but he

:34:28.:34:34.

is not out of the woods yet by any means The great thing about cliches

:34:34.:34:40.

Andrew is that they are usually true. You are right. The talk of

:34:40.:34:44.

leadership challenges at conference never really happened. Frankly the

:34:44.:34:48.

idea, I Googled the man on the front page of one Sunday newspaper

:34:48.:34:53.

calling for Nick Clegg to go, and I still didn't know he was.

:34:53.:34:57.

Apparently he is a member of the House of Lords, haven't a clue who

:34:57.:35:02.

Lord Smith is, never met him. The problem was not some plot or coup

:35:02.:35:06.

attempt or a deal but a sense anxiety, that this party thought,

:35:06.:35:13.

my goodness me, how do we get out of this mess? We are locked to

:35:13.:35:17.

unpopular Tories, and Nick Clegg is linked to breaking his words and

:35:17.:35:20.

with David Cameron. How do we ever put ourselves in a position to win

:35:20.:35:25.

seats, or if we can't win enough to do a deal with Labour if that's

:35:25.:35:29.

what the electorate choose after the election. What Nick Clegg has

:35:29.:35:32.

been saying to them is don't think you do it by ditching the coalition,

:35:32.:35:36.

by ditching me, don't think you do it by change course. You do it by

:35:36.:35:40.

showing you are a mature and proper party of government that can make

:35:40.:35:44.

difficult choices. And for that, he is telling them, you will get your

:35:44.:35:48.

reward. The challenge, of course, just before you ask me in

:35:48.:35:53.

conclusion Andrew, the challenge will come if at the 2013 conference

:35:53.:35:59.

or the 2014 conference reward comes there none. Indeed. Nick, thank you

:35:59.:36:04.

for joining us. We'll let you go and prepare for the main news

:36:04.:36:10.

tonight on the BBC. Nick Robinson there, the BBC's political editor.

:36:10.:36:15.

Jo? Our guests are Ben Page and Peter Kellner. You've survived the

:36:15.:36:22.

speech! I've stayed awake. Your first impressions. It is not a

:36:22.:36:25.

conversation with the country. Most people in Britain are going to be o

:36:25.:36:33.

believe yus to this. He's stuck to his theme. It has got a few

:36:33.:36:39.

horrible bad jokes in it. One thing that stood out, the couple being

:36:39.:36:42.

trusted on the economy and on essential justice and that is the

:36:42.:36:46.

pitch against the Conservatives, a pitch that the Liberal Democrats

:36:46.:36:50.

are moderating the Conservatives, and of course a pitch to those

:36:50.:36:55.

sleerts he's lost since the general election. -- the voters he's lost

:36:55.:37:01.

since the general election. But trying to find the third way, as we

:37:01.:37:07.

heard in that speech, it is not easy to be that distinctive from

:37:07.:37:12.

Labour and the Conservatives. Will he say to any activists worrying

:37:12.:37:16.

about having to make a pitch, will he have raised their hopes? I don't

:37:16.:37:22.

think. So I wonder, listening to that, whether on coming back from

:37:22.:37:27.

holiday Nick Clegg said to his staff, "Do we have to have a

:37:27.:37:31.

conference? Must I give a speech, because I'm on a hiding to

:37:31.:37:38.

nothing." It looked like a speech from a man who didn't want to

:37:38.:37:41.

deliver it. It was an intelligent speech. If you read it, agree or

:37:41.:37:47.

disagree, it read as an intelligent argument, not very well delivered.

:37:47.:37:51.

This was the opposite. The delivery was good, but the words in it, my

:37:51.:37:57.

goodness it was if he was trying to beat the Guinness World Record for

:37:57.:38:02.

cliches. I admire Nick Clegg, what he's done over the last two years

:38:02.:38:07.

has been courageous. This isn't his finest hour. Sometimes it is all in

:38:07.:38:11.

the delivery, but you don't feel it lifted the words off the page in

:38:11.:38:16.

that sense? If you think back to Paddy Ashdown, as election manager.

:38:16.:38:21.

When he was leader, he delivered substantial speeches in the 1990s.

:38:21.:38:26.

