Clegg: how to make the voters notice the Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on September 17, 2007

Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems’ shadow home secretary (and touted alongside Chris Huhne as Ming Campbell’s most likely successor), was the subject of The Independent’s ‘You ask the questions’ feature today. You can read it in full here.

Here’s one Q&A to entice you to read them all:

Under Ming Campbell, the party has been slowly sliding into electoral irrelevance. What is your strategy for making people take notice again? Allan Forrester, Orkney

If you look at the big challenges in British politics today – the environment, Britain’s role in a globalised world, the balance between freedom and security, accountability and transparency in politics, the importance of social mobility – they are at the heart of what the Lib Dems are all about. We can hardly be irrelevant when the whole political debate is moving onto our home turf. The age of two-party politics is gone: only 2 per cent the electorate voted for a party other than the Conservatives or Labour in the 1951 election; 32 per cent of the electorate voted for other parties in the 2007 election. Voters want more choice in politics, not less. Lib Dems must always be straight talking, and willing to ask the questions that no one else will. Who else would have challenged the war in Iraq? Who else would have challenged the penal populism of New Labour’s headline grabbing mania on law and order? Who else would stand up for long standing British liberties which are under constant attack from both of the other parties?