Five more MPs endorse Clegg

by Stephen Tall on November 2, 2007

The list of MPs supporting Nick Clegg has grown to 33 with the news that party president, Simon Hughes, is among his backers. I understand the four other MPs who have endorsed Nick are: Norman Baker, Alan Reid and John Thurso (all of whom backed Ming Campbell last time), and Lembit Öpik.

The Hughes news is posted on Nick’s campaign website. The other names are courtesy Jonathan Isaby of The Daily Telegraph (who’s been keeping a running tally), apparently via a Team Clegg press release this morning.

LDV published the full list (as it was then) of how the MPs are lining up here last week.

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Simon Hughes, Norman Baker, and Lembit Öpik all supporting Nick? This is a terrific boost for Chris’s campaign!

by Laurence Boyce on November 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm. Reply #

Lembit Öpik supporting Nick Clegg? It’s all over for Nick now, he got the kiss of death.

by Anonymous on November 2, 2007 at 6:14 pm. Reply #

I disagree with Laurence about Simon and Norman. I am disappointed that Simon, who has for so long been the spiritual leader of the liberal left in the party, is prepared to support Nick and his less-than-wholehearted defence of people’s rights.

by Kevin on November 2, 2007 at 7:54 pm. Reply #

“Simon, who has for so long been the spiritual leader of the liberal left in the party, is prepared to support Nick and his less-than-wholehearted defence of people’s rights.”

Not sure either of those claims stack up!

What is the reference to Nick about?

by Hywel Morgan on November 2, 2007 at 9:01 pm. Reply #

Hywel, two concrete examples spring to mind: Nick often rushed to defend Mark Oaten when he was (frequently) being illiberal, and Nick has also been rubbish on the rights of Romanians and Bulgarians saying at a fringe that as no-one else was arguing that they should have the right to work here, we shouldn’t either.

by Kevin on November 2, 2007 at 9:05 pm. Reply #

Kevin, do people’s rights require more government interference in their lives?

by Anonymous on November 2, 2007 at 9:33 pm. Reply #

6 Bizarre question after what I’ve written. If British law is preventing EU citizens from Romania/Bulgaria working legally here, then a liberal legislature should act to remove that law. The Clegg position was that it shouldn’t act – or rather that Lib Dems shouldn’t demand that it act.

by Kevin on November 2, 2007 at 10:48 pm. Reply #

I don’t think that my question was bizarre. My impression of the two candidates is, that Huhne wants to keep at least the current amount of government interference in public services, though he’d move it to the local level, and he’d increase government in other areas, like environment.

In my opinion Huhne is the more green candidate, whereas Clegg, who wants to increase choice in public services, is the more liberal candidate.

by Anonymous on November 2, 2007 at 11:16 pm. Reply #

8 Nick is more of an economic liberal, but less of a political liberal.

by Kevin on November 2, 2007 at 11:21 pm. Reply #

re 7 A really liberal legislature might well give all Romanians and Bulgarians the right to work here. But if that is a liberal legislature, surely we would not stop at Romanians and Bulgarians? We would follow the nineteenth century US policy and offered refuge to the world’s “huddled masses”. Who knows how many would turn up? It could certainly be more than the number currently living here, and perhaps many more. That degree of liberalism is unlikely to command any support.

No-one is seriously arguing for that, and to the best of my knowledge Nick, Simon and Chris do not differ on the position of Romanians and Bulgarians.

Those interested in the liberal response to immigration might like to read Martin Wolf’s column in today’s FT, sparked by Legrain recently released CentreForum pamphlet.,dwp_uuid=f4ebce78-e821-11db-b2c3-000b5df10621.html

by tim leunig on November 3, 2007 at 12:20 am. Reply #

Curious decision by Simon – it presumably prevents him from being able to announce the result!

by Rob F on November 3, 2007 at 11:58 am. Reply #

Why so Rob? It could be quite amusing. “And the winner is . . . (you bastard) . . . Chris Huhne!”

by Laurence Boyce on November 3, 2007 at 3:15 pm. Reply #

What is so disappointing is the sheep-like mentality of the majority of our MPs. The so-called ‘great and good’ who were telling us 18 months ago that Ming was fantastic and excellent are now saying exactly the same thing about Clegg. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t trust their judgement based on that track record. Why have we spent the last 2 leadership elections see-sawing to try and over-compensate for the previous leader’s failing? “Ming is more serious than Charles”, now “Nick is younger than Ming”. It’s time our MPs engaged brain and actually thought about this rather than acting like a flock of sheep.

by rob b on November 3, 2007 at 9:29 pm. Reply #

re 7 & 10

would a “really Liberal legislature” allow citizens of Darfur to come here at will? Zimbabweans? Somalis? and indeed, any citizens of anywhere who felt UK might be better than where they originate?

