A secret note to Lib Dem Supporters dated July 2010 from Nick Clegg.
I do hope that you have had a chance to read my article in today’s Guardian in which I argue that, ‘I think what we are entering into is a permanent move to greater pluralism, diversity, and fluidity in politics that does not settle down to to one associated pattern between parties,’ and that I have found new grounds for agreement with David Cameron. Some harsh critics have said that the only common ground is the playing field of Eton! I do freely admit that it is true that 54 % of Tory members and 40 percent of our own Parliamentary party were educated in private schools and only 7 percent of the adults in the country as a whole; but don’t you think that this sort of class prejudice is out dated today? People in Sheffield where I live (when I cannot be elsewhere, admittedly) know that I speak to some quite ordinary people and that they come to visit me on Saturday mornings to discuss their problems. Now that their problems have unfortunately multiplied we have thought through a new queue management system and no one should hesitate to join the throng, so to speak. I have become aware that some people maintain an unwarranted addiction to seeing politics as the representation of interest. These people maintain a discredited view that the best way of ensuring social and economic equality is to support an enabling state which guarantees certain outcomes for all its citizens. I hope you are not numbered among them. I must be frank. People like me, and there are many in the party, will not stand for collectivism and opportunism. If you think that you can use growing unemployent, lower living standards and the inevitable widening of social inequality as reasons for ending the Coalition you will find that I and my friends (and I have telephone numbers and email addresses) difficult to remove. Don’t try it. My advice to my opponents is that if you are against me, go your own way into the political wilderness. I shall regret your passing but will note it down as a further example of short sightedness when confronted with an historic opportunity. I shall say more about these matters in due course.
Nick (Deputy Prime Minister, for the time being!)