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Politics: Between the Extremes Paperback – 4 May 2017
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"A compelling account from the inside of the strange, sad death of liberal Britain. This is a passionate plea for the centre ground, which has never seemed so remote (or precious) in our current political dispensation" (Ian McEwan)
"This engrossing account is written with a warmth and generosity that can’t have been easy to sustain given the trials and tribulations he recounts so entertainingly" (Alan Johnson)
"Essential reading for anyone fearful of the rise of populist extremism or who thinks coalitions are the future of British politics" (Robert Peston)
"This is an important book: a revealing analysis of British politics today and why it urgently needs reform" (Shirley Williams)
"People of all political persuasions owe Nick Clegg a debt that I have no doubt history will acknowledge" (John Major)
About the Author
Nick Clegg was Leader of the Liberal Democrats for eight years from 2007 and Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2015. As well as being the Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, he was previously MEP for the East Midlands. Nick and his wife Miriam were married in her home town in Spain in 2000 and have three young sons – Antonio, Alberto and Miguel. He speaks five languages.
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Nick Clegg does his very best to exonerate himself and his party from some of the blame for the Coalition's setbacks and failures and tries to correct the very lazy and often prejudiced assumptions and opinions of large numbers of voters, among them many Liberal Democrats, who were both disappointed and disillusioned with what they saw as a bit of a sell out coalition that seemed to allow the Tories to not only claim the credit for the all the Coalition's successes but use that credit as a sort of fuel to springboard their successful efforts to subsequently gain an overall majority in the 2015 General Election. The abandonment of the University tuition fees policy being, he acknowledges, the touchstone example of how this voter dissatisfaction subsequently undid the Lib Dems bid to continue to grow as a political force at the ballot box - Clegg loosing his own seat at that election of course. However, he does go to great lengths to explain where he and his party succeeded in putting the brakes on the greatest Tory excesses and in so doing gives a remarkably frank and clear set of insights into the workings of the Westminster system and how it consistently operates in favour of the bigger parties and against continental coalition and consensus style politics. Needless to say that ushers in the whole Brexit issue for analysis and debate and some very enlightening and interesting ideas about shaping the future towards his own Liberal vision. Allongside this account of struggling to maintain his values against the Tory leviathan he takes a sideswipe at Cameron and his party for their narrow interest policies and internecine struggles, while Labour fare no better in his opinion and the other minority parties, particularly the Welsh nationalists barely get a mention. He also caricatures George Osborne quite amusingly whilst paying tribute to David Laws, his own right hand man and Paddy Ashdown and Ming Campbell for helping him to hold on to the roller coaster and continue to play the Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM role successfully while the press tried to shred his good name. At the end of it all however, whilst he presents a vision worthy of Bentham and Stuart Mill and the great Liberal reformist tradition, we have to remember that we are heading into the 21st century not back to the 19th and something drastic needs to be done to change the trajectory of poorly managed decline that our nation finds itself on, and I am not at all sure that this book holds the answers!
A man who had apparently thrown away all of his values just so that he could pretend to have power?
In this book he explains very candidly, that he did not only not throw away his values, but hold them dearer than ever before, for the good of our UK, and that it was only his presence in #10 that brought about some good, but what he and the Lib Dems represent
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