It was good to hear Nick begin to set out our real narrative – not the one written for us by other parties.
He said in a speech on Monday: “We may be the smaller party, but we have all the biggest ideas,” crediting the team who have brought so many good things into the coal – including:
- Ground-breaking pensions reform – Steve Webb.
- Dragging maternity and paternity leave into the 21st Century – Jo Swinson and Jenny Willott.
- Getting our schools motivated to stop the poorest children from falling behind – David Laws.
- Putting infrastructure front and centre of the Coalition’s economic strategy – Danny Alexander.
- Equal Marriage – Lynne Featherstone.
- The world’s first ever bank devoted to green investment – Vince Cable.
- The biggest ever investment in renewable energy – Ed Davey.
- An £800 tax cut for millions of ordinary people – every Liberal Democrat who ever campaigned for it.
And there is much more obviously. For example – one thing I will be forever proud of in my national work is my campaign on FGM. Of course it is now talked about on a daily basis (and on this I also have to thank the media particularly the Evening Standard) but hardly known about a year and a half ago when I came to the Department of International Development and said ‘we are going to campaign on FGM’. Working with all those campaigners who had campaigned tirelessly for years with no take up – now I would work with them to make sure that ending the cutting off of girls’ genitals was at the top of the political agenda. And now it is.
Even the Prime Minister has now recognised how important this is and chosen this as the subject of our Development World moment in July on FGM and Child Early and Forced Marriage which he will be hosting.
The economy was the reason we went into Coalition – and that is looking really good as are the employment figures. And make no mistake – without LibDems – that would not have happened. But the list above just shows how effective we have been at delivering our fair, green and liberal agenda – even in a Coalition.