Clegg's party conference speech may not have been his finest hour

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats should be a permanent fixture in British politics.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats should be a permanent fixture in British politics. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nick Clegg is a good speaker - possibly the best of the current crop - but I am not sure his conference address in Glasgow was his finest hour.

It is de rigueur for politicians to talk about themselves these days, their family backgrounds and what motivates them. So there was a lot of I, I, I and me, me, me.

I don't think this hits home much, since we surely want them to talk about us not them; about what is wrong with our country and how they might put it right.

There is also this slightly tedious sense that they must cover all the political ground. So the speeches are almost invariably too long and often too rambling.

Read more: Tom on 'Chipper Mr Clegg'

Clegg is greeted by his wife Miriam after delivering his keynote speech.
Clegg is greeted by his wife Miriam after delivering his keynote speech. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

But all that said, the Liberal Democrat leader did make a compelling case for coalition today. He had clear examples of what he felt he had enabled (making it possible to deal with the public finances, raising the personal allowance to £10,000) and what he had managed to stop (the so-called snooper).

You might not agree with him, but his arguments were crisply put. In a nutshell, his message was; against so many people's expectations, the coalition is working pretty well.

We might all want to think about doing it again.

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