Clegg ended his party’s conference by giving his leader’s speech earlier today. Clegg set out the Lib Dem agenda if they are to win at the next election.
Nick Clegg’s speech took a different approach to the other main UK party leaders. Throughout Clegg justified the Liberal Democrats’ decision to join the Tories in coalition. His speech highlighted the Scottish referendum, reducing the amount of decisions made in Westminster, increasing the personal allowance, and raising an extra £1m for the NHS.
Early on in his speech Clegg apologised for breaking his tuition fees promise. He said: “Politicians of every party have failed by exaggerating and overstating what governments can do.” He said that whilst government can’t do everything they can level the playing field to give everyone the chance to fulfil their aspirations.
The majority of Clegg’s speech was focused on being the ‘different party.’ The Liberal Democrats want to be represented as: “Decent people, driven by decent values.”
He called for the public to judge the Lib Dems on the various policies they pushed through whilst in coalition. He said: “How will you judge us? By the one policy we couldn’t deliver in government or the countless policies we delivered in government? Judge us on that record.”
There was very little mention of enterprise/entrepreneurship as the Lib Dem leader focused on the idea of increasingly opportunities for the country as a whole rather than for specific individuals. By removing the amount of power concentrated in Westminster the Lib Dems hope to extend it to local communities - in turn giving them more power. Clegg explained: “Spreading opportunity means putting people in control.”
“Powerlessness is the enemy of opportunity.”
In policies that are to benefit younger voters, Clegg pledged to cover travel costs to all college students if his party are to succeed in the next election.
He ended saying: “No matter who you are, no matter where you are from. We will do everything in our power to help you shine.”
Nick Clegg ends our look into the party conferences having hosted our own fringe events with Santander. We started our first party conference in Manchester with Labour, put on our second party conference in Birmingham with the Conservatives and ended yesterday with the Liberal Democrats.
Providing greater access to government and enterprise experts we have been able to present young people with opportunities to voice their opinions on enterprise and entrepreneurship. We hope that the advice given and viewpoints heard will encourage and motivate more young people into enterprise.