Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Monday, 27 December 2010
Nick Clegg documentary: Who agrees with Nick?
Nick Clegg
Listen to Nick Clegg on BBC Radio Sheffield on 29 December 2010

"It's been a real rollercoaster year."

Nick Clegg's own assessment of the last few months could be seen as something of an understatement.

Go back to December 2009, and the Sheffield Hallam MP was the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the third ranked party in British politics.

As of December 2010 he is Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition government which is facing one of the harshest economic climates in recent times.

Mr Clegg gave BBC Sheffield's political reporter, James Vincent, an exclusive interview to talk about the last few months and their impact on him, his party and the country.

The 30 minute documentary, 'Who agrees with Nick?' was broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield on 29 December 2010. It features assessments of the highs and lows of the year from politics experts, people who voted for Nick Clegg, some of his fellow Liberal Democrats and some of those angered by his policies.

And there have been considerable highs and lows.

A hung parliament opened the door for the Liberal Democrats to get into government by forming a coalition with the Conservatives.

But the deal meant compromises.

I was compared to Churchill and a Nazi within 24 hours
Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrat Cabinet Ministers backed a rise in tuition fees, in spite of a manifesto pledge to oppose an increase.

Demonstrations against tuition fee increases were held in several major cities, including Sheffield, in the days leading up to the Commons vote on 9 December 2010.

Mr Clegg remains philosophical about the mood swings of the media and voting public and said in the documentary:

"I always kept my feet on the ground. We live in a media culture which has become incredibly extreme, from one extreme to the other.

"Boy, do I know it. I was compared to Churchill and a Nazi within 24 hours."

BBC Sheffield's Political Reporter James Vincent has followed Nick Clegg's rise to power:

"The documentary was an interesting programme to make.

"You've got a local MP who's gone from talking about road safety with constituents, to welcoming the Pope in a period of just 5 years.

"The highs of his popularity during the election campaign seem to have been replaced by anger, especially here in Sheffield where tuition fees and the Forgemasters loan are still big talking points.

Students protesting in Sheffield
Students and school pupils at a tuition fees protest in Sheffield

"Interviewing him for this documentary, I was struck by how he was the fresh face of politics when he was campaigning, but now the year seems to have worn him down to some extent.

"I guess a high profile job, a student hate campaign and three young children will do that to you."




SEE ALSO
Protest dubs deputy PM Cleggzilla
20 Oct 10 |  South Yorkshire
Clegg constituents unease at coalition
20 Sep 10 |  Politics
Profile: Nick Clegg
23 Mar 10 |  Election 2010

OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS


BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific