Britain’s no3 political party held their annual conference this week. But before that, the Liberal Democrats met in Glasgow. The week started with Nick Clegg evading questions about Vince Cable’s expected absence from a vote on the economy at the Lib Dem conference. ‘I don’t tell people when they have to turn up to a meeting’ said the authoritative leader on the Today programme.
In the end Vince decided he could spare the time to pop along and lend his support. His excuse had been ‘speech prep’; and duly the speech was delivered. He relished memories of attacking the ‘hated Tories’.
In comparison with the slightly deflated Cable, Nick Clegg sounded confident at a Q&A session with party members, telling them ‘we did it’, and robustly defending the party’s complicity in (boo, hiss) deficit reduction.
The Washington Navy Yard shootings shook America – what was first feared to be a terrorist attack was found to be the work of a deranged gunman. Barack Obama spoke about the tragedy, acknowledging ‘yet another mass shooting’ in America, and praising the patriots who faced gunfire in their home country.
Tim Loughton was a schools minister for the first two years of the coalition. On Wednesday a recording surfaced of him criticising his former colleage, Sarah Teather, for doing a poor job- apparently because she didn’t have children of her own. Loughton took to Twitter to blame the media for mis-interpreting his remarks, which were apparently meant only ‘to criticise Lib Dem policy’. Decide for yourself:-
Back at the Lib Dem conference, Danny Alexander used his speech to warn that ‘there’s no spending bonanza around the corner’.
How wrong he was. The next day details were leaked of Nick Clegg’s £600 million policy to bribe taxpayers with their own money. He promised free school meals for children in their first three years of school.
It might be good politics, but it contradicts what Nick Clegg and the right-leaning wing of the Lib Dems have said about how they view the state. But then, consistency isn’t always Clegg’s strong suit.
‘I always thought it was better, in politics, to tell people about the things you’ve achieved, not just the things you’ve stopped’ he said in his keynote speech closing the conference, moments before listing 16 Tory policies he’d blocked.
Here’s the full speech:-
Or if you haven’t the time/stomach for it, Coffee House’s edit of the best bits:-
And the week finished with Nigel Farage’s speech at the Ukip conference.
Fraser thought the speech lacked fizz, and true enough, even comments about a Romanian crime-wave in London were barely enough to get the Guardian to pop their cork.
And to round the week off, the inimitable Godfrey Bloom:-Tags: Audio, Danny Alexander, Godfrey Bloom, Nick Cl, Sarah Teather, Vince Cable