Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Nick Clegg in Manchester - Key 103 Q&A

Yesterday evening I attended a Q&A with Nick Clegg, and a meet and greet with party members before hand.

The meet and greet was interesting and Nick was specifically articulate with our little group - and also knew a lot about Manchester and Stockport Lib Dems which was nice to hear.

The most interesting part was the Q&A with the general public, and a few of us that had spilled over from the meet and greet.

There were several different topics of conversation, but initially I was quite scared Nick was going to get a mauling at the hands of this public which, if you listen to the media, hates him!

Now I know I'm biased, although I do try and call it when I see it, and those close to me will know I can be critical of anything I don't see the sense or value in  - but I thought Nick was awesome.

He dealt with questions on the riots (very sensibly), on cuts to policing and PCSOs, on fees, on Legal Aid, on the 0.7% GNP target for development aid and when it would be brought into legislation. Nothing on Lords Reform but that's to be expected. 

I did see some questions on what we stand for, and thought we could be doing more to use the word liberal, and liberal values. For instance Nick spoke about decentralisation of both decision making (i.e. giving the Pupil Premium to schools for THEM to choose where best to spend it) - a key liberal value and in line with localisation - this has Lib Dems all over it. We need to be doing more of this, putting more into leaflets and saying it more on the doorstep. 

There were also some on differentiation. And I think that is quite key - we have our own values and beliefs and I think we should tie that to our policies more.

A great session, and Nick did so well at winning the room over, great to watch. More please!

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