He would say big things about the nature of Britain, the nature of

:38:26.:38:30.

the world, of the economy, of the challenges. He turned up with a

:38:30.:38:37.

smartphone once to say, "I can read the wall street journal on this" he

:38:37.:38:40.

said. You might have dis agreed with him but they were big

:38:40.:38:45.

statements by a big beast. This wasn't a big statement and as a

:38:45.:38:49.

result Nick to me didn't look like a big beast. Sit because he hasn't

:38:49.:38:52.

got anything to say or is that he is feeling straightened by the

:38:52.:38:57.

coalition, that this is a holding conference and a holding speech?

:38:57.:39:02.

This is his conference, so he could say all sorts of things. It is a

:39:02.:39:06.

steady as she goes and it will be alright in the long run. We had

:39:06.:39:11.

keep going, keep going, keep going. Yes, keep calm and carpry on.

:39:11.:39:16.

has been said repeated lyrics that is all they've got. It felt that

:39:16.:39:20.

some of the people in that hall might have felt it would be more

:39:20.:39:25.

fun when they were a protest party. The thing is that it is about

:39:25.:39:30.

having an opportunity. Conference speeches for me have always been,

:39:30.:39:34.

this is the big highlight for the leaders of the party, when a lot of

:39:34.:39:38.

people are watching and listening to them did. He miss his

:39:38.:39:42.

opportunity there? I think he did. You mentioned Churchill saving the

:39:42.:39:46.

country and losing the election in 19456789 when Churchill took over

:39:46.:39:51.

as Prime Minister, Britain was in a terrible state. One of the points

:39:52.:39:57.

about Churchill was he didn't shrink from telling the bleak truth.

:39:57.:40:02.

Vivid language but he didn't sugar the pill. That earned him credit.

:40:02.:40:06.

If things are as bad as they clearly are for the economy and for

:40:06.:40:11.

the party, if Nick Clegg is going to make that kind of appeal, in an

:40:11.:40:18.

odd way he needs to be starker and more serious and more down-beat.

:40:18.:40:22.

The gravitas wasn't there? wasn't there. The language, I

:40:22.:40:27.

really didn't feel was right. thought it was interesting that he

:40:27.:40:31.

quite explicitly linkleted the future of his party to the --

:40:31.:40:35.

linked the future of his feet the country. If the policies come right,

:40:35.:40:39.

the country will come right and our party will come right. There is

:40:39.:40:46.

quite a lot of historical examples. Churchill in 1945, and Lloyd George,

:40:46.:40:53.

he won the First World War and killed the Liberal Party. You could

:40:53.:40:58.

say after Lehman Brothers Gordon moved Heaven and Earth to help stop

:40:58.:41:04.

the economy from becoming a '30s- style slump and lost the election.

:41:04.:41:09.

The electorate are very ungrateful. But in terms of the electorate,

:41:09.:41:16.

what about red meat? There wasn't much red meat that. Usually is a

:41:16.:41:21.

vital ingredient of conference speeches. It did feel like middle

:41:21.:41:25.

managershaving a sales conference somewhere. That is a pretty damning

:41:25.:41:30.

indictment from you. What could he have done red-meat-wise for the

:41:30.:41:35.

party? They are going to have to get to that point at some stage,

:41:35.:41:39.

because at some point they are going to have to stand against the

:41:39.:41:43.

Conservatives and he will have to say, vote for us to stop it

:41:43.:41:48.

happening, but at the moment he isn't doing, that but in 2015 he

:41:48.:41:53.

will have to. Back to Brighton where if former leader of the

:41:53.:41:58.

Liberal Democrats, a man who had ha had to make a speech like that.

:41:58.:42:06.

Ming Campbell is there. What bit of the speech has stuck in your mind?

:42:06.:42:16.
:42:16.:42:18.

A pleasure. The march to the gunfire, the go back to your

:42:18.:42:24.

government. We must not been held back by it. Three parties with an

:42:24.:42:26.

interest in government in the United Kingdom, it seemed to me he

:42:26.:42:30.

was putting a pretty serious test and equally a pretty serious

:42:30.:42:34.

ambition. That's the bit that leapt out to me. But it seemed that the

:42:34.:42:39.

fate of your party is tied one the success, or otherwise, of the

:42:39.:42:43.

coalition's policies. It doesn't always follow that even if they

:42:43.:42:48.

were to come right, would get the credit. Let's put that round the

:42:48.:42:55.

other way. Supposing they had come wrong. Then you're finished.

