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No easy way to say this...

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Published on Sep 19, 2012

I'd like to take this opportunity to put a few things straight.

When I meet people around the country, it's obvious that many of you have strong - and pretty mixed - reactions to some of the things Liberal Democrats have done in government.

Many of you tell me you're glad that at a time of real economic uncertainty, we put aside our political differences to provide our country with stable leadership.

BUT, I also meet people who are disappointed and angry that we couldn't keep all our promises - above all our promise not to raise tuition fees.

To those people, I say this:
We made a promise before the election that we would vote against any rise in fees under any circumstances.
But that was a mistake.
It was a pledge made with the best of intentions - but we shouldn't have made a promise we weren't absolutely sure we could deliver.

I shouldn't have committed to a policy that was so expensive when there was no money around.
Not least when the most likely way we'd end up in Government was in coalition with Labour or the Conservatives, who were both committed to put fees up.

I know that we fought to get the best policy we could in those circumstances.
But I also realise that isn't the point.
There's no easy way to say this: we made a pledge...
we didn't stick to it - and for that I am sorry.
When you've made a mistake you should apologise.
But more importantly - most important of all - you've got to learn from your mistakes. And that's what we will do.
I will never again make a pledge unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it.

I accept that won't be enough for everyone.
But I owe it to you to be up front about it.
And I don't believe it should cast a shadow over everything else the Liberal Democrats are achieving in government.
When we're wrong we hold our hands up.
But when we're right we hold our heads up too.

We were right to leave the comfort of opposition to face the realities of government.
And I know we are fighting for the right things, day in, day out, too:
Rebuilding our economy to make it strong.

Changing the tax system to make it fair.
Defending the vulnerable in these tough times.

That's what my party believes in.
That's what I believe in.

And, if we've lost your trust, that's how I hope we can start to win it back.

Comments • 2,243

AFGuidesHD
This is weird not having the autotune at 0:25 
cat ross
fuck you, you lying piece of shit. 
vaz aye
Your done Clegg... Your voters have abandoned you, what are you going to do? I'll tell you exactly what you are going to do.. Your going to get bought by Labour in 2015 and give them the few seats you will have left to defeat a Con/UKIP pact and then you and going to fall on your sword so Miliband can nurse your party back to life... Stop pretending you have any chance at all of recovering from this yourself, you don't.
The Liberal Perspective
At least this is a man who actually apologies, you'd never see a labour MP or a Tory MP apologising
erzan
Go to hell.
luca72IOW
I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I am a shameless opportunist who would have sold their own mother for a chance to sit in cabinet and pretend I am in charge. Now I'm fucked. I'm sorry.
iGeorge
Saying he's lying is one thing. But wishing someone dead? Seriously. Yes he's made a big mistake, but he's an innocent man. Start wishing the criminals out there dead all you like, but this guy? And if you try to answer back I won't reply because what I've said is all that needs be. Now go back down to your mothers basement and find a job.
Luckasaurus
It is regrettable what happened with tuition fees but we weren't aware of the colossal wreck that the economy was in when we came into power. Other than tuition fees the liberal democrats have done a good job within government. They have introduced a £600 tax cut for working people, effecting 24 million workers. They have also introduced a pupil premium. So lets not focus on what they have failed to do and actually look at how the liberal democrats are proving to be trustworthy.
Junade Ali
Because of the Lib Dems you now get £600 extra in lower taxes, providing you're working, that will help pay your bills.
Andrew Wells
It wasn't his fault. He wasn't elected he was part of a coalition government which means he cannot bring forth his entire manifesto. He's limited by the other party.
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