52 Quotes of Nick Clegg

” For far too long the world’s poorest people have seen no benefit from the vast natural resources in their own backyards. It is time to end the injustice where ordinary people are silent witnesses, left to suffer without basic services, as the profits from their countries’ assets are hidden and plundered by corrupt regimes. “
” The Conservative Party is not honouring the commitment to Lords reform and, as a result, part of our contract has now been broken. Clearly I cannot permit a situation where Conservative rebels can pick and choose the parts of the contract they like, while Liberal Democrat MPs are bound to the entire agreement. “
” Joining the Liberal Party was a no-brainer for me… And when you are a young man, you don’t get a calculator out saying, ‘Am I going to get to power?’ You get propelled forward by idealism. “
” I am a passionate believer in freedom of speech. I would not support anything which would impinge on aggressive robust freedom of the British press, but when things go wrong and there has been outright illegality, there should be proper accountability. “
” You’ve got some very powerful countries: Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and others who have a genuine desire to see the euro zone straighten itself out. It’s good for all of us, whether you’re in the euro zone or not, to make sure that it doesn’t lead to a fracturing. “
” One of the big changes in politics has been because families, individuals, have felt worried, insecure… worried about the economy, worried about their jobs, worried about their kids’ futures… actually the disconnect between the public and media discourse and people’s everyday concerns has become bigger not smaller. “
” We need to teach our kids, because there is such a celebrity culture at the moment, that however rich you are, however famous you are, however glamorous you are, everyone has to live by the same rules. “
” The Labour Party has become consumed by collective bile towards… the Liberal Democrats. That portrays a rather nasty arrogance. “
” If there’s one thing I’m not going to apologise for as the leader of the Liberal Democrats in government after 60 or 70 years of being out of government, it’s that you just cannot avoid but deal with the world the way it is. “
” I have got instincts that, I think, are very much in tune with people’s very keen sense to see something different. I did not dream of being in politics since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I was not involved in student politics, or not in that partisan way. “
” The Liberal Democrat Party and the Conservative Party come at things very differently when it comes to Europe. When it comes to political reform, we have a much greater tradition in the Liberal Democrats of social justice and fairness than the Conservatives do. “
” We have got to make sure there is proper independent scrutiny and accountability for people in the press, just as there should be in any other industry where things go wrong. But let’s not try and think it is for politicians or governments to tell people what they stick in newspapers. That is deeply illiberal. “
” I am quite strict as a dad but I don’t want to be censorious. “
” With the EU taking in ten more countries and adopting a new Constitution, organisations need more than ever intelligent professional help in engaging with the EU institutions. “
” We need to reach out to small ‘l’ liberal voters who have a modern outlook on life, who want a party that is hard-headed on the economy – more credible on the economy than Labour – but more socially progressive and fairer than the Conservatives. “
” The caricature of what George Osborne is doing on the fiscal side is absurd. If you read some of the commentary, particularly from the left, you would think he was turning the clock back to the 1930s. “
” One thing I have frankly decided is that when it comes to political reform we have two conservative parties in British politics. Both the Labour and Conservative parties have constantly and repeatedly failed to honour promises they have made about reforming, cleaning, modernising our clapped-out system. “
” When I became leader, I made very clear I was not going to choose the easy life. I have always taken risks. I don’t like comfort-zone politics. “
” I will not accept a new wave of fiscal retrenchment, of belt-tightening, without asking people at the top to make their contribution, to make an additional contribution. I don’t think you can ask people on middle and low incomes, who, after all, are the vast majority of the British population, to bear the brunt of this adjustment. “
” Most people in this country are very fair-minded; they understand we’re in the middle of a very difficult journey of repairing, rescuing, restoring our British economy, and they want us, and they want particularly Liberal Democrats in government, to fight for the fairest possible way of doing that. “
” Grown-up politicians talk to each other across party lines. Over the last few weeks I have had lengthy conversations with Ed Miliband, David Miliband, with Tony Blair, with Peter Mandelson… talking about Europe, talking about political reform. “
” Do I get up every morning and ask: am I doing the things that I believe in and am I doing them for the best possible motives? Yes. Unambiguously yes. “
” You have a political and media elite who have an idiom by which they describe politics. It’s highly, highly polarised. It’s right, left, red, blue, up, down, victorious, crushed. “
” My dad’s side of the family had lots of artists and musicians. There’s an emotional, quite sentimental quality to Slavic culture. It’s very open, it loves art, it loves music, it loves literature. It’s very warm, it’s very up, it’s very down. I would celebrate that. “
