tv British House of Commons CSPAN September 22, 2013 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT
>> you can find a person. go down to their bio page and scroll down to appearances. you can share what you are watching. use the set buttons. add a title and description and then click share and send by e- mail, facebook, twitter or google plus. the c-span video library, searchable, easy and free. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. next, britain's deputy prime minister nick clegg speaks to party members during their annual on conference in glasgow, scotland. in his remarks, he talks about the party custom current
achievements and how the party will move forward. this is one hour. [applause] >> if you think the new party looks like the old alliance, you are right. a fair, free society. in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community. >> it is set of our determination to bring self- government to scotland and wales and true democracy to britain, the return of power to the people, to create a citizens democracy. we are right. >> all people share the same basic rights. down --arriage to face
the courage to face down. we champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals. will stand up above all else for social justice. we have to give a voice to the disadvantaged and displaced. >> we are committed to fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease. shouldhouse of commons be given the right of a vote on whether our forces should be sent into battle. >> the quest for freedom and justice can never end. >> we stand for three things, freedom, fairness and trust. isn't it a in absolute disgrace, the poorest 20% are contributing more of their income in tax than the top richest one percent.
money back in the pockets of the poorest working families. >> we have determined to strengthen the democratic process and ensure there is a just and representative system of government. >> it is over. >> the liberal democrats have the courage to imagine a better society. >> i will do everything to end this unacceptable and immoral discrimination. step one, fair taxes. under the liberal democrats, you will not pay tax on the first 10,000 pounds that you earn. >> nick clegg won the polls last night on the readers debate. >> very good. >> this is what the voters voted for. this was the birth of a new -- >> we will take risks and government but we will never lose building a more socially
mobile society where ability trumps privilege. >> we will at all times defend the right to speak. consultation on civil matters. >> our opponents have thrown everything at us. we stood our ground and won a stunning victory. >> women and men working together for the achievement. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome leader of the liberal democrats and deputy prime
minister, nick clegg. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. .hank you thank you very much. friends, three years ago -- nearly three-and-a-half -- i walked into the cabinet office for my first day as deputy prime minister. picture it. history in the making, a liberal democrat leader entered into power, preparing to unshackle britain after years of labour and conservative moves. only to arrive to find an empty
civilnd one shellshocked servant promising me we would get on with things shortly but first, he had to get us some desks. you saw the rose garden. what you didn't see was the utter chaos indoors. caught us coalition offguard is a massive understatement. the government machine had no idea how it was going to handle power-sharing -- not just the furniture. this was going to need a complete overhaul of how decisions would be taken and departments would be run. while no one really wanted to admit it at the time, the truth is, i don't think anyone was quite sure how it was all going to work. here we were, this antiestablishment, liberal party which hadn't been in power for bang in theack middle of her majesty's government. a government machine.
built to serve one party with only one party leader at the center now suddenly answering to two parties and two party leaders. toriesde us where these who we have been at war with for the past month -- actually, more than 100 years. thing, remember, was set to this soundtrack of presentism and naysaying, the level -- liberal democrats had signed their own death weren't. the coalition would fail. britain would be the next greece. thinkt's just stop and about where we are now. the countries -- country's economy going stronger by the day. stable coalition. something that seemed impossible is now accepted as the norm.
