‘OUR values are the values of the people of Solihull’ that’s the verdict of Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg after recently enjoying a successful tour of the borough.
On an excursion that took in Land Rover, a grilling Solihull Pensioners Convention and the Sixth Form College the MP for Sheffield Hallam, accompanied by Solihull MP Lorely Burt, received a warm welcome wherever he went.
“I think people appreciate how lucky they are to have Lorely as their MP,” he said.
“She is not only a hard working and well liked constituency MP but in the House of Commons she is chairman of our parliamentary party too,” said Clegg.
The credit crunch has helped burnish the image of the Lib Dems, thanks to the straight talking expertise of their economics team, led by shadow chancellor Vince Cable.
“Gordon Brown has finally found himself a purpose, namely to get us out of the downward economic spiral that he got us into in the first place,” said Clegg.
Branding the Conservatives as ‘clueless’ in the face of the downturn he added: “The current situation has demonstrated not only their lack of experience but their lack of knowledge and ideas to get us out of it too.
“Yet Vince Cable was warning of this recession five years ago. Not only did we predict it but we are the only party with the policies to get us out of it, namely giving tax cuts to low earners to stimulate the economy and closing tax loopholes for the very rich.”
Clegg has brought a welcome degree of stability to a party rocked by the alcoholism of Charles Kennedy and the ageism surrounding the resignation of Menzies Campbell.
And in an age when political parties seem to blend into one mass, first its opposition to the war in Iraq and now its championing of ‘freedom’ against an ever-encroaching Big Brother state has given the Lib Dems new purpose. Throw in Cable’s wise words on the economy, and Labour staunching its losses in the polls and suddenly the Lib Dems could be the key factor in a hung parliament.
Not that Clegg is entertaining the idea of power sharing, declaring that the Lib Dem message of opposing ID cards, sound management of the economy and above fairness, are good enough to stand on their own.