Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says coalition with Tories was only option
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 March 2011
LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg believes he made the right decision in forming an alliance with the Conservatives rather than Labour.
Speaking exclusively to Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams following a talk to St Albans Liberal Democrats last Thursday, the Deputy Prime Minister said he never considered the road not travelled and what would have happened if he’d joined forces with Gordon Brown instead of David Cameron.
“I’m afraid I’m not like that as a person. I don’t spend all my time going what if, what if. I’ve never understood people who spend all their time speculating about things that have happened, or haven’t happened, or might happen. I’m much more pragmatic than that.
“You deal with the cards that you’re dealt within politics and then you take the best decision that you possibly can. I think that actually with the passage of time it’s more and more obvious that this was the only possible outcome from the last general election.
“I think if we’d gone into coalition with Labour the numbers were not there, we wouldn’t have been able to sustain a government and there would have been another general election within months. It would have been branded as a coalition of losers, it wouldn’t have been sustainable.
“This country is in a very difficult position, we are pouring £120 million down the drain every single day.This is taxpayers’ hard-earned money, down the drain, every day or every week, just to pay off, not the debt, but the interest on Labour’s debts. That is a huge waste of money, we need to so something, we didn’t create that problem, Labour did, and we’re now having to sort out that mess. That is difficult, but I am absolutely of the view that it was right for us to come together as a coalition to do that repair job so that our children and our grandchildren aren’t paying off our debts.
“If you don’t sort it out, which is what Labour seems to be saying, what you’re actually saying is a recipe for cowardice. You’re saying I’m sorry, we’ve racked up a whole bunch of debts, it’s all too difficult to do anything about it so we’ll get the next generation to sort it. It’s a bit like Miri and me, racking up debts on our credit cards, and then turning round to our three little sons and saying sorry can you pay off that credit card debt – you wouldn’t do it as a parent, you can’t do it as a country, it’s not fair on our children. So I feel it was the only thing that we could have done under the circumstances, and no, I don’t spend too much time thinking about what if, what if, what if.”
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