the liberal democrats proving that we can be trusted with the biggest responsibility of all. fixing the economy. [applause] but i know, i know how hard it has been getting here, facing down that nasty vitriol from our opponents. trust me, there were days i thank my lucky stars my children were too young to understand the things that were written and said. every insult we have had to endure since we entered government, every that headline, every blow to our support, that was all worth it. we are turning britain around. we haven't won over every critic . we will be tested a million more
times. but that big western mark -- question mark, could we handle government when the going got tough? that question mark is now gone. the recovery simply wouldn't be happening without us. we have made sure that we have is being the deficit cut at the right pace. we were the ones who said you don't just get growth by cutting red tape. government also needs to invest in things, infrastructure, apprenticeships. i want you to feel proud today. country's that the fortunes are turning. feel proud that when we were under pressure to buckle and change course, we held our nerve. feel proud that we are right here in the center of government
and the center of british politics standing up for the millions of people in the middle. i have talked to you before about the journey, our journey from the comforts of opposition to the realities of government. not anymore. liberal democrats, we are a party of government now. [applause] just think. just think of what we have achieved in three short years. or the first time ever, our schools get given money to stop children from the poorest families from falling behind. the first time ever. over one million men and women have started training as apprentices in record numbers. businesses across every region
are being given billions to help them grow. we have made the biggest investment in our railway since the victorian times. clean greented a industry. elderly people will no longer have to sell their homes to pay for social care. we have kept the crippling costs . others will no longer be worse off in retirement because our new simpler pension recognizes the value of raising a family. fathers will have the choice of staying at home once their children are born because we are transforming parental leads. get free extra childcare pattern -- paid for by the state for their children. we have taken innocent people off the dna database. we have ended child attention. national wealth spent on aid for the poorest. ,ur party's policy for years
not to mention getting the banks in order and helping to create over a million new jobs. [applause] last one. at a time when millions of people are feeling the squeeze, when every penny counts, we have cut income tax bills by 700 pounds. it has taken almost 3 million people. like to take credit for that one, don't they? do you remember those leaders'debates? david cameron turned to me in front of the whole country and said, i would love to take everyone out of their first 1000 -- 10,000 pounds of income tax, but we cannot afford. we can afford it.
we did it. a stronger economy and a fairer society. [applause] actually, there is just one more. it is my new favorite. just a few months ago, our government passed a law that will make britain a place where we finally celebrate love and commitment equally between couples whether they are gay or straight. equal marriage at last. [applause] three years. three years. .e are not even done yet can you imagine what we could do
with five more? you should be able to. we have spent the last five days talking about it. this whole week has been about looking forward and one thing is very clear to me now. the liberal democrats, we don't want to go back to the opposition benches because we aren't done yet. here is what is at stake at the next election. our country's finally emerging from the biggest economic crisis in memory. the absolute worst thing to do would be to give the keys to a single party government. labor or conservative. all of those sacrifices made by the british people, the pay freezes, the spending cuts, the loss of jobs, the daily grind of austerity, all of that would be for nothing. every.ould wreck conservatives -- wreck the recovery.
conservatives would give us the wrong kind of recovery. only liberal democrats can finish the job anyway that is fair. -- in a way that is fair. [applause] in 2015, the politics of red, blue, blue, red, it threatened everything we have achieved. -- the timernment that will mean back in coalition government, the liberal government's -- liberal democrats can keep the country on the right path. imagine the next round of leaders' debates. everyone watching to see who agrees with whom this time. say, you are will a responsible. ed will say to david cameron, you can't be trusted to help everyone. you only care about the rich. for once, i will agree with them
both. [applause] because, because of course they are both right. (devices, they will both get it wrong. -- left to their own devices, they will look at it wrong. we have learned a lot since getting into government. one of the main things i have learned is this. if we are asking people to put us back into the room next time around, if we want them to know why it is better to have us around the table when the big needions are made -- they to be able to make a judgment about what we will do there. that is as much about values, character, background as anything else. they need to know who we are. who i am.
why i am a liberal democrat, why i am standing here today. let me start with this. i was part of a generation raised in the 70's and 80's on a constant diet of aggressive us and them politics. i have so many memories of my brothers and sisters and i watching television and asking our parents why everyone seems so upset, angry. union leaders to stick you waiting -- gesticulating furiously. later, standoffs tween crowd of minors and riot police. at school, i was taught all about the cold war, the chilling backdrop to all of this. i remember a history teacher telling me and my petrified classmates that we probably wouldn't make it until christmas because there was bound to be a soviet strike.
so the world i grew up in was all about stark polarized choices, us versus them, east versus west, left versus right. an incompetent labor government have been replaced by conservative governments. all anyone seems to care about was whose side you are on. i steered clear of party politics. 22, studying in america. the phone rang and it was my mother. she just heard on the news, the berlin wall was coming down. my flat mates and i tuned into our radio and we sat and listened for hours to reports of people coming out of their homes in the middle of the night and literally hammering away at the symbol of division and hate. i can remember so clearly as if it was yesterday, the sense of optimism and hope.
age orwho is here my older will understand, it felt as though those dark, drab days of angry politics and conflict could now give way to something better. in the weeks and months that followed, when i looked to the government of my country, the british government, to see if that government was raising their sites to help shape this brave new world, all i could see was a bunch of tories too busy tearing off of each other. it was so totally dispiriting. everything i had come to abhor about the politics with which i had grown up, insular, petty, polarized. if that had been the end of the story, i doubt i would have entered politics at all. it wasn't.
