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Day: January 7, 2013

What did Nick Clegg get for his birthday? A weekly phone-in radio show that’s what!

Now that is what I want for my next birthday as well. Can someone sort that out please?

Away from my dreams the news today is that the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to do a weekly phone-in radio show on LBC in an attempt to be more accessible to the public. I don’t know what the general consensus is but personally I think this is a good move by Nick Clegg who has in the recent months slowly seemed to be getting himself together with regards to his public image.

As a known ‘Cleggite’ as it were and as a firm believer that he is a very good man who is doing his best even I thought the advice he was getting was woeful. I feel he has been getting too caught up in the Westminster bubble and wasn’t listening to what people on the street really thought and the challenges they were facing. To open himself up for an hour a week to the general public will hopefully give him yet another reminder of the real world. I would love it if he also spent more time listening to his membership. An hour a week phone-in for members who also go down extremely well for me.

Speaking on the new show the DPM said, “I’m doing this because I don’t think politicians get to hear enough from people directly. You can’t do the right thing in government unless you keep in touch with how people are thinking and feeling.

“Nick Ferrari is known as the interviewer that all politicians fear. He can be very tough but he’s generally fair, very well-informed, and I hope we’ll make a good combination for the show we’re doing together.”

As I said I think it is a really good idea. Yes I’ve seen some people say he shouldn’t be doing it, that if he is going to do it then it should be in Sheffield, that by doing it in London it proves he only cares about London but these are all just people trying to find fault. Yes he could do a phone-in in his constituency but he isn’t in Sheffield every week. He works and lives in the main in London like most northern MPs. Did he turn down a national broadcaster to do a London based station? Well no. No he didn’t. The BBC would never do this as they would be scared of showing a bias so it meant an independent station would be the place for this and LBC is the obvious fit.

You can of course listen live to LBC online from wherever you are so if you are interested then you can listen online and I wouldn’t be surprised if they accept calls from outside of London but of course I’m not privy to this information.

The more politicians actually listen to people then I think the better they’ll understand the effects their decisions are having. Sometimes things look good on paper but have unintended consequences and this is the type of things that needs to be nipped in the bud before these unintended consequences become a real issue.

People wonder about the type of people who get through and we all hope they are people who genuinely have an issue and want to talk about it and not those who just want to sling abuse. No doubt a few of them would get through but I’ll leave you with a quote on the Guardian comments as user holzy hopes he ‘dies live on air.’ You can’t buy class even if you read the Guardian so it seems…

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