believes that the party must "stop looking in the rear view mirror" - in other words stop mourning the voters they've lost as a result of forming a coalition with the Tories.
They need instead, he argues, to look forward to the voters they can gain by proving that they are a serious party of government with responsible economic policies.Nick Clegg, or whoever it was from his office who briefed Nick Robinson, is merely repeating a line from his speech to the party's 2012 spring conference. There is no sign of a willingness to listen or of new thinking.
In fact, this is pretty much the only argument that Clegg has against his party critics, which is perhaps why he uses it so often.
As Simon Titley wrote on Liberator's blog in July 2013:
In May, I posted here about Clegg’s statement after the local elections and his speech to last September’s party conference. On both occasions, he said that his way is the only way; anyone who disagrees is simply not interested in winning power. His way is the future; anyone who disagrees wants a return to the past.
He referred to the Liberal Democrats as having been a “party of protest” before he took charge. He travestied party members as people who want to “turn back” and create a “stop the world I want to get off” party. He warned them to “stop looking in the rear view mirror”.
In his speech at the ALDC conference in Manchester last Saturday, he repeated similar arguments. He scorned party members who want to “turn back the clock” and be “the third party forever”, who are calling for “an eternity in opposition” and “hankering for the comfort blanket of national opposition”.
These are straw men. We know this because in none of these attacks does Clegg ever name his critics or supply specific references to the speeches or writings where they have expressed such views. These imaginary enemies are conjured up because Clegg needs a ‘defining other’, a pantomime villain against whom he can contrast his virtues.If Nick is determined to go on using this tactic, it makes James Gurling and his review look pretty silly, doesn't it?