This hate and loathe Nick Clegg campaign doesn’t make any sense!

Posted 28 Jun 2014 by Walaa Idris

Because the “I agree with Nick” is the same DPM Nick Clegg! So what happened? And what changed in the past four years?

From where I am standing, there are two reasons why Nick Clegg and the LibDems are so unpopular today. And both reasons have nothing to do with Clegg reneging on ‘Tuition Fees’ or other promises. Since none of the people that voted for the LibDems up to 2010, expected them to implement any of their manifesto promises – in other words they [LibDems] were never expected to win an election and form a government!

In my opinion, Libs are unpopular now, mainly because, before the 2010 General Election, they were the default party most disaffected voters voted for. They were pure of government, innocent of making the hard decisions and delivering the tough solutions. So, to suddenly be at the heart of government was a shock to many and to some even an outright betrayal.

LibDems were seen as the compeller party. A weapon used by Labour and Conservative voters and supports, who used switching their vote to LibDems as a way of saying to their respective party “We’re important please woo us back.” When the Liberals became “the government” they stripped away that power. Thus forcing that block of voters to look elsewhere for an alternative vote to use as pressure.

Enter Ukip, which unlike the LibDems is not a centrist party that can easily straddle both sides of the political spectrum. Ukip’s home is firmly on the right and they share very little with the left. That has angered that particular block – causing them to lash at Libs.

The second reason is the media. When Nick Clegg became the kingmaker, like that block of voters, the media lost both the carrot and the stick they used to use to pump-up and whip with both Labour and the Conservatives. They lost their ‘I agree with Nick’ effect to ‘Nick, the man who can’t keep his promises’ and that dismayed them for the same above mentioned reasons.

Now the media also needed a replacement “carrot and stick” to entice the two big parties with. Ukip was the only available alternative [the fourth party] and that presented a number of challenges. One of them, until very recently, Ukip and the BNP were regarded by many in the media as identical twins that were separated at birth. That posed the greatest challenge – easily visible in the love hate relationship the media have with Ukip.

If we take a step back, Nick Clegg is the same Nick Clegg. The only difference between Clegg pre 2010 and Clegg post 2010 is being in government. Whether propping up the Tories, coming to the country’s aid or delivering some of his party manifesto while making the Libs the party of government and not a permanent opposition third party, those who used the Liberal Democrats as their default vote and whipping tool have lost their weapon and with it the power to pressure the government of the day. And that infuriated them.

Party politics aside, as a Brit, I think Nick Clegg, should be admired and applauded. He is the first LibDems leader in almost a century to be in government. As much as it pains me to admit it, he did curb the Conservatives from cutting deeper and faster – so lefties should applaud that. He went in knowing the minor partner in any coalition will take most of the blame and less of the credit but accepted it as the price of fixing the country. Everyone on either side of the political divide ought to respect and admire him for that.

Clegg and the LibDems have entered history from its wider doors. Today’s whingers might not think it but history will remember it.

My advice to Liberals is to edify their leader, highlight their achievements and remember that a minority Tory government could not have delivered many to the current reforms. Without the LibDems by the Conservatives side the country might not have experienced the stability and unity of purpose it did in the past four and half years. Without the coalition, our country might not have seen the current improvement in the economy. This coalition came together for the right reasons and delivered where it mattered.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where the buck stops!

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I like Nick Clegg and think he should stay leader to his party up to and beyond 2015.

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

DPM Nick Clegg

Never since Crewe and Nantwich have I been this excited about a by election, and Eastleigh is even better because it is a much shorter battle. It is also unique in that Libs are a much tougher opponent than Labour in the fighting dirty department (Labour are amateurs when it comes to multi-cell under handed yet legal campaigning). Let’s not also forget there is the added pressure of the coalition, while in government Tories and Libs have to work as a team but in Eastleigh the two are rivals.

So if you have never before followed a by – election this is definitely the one to watch.

There is a lot of talk about the Labour candidate. Many don’t understand why Miliband picked a high profile candidate in a seat he has no chance of winning? Like everything in politics there are many theories around as to why he did it. When the simple explanation can be he wanted his star candidate to get a campaign under his belt before 2015.

I too have a theory. I think Ed Miliband actually believes he will get the keys to Number Ten in 2015 without having to go into coalition with anyone. He also believes to achieve that he needs to totally destroy the Libs and specially Nick Clegg. Therefore as a distraction to Liberal Democrats voters, he selects a liberal celebrity hoping he cuts into their support thus allowing for a Tories win. He can this way kills two birds with one stone, damage confidence in Libs specially Nick Clegg plus of course shake the coalition. Because Liberals holding Eastleigh = A Disappointed Tories + A Strong Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats.

I want us to take Eastleigh, but will not be remotely disappointed if the Lib Dems hold the seat, and would love it if Labour comes fourth behind UKIP.

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Nick Clegg does Radio.

Posted 10 Jan 2013 by Walaa Idris

DPM Nick Clegg’s first radio phone – in with LBC this morning took me back to the 2010 General election and the TV debates. And, although this phone- in did not have the same novelty of the first TV debate, it had the same warmth the first debate had.

Like Cameron, Clegg is naturally a peoples’ person, he genuinely likes people and connecting with them and it comes across. That was very clear in his responses and interaction with callers, the mum who felt let down by the benefits cap, the angry student and John, the disaffected former Lib Dem Surrey County Councillor who tore up his party membership card after 40 years. Despite the difficulty of the questions Nick was compassionate and explained his and the government’s reasoning calmly and sympathetically.

The cynics will say, Clegg is paving the way to a new career in radio – the radio station handpicked the question and all sorts of pessimistic explanations as to why he did it. But in reality, he is clever to recognise his strength and capitalise on it. However, whether this weekly phone- in will change his and his party’s fortune that remains to be seen – nonetheless it’s a good move and will ultimately help more than hinder.

A friend commented: “It was so good and went so fast, this was the fasted 30 minutes the whole thing went in a flash.”

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DPM launches the business X-Factor

Posted 12 Jan 2012 by Walaa Idris

Office of DPM

Well done to Deputy Prime Minster, Nick Clegg who today has launched the Business Compact, the first step towards ending the culture of “who you know, not what you know”.

The move aims to put in place merit, accountability and peoples’ worth ahead of a culture of returning favors offering the best opportunities only to those you know and promote contacts over merit and ability. With more than 100 of the UK biggest businesses signed up to the Government’s Business Compact – the DPM hopes today signals the beginning of the “what you know, NOT who you know” culture.

Mr. Clegg is right: “This is an important step towards a society where it’s what you know, not who you know that counts.” It is a fairer and more open way for businesses and our society to adopt. Despite some incidences, such as last summer’s London Riots, Britain is rich with some of the most talented, able young minds who are neither educated in the top universities, nor come from a connected family, and I say this from experience. Between 2005 and 2011; I worked with some of the most talented young minds and saw firsthand what our young are capable of achieving. Sadly many of them, in spite of every effort and regardless of their abilities, don’t even get a foot in the door and the opportunity to focus and develop their raw talents and drive to excel to benefit themselves, their communities and their families.

The Business Compact is a starts, a great step toward the DPM’s and the Coalition Government’s Social Mobility Strategy project which aims to ensure every individual is free to achieve, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

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