Debate:Did Nick Clegg do Britain any good?

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Proposition[edit]

Nick Clegg initiated a political coalition in 2010 between the Lib Dems led by him, and the Tories, led by David Cameron. He has received rightful criticism over some of his decisions (most notably the raising of the university tuition fees.) However, there is a case to be had for him blocking the Conservative's worse policies, therefore doing the country a massive favour. What do you think about this.

In the wake of a solo Tory government, I think it is impossible to say the LibDems did not shield us from their (the Tories) worst excesses. We can thank Rupert Murdoch for somehow turning the blame for Tory policy onto Cleggs party. Well, both Murdoch and the idiocy of the electorate, I suppose. He was a charismatic leader who allowed the spin of 'a strong united government' to hide his light under a bushel, and as such his political career (and his opportunity to carry on doing good in the public sphere) is irrevocably over.
There's several separate questions:
  1. Did he do any good for the country in his time as deputy PM?
  2. Did he successfully moderate coalition policies?
  3. Did he do more good by joining the coalition than by not joining it?
  4. Was joining the coalition the right decision for the Lib Dems to benefit the party (which might pay off for the country in the long term)?
  5. And, could he have done better as deputy prime minister/while in the coalition than he actually did?
He certainly did some good, just as Cameron did some good (e.g. gay marriage, not cutting the aid budget). He also made some bad decisions (e.g. focusing on electoral reform and the House of Lords rather than things of practical benefit or things that might have actually passed). He did moderate some policies (e.g. on the Human Rights Act and EU - assuming you think the EU is good which I do but it's arguable), but equally his mere support for some issues probably toxified them and made them less likely (e.g. proportional representation). In retrospect it's hard to say he helped his party, though at the time many felt that to refuse coalition would have been suicidal for Lib Dem fortunes. And it's kind of hard to run the counterfactual of a Labour/LibDem/SNP government faced with constant trouble getting anything passed, but a weak government forced to seek consensus can do ok as long as there's not too many sudden crises. Hindsight, eh? Annquin (talk) 17:55, 4 February 2016 (UTC)