:42:55.:43:00.

would somehow be successful. You're toast. The analysis is right, of

:43:00.:43:04.

course, that he has married together the success and progress

:43:04.:43:07.

of the party with the success of the commitment but remember, that's

:43:07.:43:11.

what the coalition agreement was about. It is what we signed up to.

:43:11.:43:15.

It is why people like myself agreed that this was a coalition, a

:43:15.:43:20.

necessity which we had to enter into. What he was doing essentially

:43:20.:43:24.

was expressing frankly something which has been by implication the

:43:24.:43:31.

position ever since May 2010. did he say nothing about the

:43:31.:43:36.

potential trade-off which everyone has been talking about between the

:43:36.:43:39.

coalition's need, particularly the Conservative desire to make further

:43:39.:43:45.

cuts or further freezes on benefits, and your party's desire for higher

:43:45.:43:51.

taxes on the wealthy? Why did he not mention that? Well, I was

:43:51.:43:55.

eavesdropping on Nick Robinson a moment ago when you were talking to

:43:55.:43:58.

him. He was pointing out the fact that Liberal Democrats, not

:43:58.:44:01.

surprisingly perhaps, have been going around this conference saying,

:44:01.:44:08.

we are not going to do this or that. These are not things which are

:44:08.:44:11.

under consideration in this Parliament. Remember, the coalition

:44:11.:44:16.

is for this Parliament, its success or otherwise, will be determined by

:44:16.:44:20.

what happens in this Parliament. One general point if I may. This

:44:20.:44:25.

wasn't an occasion for the sunny southern uplands. It was an austere

:44:25.:44:31.

speech for an age of austerity. we've got to be serious in the way

:44:31.:44:34.

in which we deal with it. Lying behind the speech at every stage

:44:34.:44:38.

was the question of opportunity, not just opportunity for those who

:44:38.:44:43.

are less well-off, but opportunity for our party. In a sense you could

:44:43.:44:48.

argue this was a challenge to the Liberal Democrats. Here is where we

:44:48.:44:54.

are, here's what we've got to do, When you look at everything that

:44:54.:45:04.
:45:04.:45:05.

has been demanded, when you get everything that has been demanded

:45:05.:45:08.

by the Lib Dems, surely it is fair to say that you are much more

:45:08.:45:14.

likely to get what you want from a Labour party than a Conservative

:45:14.:45:19.

Party? I thought one of the interesting part of the speech was

:45:19.:45:23.

when he pointed out that all talk of what one would do after the next

:45:23.:45:26.

election really is arrogant. In this sense, the people will decide

:45:26.:45:31.

what sort of parliament they want to have. If it's a hung parliament

:45:31.:45:36.

once again, all parties will have an obligation to see what is

:45:37.:45:39.

necessary to do in the national interests. I don't think anything

:45:39.:45:46.

is served by anticipating the result of the General Election and

:45:46.:45:52.

by attempting to present positions in advance of that result. Wouldn't

:45:52.:45:55.

there be widespread anger if the Liberal Democrats were to lose a

:45:55.:46:02.

large number of seats at the next General Election, but still held

:46:02.:46:06.

the balance of power and stayed in government? People would think that

:46:07.:46:11.

was not fair. Well, the British electoral system is not fair. If we

:46:11.:46:17.

had a proper proportional system... You lost that argument! Then what

:46:17.:46:22.

you say would not occur. I can hear some heckling. But if we had a fair

:46:22.:46:28.

system, of course, coalition is something we have to deal with more

:46:28.:46:36.

than once every eight years. What we seek to do is to build on what

:46:36.:46:42.

has gone before, realising that our success or failure will depend on

:46:42.:46:46.

the circumstances that encouraged and some may even say Forster's

:46:46.:46:52.

into coalition. That is the austere message that we have heard. It is

:46:52.:46:56.

one that seemed to be well received. The mood has been, to some extent,

:46:56.:47:01.

anxious. If Nick Clegg had got up and said, look, we have turned the

:47:01.:47:05.

corner, all is going to be milk and honey, people like yourselves and

:47:05.:47:10.

the delegates would have been smiling behind their hands. An

:47:10.:47:15.

entirely realistic speech. Realism and commitment, not rhetoric.