i met patty for the first time when he came into a dingy gray bureaucrat's office. it was the middle of a major trade dispute in america. he marched in, everyone instinctively stood to attention. in what seemed like the blink of an eye he ordered a cup of coffee, issued a series of action points that should have been delivered yesterday, reassured us it would be all right and then swept out. that was the first time i had seen a british politician talking with passion and conviction and without defensiveness or fear about the challenges in the world and the leadership britain needed to show. the liberal democrats seem so outward looking, so forward compared to that tired old introverted politics of labor and conservatives. for me, that was it.
that was how i found our party. like tow what it is look at the old parties and want more, to want a party that speaks for big and during values --enduring values. with the liberal democrats gave me 20 years ago is something i want us to give to people across britain today. [applause] what do you think britain would look like today if the tories had been a loan for the last three years? what would have happened without
liberal democrats in this country? there were some clues in the alternative queen's speech proposed by a group of conservative backbenchers this summer. did you see that? crackers. some real you couldn't make it up. bringing back the death penalty, the return of national service, privatizing of the bbc, i even got a mention. the office of the deputy prime minister, abolition. they wanted to introduce an annual margaret thatcher day. i would like to see that on the streets of glasgow. the first bank holiday where people would rather go to work. [laughter] [applause] these gems though are not the
most worrying bit. the real alarm bells aren't so much in the thing torry backbenchers would like to do, but the things conservative ministers have tried to do. i haven't said enough about this. it is a bit old-fashioned but i always thought it was better in politics to tell people about the things you have achieved, not just the things you have stopped. people do, they do need to know. how coalition operates and what we do day in, day out inside government. ultimately, it is up to the prime minister and me to make the whole thing work. we try to see compromise. we cracked problems that single party governments that struggled with for decades. social care, pension reform, so on. but, sometimes compromise and agreement isn't possible and you just have to say, no.
inheritance, tax cuts, no. evels, no.ack o-l newtown care ratios, no. firing workers at will, no. penalizing public-sector workers, no. scrapping housing benefits for young people, no. no to ditching the human rights act. no two weakening the protections in the economy back. no the closing down the debate on trident. had they asked us? changes ifoundary you cannot deliver your side of the bargain. [applause]
where weis one area have had to put our foot down, have a guess. yes, the environment. it is a clue. it is an endless battle. we have had to fight tooth and now, it was the same justice week to cut down on plastic bags. they wanted to scrap -- hold back green energy. geography teachers to stop teaching children about how to tackle climate change. no, no, no. the liberal democrats will keep this government green. [applause]
by the way, i hear the term torie climate change skeptics abolishd that we should the department for energy and climate change. i expect they first denied that decc even existed or that it is probably not man-made. [laughter] that this isnd always easy to say no. sometimes, i have had to wrestle with genuinely difficult dilemmas, not just three party dogma. months listening to home office because asnd police much as i am in government to protect civil liberties, i also have to go to bed and sleep at
night knowing i did my bit to keep people safe. government ministers, loud voices of course, they were all adamant that i should say yes. shove, itcame to became clear that the surveillance powers being proposed were disproportionate. they would have undermined privacy. the security game was neither prudent nor clear. it was right for the establishment but wrong for the people. so i said no. [applause] obviously, we haven't been in coalition with labor. i could give you a list of hypothetical bad ideas the liberal democrats would have to stop if we were in coalition with labor. that would involve labor
producing some actual policy. [laughter] [applause] plans fornows labor's our schools? welfare? what will they do with the nhs? industry? cutting crime? no. labor may not have an economic strategy but we do. publicplan for growth, finances, house building, infrastructure and lending to business. liberal democrats turning britain around. , labor hadn't set out any kind of vision for britain. think wehey didn't needed to. they spent the last three years lazily assuming that austerity would drive voters into their
laps. for them, 2015 is all about the coalition parties losing rather than labor having to actually try and win. that, in my view, tells you everything about why they act the way they do. decision torate put tactical deliveries over reform. remember the referendum? not a hacker -- happy memory for the democrats. you remember that av was in labor's a manifesto. yet it was labor figures most staunch in defense of the status quo just to score points against us. [applause] lords reform. something that the labor party historically believed in. when they have a chance to vote for it, they found excuses not
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