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The Liberal Democrats are not for sale

January 5, 2010 4:23 PM

Nick Clegg writes [Times, Jan 05]: IF there is a hung Parliament there will be no under-the-counter deals with either big party

Hostilities have started. The frenzied announcements and counter-announcements from the Conservative and Labour parties over the past few days point towards a long, grinding election campaign . . We have two basic principles that I will uphold.

One, we will respect the will of the public. The voters are in charge and the decision is theirs. If voters decide that no party deserves an overall majority, then self-evidently the party with the strongest mandate will have a moral right to be the first to seek to govern on its own or, if it chooses, to seek alliances with other parties.

Two, regardless of the post-election arithmetic or whatever power we are granted, there are four objectives that we will unwaveringly pursue.

• First: fair taxes . .

• Second: a fair start for all our children . .

• Third: a fair and sustainable economy that creates jobs . .

• And finally, fair, clean and local politics . .

While the other parties set out increasingly implausible lists of promises, the Liberal Democrats will remain focused on this short list of big, structural changes that will make Britain fairer. Neither of the other parties seems willing or capable of delivering them. So the Liberal Democrat message to the voters is clear: if you like what we offer, vote for it. The decision is in your hands.

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