:47:15.:47:20.

seem to want to be in a position, and Vince Cable alluded to this,

:47:20.:47:24.

having been a party that was never in power, you want to see election

:47:24.:47:30.

results which mean you will always be in power? You would hardly be

:47:30.:47:36.

surprised about that. Yes, it's about winning an election. It's

:47:36.:47:43.

very seductive indeed when you consider, as... Well, I joined the

:47:43.:47:47.

Liberal Party when there were six MPs. I came an MP and there were 18

:47:47.:47:50.

of us. The notion of government, the kind of influence we have

:47:50.:47:54.

enjoyed and the kind of responsibility we have had to

:47:54.:47:57.

undertake seemed entirely remote. As Nick Clegg has quite properly

:47:57.:48:02.

said, a different party, for different times. If power and

:48:02.:48:05.

responsibility goes along with that, he will not find any of ejection

:48:06.:48:09.

from any of the delegates in Brighton. Does it wrangle with you

:48:09.:48:15.

that the man widely regarded as his heir apparent is three years older

:48:15.:48:19.

than you or when who you were leader of the party and thought to

:48:19.:48:27.

be too old to run it? No. Another Time, Another Place, I can assure

:48:27.:48:30.

you that I do not lie awake at night or even get up in the morning

:48:30.:48:39.

sticking pins into effigies of Vince Cable. Would you like to?

:48:39.:48:43.

When Gordon Brown declined to call the election in autumn 2007, which

:48:43.:48:49.

he undoubtedly should have done, as even he might now admit, it was

:48:49.:48:53.

clear to me that the issues of age that were crowded around were going

:48:53.:48:59.

to be even greater in the three years that were going to follow

:48:59.:49:03.

until the General Election was held in 2010. Nick Clegg was my

:49:03.:49:09.

preferred successor. He has done something which very few Liberal

:49:09.:49:13.

Democrat... No Liberal Democrat leaders, and very few Liberal

:49:13.:49:16.

leaders have done. He's had the opportunity of taking us into

:49:16.:49:20.

government. That, for the party, whatever difficulties that may have

:49:20.:49:24.

caused, it has been an enormous achievement. But it could have been

:49:24.:49:28.

you, if they look more kindly on your age, the way that they seem to

:49:28.:49:32.

be on Vince Cable's, it could be you. Deputy Prime Minister

:49:32.:49:38.

Campbell? Well, it is very good of you to keep up this barrage of

:49:38.:49:43.

support for myself. I don't remember, if I may say so, that you

:49:43.:49:46.

were among those at the time that was saying, stay on, you are young

:49:46.:49:55.

enough. Exactly, there we go. Anyway, we lost. And you for

:49:55.:49:59.

joining us. Have you got a campaign to get Ming

:49:59.:50:05.

Campbell reinstated? Ardour is worth the crowds and has managed to

:50:05.:50:10.

grab a couple of people who were in there, listening to Nick Clegg.

:50:10.:50:15.

Good afternoon. I have not grab them yet. We are going to grab them

:50:15.:50:18.

on BBC Two and see who would like to talk to us. Are you making notes

:50:18.:50:22.

about your favourite parts of the speech? No. What were your

:50:22.:50:28.

favourite bits? A clear message that we are going to differentiate

:50:28.:50:32.

ourselves from the Tories. I think that is absolutely critical. The

:50:32.:50:38.

reason we are going to do that is the whole equalities agenda. I

:50:38.:50:42.

think Mecca is absolutely right. No other party is going to do it.

:50:42.:50:45.

Labour talk about it, they didn't do it and will not do it again.

:50:46.:50:50.

That was key. The other thing, he has now hopefully dispelled any

:50:50.:50:54.

question that he should lead us into the next General Election.

:50:54.:51:02.

Very quickly, marks out of 10? Scientific. Thank you very much. He

:51:02.:51:05.