Get real!!!!

by crewegwyn on November 3, 2007 at 9:40 pm. Reply #

Just as Generals always fight the last war and don’t look forward to the next, our MPs look for a leader who is completely different to the last one, regardless of whether they are the right one or not. I despared of the whole process as soon as Steve Webb dropped out.

by Martin Land on November 3, 2007 at 9:41 pm. Reply #

I cannot see how Phillipe Legrain can support anyone else but the Lib Dems. And yet I think his ideas are absurd.
He sees mass immigration to the UK not only unproblematic, but economically advantageous.
Well I would suggest that whether the UK’s population grows because of immigration, or because of an increasing birthrate, there are too many people in the UK, and for that matter in the world.
I am not proposing limiting immigration, but I do think we need to get a proper perspective of the ecological consequences of overpopulation. This is something the Phillipe Legrain seems to have no concept of. If Clegg decides to parrot Legrain, the Lib Dems will quickly lose their Green perspective.

by Geoffrey Payne on November 3, 2007 at 10:15 pm. Reply #

Moving someone from one country to the next doesn’t change the number of people there are emitting.

Free movement of labour and individuals is clearly a liberal concept. Whilst Philippe is clearly taking positions which we as a political party couldn’t take, his direction and political analysis is surely spot on.

Hate on free movement if you will, but closed drawbridge societies are not liberal ones.

by Peter Bancroft on November 3, 2007 at 10:23 pm. Reply #

Re – “moving someone from one country to the next doesn.t change the number of people there are emitting”.

No, but it might change their patterns of consumption/ emission.

You may have noticed there are a lot of UK-Poland flights now … emitting xxx?

by crewegwyn on November 3, 2007 at 10:49 pm. Reply #

Geoff, you are in danger of sounding positively Malthusian! Planet Earth is more than capable of supporting 6 billion souls. The problem is not too many people, but far too few with access to or control of natural resources – land, water, clean air, mineral reserves etc – that rightly belong to us all.

There is ample evidence that birthrates stabilise as prosperity grows. And with a more equitable distribution of wealth, the need for migration also diminishes. The real challenge we face is not attempting to control migration (though in the absence of a fair and redistributive fiscal regime I accept the short term necessity), but ensuring that our “common wealth” is fairly shared.
That means taxing privilege and wealth appropriation, and using the proceeds to provide the wealth creators (migrant or indigenous) and the communities to which they gravitate, with the means to support themselves.

Free trade, a free market and the free movement of labour is key to wealth creation and a truly liberal society. It is what happens to the wealth people create that remains the fundamental problem for planet earth, no matter its population.

by Anonymous on November 3, 2007 at 11:18 pm. Reply #

Sorry, that was me – not Anonymous!

by Andrew Duffield on November 3, 2007 at 11:19 pm. Reply #

Of course that’s true, but I can’t imagine us as a party declaring that we want more people to remain in the 3rd world because people in extreme poverty emit less carbon.

by Peter Bancroft on November 3, 2007 at 11:20 pm. Reply #

What I think we need to do is look at the history of the promotion of Nick Clegg as a future leader of the Lib Dems.

Who first suggested it? And why did that suggestion snowball?

At the beginning of the 1970s, the Rockefeller family established an outfit called the Trilateral Commission to seek out and promote suitable political leaders around the world (ie, “suitable” in terms of their willingness to promote the interests of US big business and foreign policy.)

Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were headhunted by the Trilateral Commission, though the former proved a disappointment (he even commits the ultimate heresy of criticising Israel).

No doubt I would be accused of wild paranoia were I to wonder out loud if Mr Clegg is a benificiary of this august institution.

by "Trilateral" on November 3, 2007 at 11:25 pm. Reply #

How many other Leaders have been outed as ‘Trilateralists?’.

by Steve Comer on November 10, 2007 at 6:39 pm. Reply #

23 – I believe the last one was the leader we had who was found among the wreckage of the UFO at Roswell.

by Ed on November 10, 2007 at 7:47 pm. Reply #

19, 20 Andrew, I would have thought the evidence from global warming would suggest that at the current rate of consumption the Earth cannot sustain 6 billion people.
Do you really think that global warming is just going to go away and we can then carry on as normal?
Malthuse may well be right, people like James Lovelock and many other great thinkers are suggesting the same thing.
Not only that, there is a lot of speculation we are reaching “Peak Oil”, and the price of oil would suggest this may be the case. I admit I am surprised that the economic impact of the current oil prices has not so far been great, but the price looks set to continue to go up in any case.

by Geoffrey Payne on November 10, 2007 at 8:51 pm. Reply #

Have any MEPs or MEP candidates now declared

by Daniel on November 10, 2007 at 9:57 pm. Reply #

Geoff – I agree, consumption must be reduced, but I maintain that would be best done through an equitable and efficient fiscal framework that promotes sustainable consumption, redistributes wealth and so reduces population growth and economic migration accordingly. James Lovelock is also backing nuclear power now, so I’m afraid I’ve relegated him from my “great thinkers” list!
Peak Oil is almost certainly imminent, as is a major global recession – both attributable to our dysfunctional economic system. But you can bet your bottom petro-dollar that the world’s leaders will point at other people (and then their own) before they admit it’s the flawed system they blindly prop up wot needs fixing!

by Andrew Duffield on November 10, 2007 at 10:19 pm. Reply #

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