‘Labour planned £44 billion of cuts’

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IT’S BEEN a rough ride for most of Nick Clegg’s first 250 days in office.

Controversial decisions, compromise on political principles, U-turns on vital policy pledges.

But he is in power and making decisions that change the way the country works and how people live.

It’s what politicians are there for.

But how would the 25-year-old idealist Nick Clegg see the 44-year-old deputy Prime Minister?

“Interesting question,” he says, taking a moment to consider.

“I hope that 25-year-old would listen. That’s all I would ask, the same as I would ask any other 25-year-old, to just listen.

“You know, put aside the headlines and the banners and slogans and look at what we are actually doing rather than what we are alleged to be doing.

“I couldn’t ask for more than that I don’t think. If people want to condemn what we are doing when they have looked at the detail then they are free to do so.

“Let’s remember what the dispute is about. When you talk to Labour politicians they will tell you privately they had plans for £44 billion worth of cuts.

“So it’s either a Labour plan to reduce the deficit over seven or eight years or our plan to do it over five years.

“Pulling the sticking plaster off more slowly doesn’t mean it’s going to be less painful.”