Wells would like to talk to the Daily Politics? These guys look

:51:05.:51:11.

quite keen. He's going to get a train. What did you reckon about

:51:11.:51:16.

the speech? A very strong speech. My highlight was that Blue cannot

:51:16.:51:19.

become green without yellow. That sums up what is happening with the

:51:20.:51:25.

environment. In the coalition, the Conservatives would not be

:51:25.:51:27.

delivering an UNEF what is happening in that government. A

:51:27.:51:30.

very strong green message in government. I thought you might

:51:30.:51:35.

mention that, you have a green badge. You are not running off for

:51:35.:51:39.

a train? Not yet. Are you prepared to be shouted at in your

:51:39.:51:43.

constituency, because you are a proper, grown-up party of

:51:43.:51:47.

government? I'm on the doorsteps every week. It is nothing new to us

:51:47.:51:51.

at all. We are not being shouted at. He's talking about not being a

:51:51.:51:54.

protest party any more and being grown-up. What does that mean in

:51:54.:51:58.

practice when you are campaigning? It means you can say to people, we

:51:58.:52:02.

have delivered this, we have raised the income tax that will say you

:52:02.:52:06.

get more of your money to take home, we have invested in schools, we

:52:06.:52:12.

have a Pupil Premium. The catch-up fund his regard for people in my

:52:12.:52:16.

area, Tottenham specifically. They will benefit from that and they are

:52:16.:52:20.

doing so. Well done, you have learned all of the party lines.

:52:20.:52:24.

Let's see if we can find some odd delegates. What did you make of the

:52:24.:52:28.

speech? You are live on BBC Two. Really enjoyed it. Very inspiring,

:52:28.:52:33.

just what we needed. What I noticed was the talk about Paddy Ashdown

:52:33.:52:36.

coming back to run the next election got a bigger club than

:52:36.:52:41.

anything else. Why was that? just love party. That doesn't mean

:52:41.:52:48.

we did not love Nick. He was 15 last on the front line 15 years ago

:52:48.:52:54.

and never won an election. What makes an qualified? If he can sort

:52:54.:52:58.

out Bosnia, he can sort out the country and help get us elected.

:52:58.:53:02.

Did the speech but all of the rumours to rest? I think so. It's

:53:03.:53:05.

interesting. A lot of the mutterings about the leadership

:53:05.:53:11.

were coming from members of the media. Sorry, not you necessarily.

:53:11.:53:17.

We were here on Saturday and somebody from an alternative news

:53:17.:53:20.

outlet was going around, basically trying to find people to say nasty

:53:20.:53:27.

things about Nick. It wasn't me! was not you, it stopped because

:53:27.:53:31.

they found it very difficult to find people. Vince Cable scarpered

:53:31.:53:35.

pretty quickly. We saw him leaving just after the speech finished.

:53:35.:53:39.

Would you like to speak to us? thought I would praise him for the

:53:39.:53:43.

amazing speech. It really inspired me. I always come to the conference

:53:43.:53:47.

looking to be inspired, to go back to work and knocking on doors. I

:53:47.:53:51.

work as an organiser. It really helps to motivate me and it helps

:53:51.:53:55.

me to motivate other people. I think the speech did exactly that.

:53:55.:53:59.

It set out the Liberal Democrat vision. I think it explained to the

:53:59.:54:02.

country what Liberal Democrats stand for. There was only one

:54:02.:54:05.

policy announced, the catch-up premium. That is a bit lame, isn't

:54:05.:54:10.

it? Not only one policy, there were a number of other things he focused

:54:10.:54:13.

on. The fairer taxes campaign, which we have been talking about

:54:13.:54:18.

since 2010, which we have delivered so much on already, it is being

:54:18.:54:22.

delivered and will carry on being delivered. I'll stop you there, I

:54:22.:54:30.

have spotted the man that runs the Lib Dem shop. We do not have Nick

:54:30.:54:37.

in person. But what have been the best sellers from the shop? The two

:54:37.:54:47.
:54:47.:54:49.

bestsellers have been the Sorry Macs and badgers. And also the pleb

:54:49.:54:54.

badges. We have run out of stock. heard that you jacked up the price

:54:55.:55:00.

of the badge, it started selling for 25 pence? It started at 25p, we

:55:00.:55:04.

sold it at 25p. But there is a black market of people buying it.

:55:04.:55:08.