” I don’t want to clip on the armour every morning. I’ve seen some politicians do this and they get a bit mangled and bitter. I just refuse to do that. I refuse to be angry or bitter or complain, and I remain open. I may sometimes be a bit too open but I’m not going to change that one bit. “
” I’m very lucky. I am one of those people who is able to go home, shut the front door and completely focus on the kids. “
” I’m very lucky. I am one of those people who is able to go home, shut the front door and completely focus on the kids. “
” If you scratch below the surface and ask what really makes me tick, it’s the liberalism of trying to promote freedom and opportunity. Promoting social mobility is one of the keys to that. “
” I totally accept that it’s a legitimate criticism that when you are involved in the day-to-day scrum of government… that what can get lost is the narrative, the hymn sheet… the song that inspires and lifts people’s sights. “
” I say this as a young dad seeing children going into primary school: I don’t think we should underestimate the formative effect on a child of those first years in primary school. “
” I’ve just been away for a week, and I dropped my BlackBerry in the sea while I was messing around with the kids, so no one can reach me. Blissful. I heartily recommend it. “
” Politics is a highly tribal business. “
” I don’t even pretend we can occupy the Lib Dem holier-than-thou, hands-entirely-clean-and-entirely-empty-type stance. No, we are getting our hands dirty, and inevitably and totally understandably we are being accused of being just like any other politicians. “
” Actually, the curious thing is that the more you become a subject of admiration or loathing, the more you’re examined under a microscope, the distance seems to open up between who you really are and the portrayals that people impose on you. “
” One thing I’ve very quickly learned is that if you wake up every morning worrying about what’s in the press, you would go completely and utterly potty. “
” I think that the days when newspaper barons could basically click their fingers and governments would snap to attention have gone. “
” Tony Blair and Gordon Brown committed to John Major’s spending envelopes in 1997. No-one said that Tony Blair and John Major were identical. This happens quite often that parties actually, despite all the sound and fury, agree on the overall need to make sure that we live within our means as a country. “
” Our Sheffield and London homes are worth well over a million but the bank owns most of them – we are mortgaged up to the gills. “
” I don’t lead a particularly Bohemian existence. The main criterion for me is not to be judgemental of other people so long as what they do is not harmful or offensive to others. “
” I wish more people knew that the only one of the three main parties where not a single MP flipped from one property to the next, and not a single MP avoided capital-gains tax, where every single London MP did not claim a penny of second-home allowance, was the Liberal Democrats. “
” Liberalism is a really old British tradition and it has a completely different attitude towards the individual and the relationship between the individual and the state than the collectivist response of Labour, and particularly Old Labour, does. “
” Although I am a young leader, I actually came to it strangely quite late. I have a different perspective, partly because of my family, partly because of what I did for ten years: negotiating trade deals, working out in Central Asia doing assistance projects. “
” Any government, of whatever composition, needs to mobilise opinion way beyond its own ranks in order to do the difficult things that it does. “
” The UK is not going to leave the European Union. Of course not. We are inextricably wound up with Europe. In terms of culture, history and geography, we are a European nation. “
” We can’t return to the 19th century, draw up our drawbridges and say, we don’t have anything to do with each other, Germany will not work with the Netherlands, the UK will not work with France. That’s ludicrous. We are condemned to work with each other. “
” If the euro zone doesn’t come up with a comprehensive vision of its own future, you’ll have a whole range of nationalist, xenophobic and extreme movements increasing across the European Union. And, frankly, questions about the British debate on EU membership will just be a small sideshow compared to the rise of political populism. “
” What we should be doing in the EU as a whole is more economic integration in the single market, rather than less. “
” I don’t watch a huge amount of telly. I read a lot. I’m reading at the moment ‘Freedom,’ by Jonathan Franzen, a great big brick of a book, and I’m loving it. “
” The choices politicians make must be based on values – not an arbitrary, axe-wielding approach to public spending or a dismal exchange between Gordon Brown and David Cameron about percentages that sounds like an argument between different book-keepers. “
” We are keen to stress that a strong euro zone is good for a strong United Kingdom. It’s not for us to write the changes that the euro zone needs to embark on. “
” Most of what needs to be changed in the euro zone can be done without treaty changes. The demand for treaty change is as political as it is legal and I don’t think it’s going to happen soon. “
” What I hope is in five years’ time, I can go to the British people in the election and say: Lots of you doubted that coalition politics worked, but it has worked. “