There was one bystander earlier today. He didn't have any, he

:55:08.:55:11.

offered somebody �5 for it and she passed it over. And then she bought

:55:11.:55:18.

one from me at 25 pence later. you want to have the last word?

:55:18.:55:22.

Marks out of 10? It was great. Talking about our distinctive

:55:22.:55:26.

vision. That is what we've got to do. We've got to keep saying, the

:55:26.:55:29.

income tax threshold would not have been raised under the Tories. It

:55:29.:55:34.

was raised because it was one of our main policies. We have brought

:55:34.:55:40.

in 75% of our manifesto. What marks out of 10 would you give it? Nine

:55:40.:55:45.

out of 10. What would you say the atmosphere was like? It wasn't

:55:45.:55:49.

barnstorming, was it? It wasn't, but he said what we wanted to hear.

:55:49.:55:53.

He was honest with us. He talked about tough decisions. That, we

:55:54.:55:57.

have to admit that. That the decisions are going to be tough.

:55:57.:56:01.

This is not easy. That is it, the word from the delegates on the

:56:01.:56:06.

conference floor. Remember, you end up with these from the party

:56:06.:56:09.

conferences. This year, the Lib Dems are recycling them! No more

:56:09.:56:18.

clocking up your house in your We are in the dying minutes of our

:56:18.:56:23.

coverage. Some of you might want to put emphasis on the word dying. I

:56:24.:56:28.

am a Labour strategist, watching this, my conferences next week. And

:56:28.:56:31.

thinking, at the very least, I might have to be the largest party

:56:31.:56:38.

after the next election. Can I do business with them? Yes. The one

:56:38.:56:41.

thing that Nick Clegg was absolutely clearly right is that in

:56:41.:56:45.

the end it is the voters that decide. If Labour is the largest

:56:45.:56:49.

party in the next Parliament, unless it is only two or three

:56:49.:56:52.

seats in it, the Liberal Democrats will only have one choice, like

:56:52.:56:57.

last time. In the end, they only had one option, to do a deal with

:56:57.:57:01.

the Tories. If it is Labour tent seats away from a majority, they

:57:01.:57:06.

will have to do a deal with Labour, if they like it or not. But I did

:57:06.:57:10.

they can do business. They are fighting over the same voters. The

:57:10.:57:14.

voters that he has lost have, by and large, gone to the Labour Party.

:57:14.:57:18.

Labour have to hang onto them. almost come to the end of the

:57:18.:57:21.

coverage. A very important thing to do now, the most important thing I

:57:21.:57:26.

have done all day. Put you out of your misery. No, not by ending the

:57:26.:57:31.

coverage, to give you the answer to the guess the year competition. The

:57:31.:57:37.

year was 1999. I got it right, for once. Once, being the operative

:57:37.:57:45.

word. If you thump that red button, we will reveal the button. --

:57:45.:57:52.

winner. David Joyce, from Leeds, you have won. Looking ahead to

:57:52.:57:56.

Manchester, Labour will not have a leadership scare. That is not an

:57:56.:58:00.

issue at the moment. They are in good shape in the polls. The

:58:00.:58:03.

coalition is deeply worried, the economy is still showing few signs

:58:03.:58:09.

of recovery. It could be pretty easy for them next week? Except

:58:09.:58:12.

that they know, as we used to say about David Cameron before the

:58:12.:58:17.

blast election, Ed Miliband has not sealed the deal with the public.

:58:17.:58:19.

The public are disenchanted with the Conservatives, they are

:58:19.:58:22.

disenchanted with the Liberal Democrats. They are less

:58:22.:58:27.

apprehensive about Labour than a year ago. But it is not like Tony

:58:27.:58:31.

Blair, when he was positively popular. Ed Miliband still has work

:58:31.:58:36.

to do. In his conference speech, he needs to do better than Nick Clegg.

:58:36.:58:40.

Even his own voters are less enthusiastic about him than the

:58:40.:58:43.

Conservatives are about Cameron. thank you for being with us.

:58:44.:58:47.

That it, on the day that Nick Clegg delivered his speech to the Lib Dem

:58:47.:58:51.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest from Liberal Democrat conference, including Nick Clegg's speech live and reaction from guests including Lord Ashdown.


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