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Bright Blue has today published the latest edition of its magazine, Centre Write, on ‘The end of establishment?’, with contributions from The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Chris Skidmore MP, The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, The Rt Hon David Laws, Nusrat Ghani MP, Mark Field MP, Andrea Jenkyns MP and many more.

Ryan Shorthouse, Director of Bright Blue argues:

“Liberals in all parties and none should fight against those who seek to blame complex and stubborn problems on particular social groups – including the so-called ‘liberal elite’. We should reject such ugly and divisive identity politics.

“Now more than ever, we need to defend liberal, open, democratic and meritocratic values and institutions. And work harder to ensure more people, including those who are vulnerable and ‘just about managing’, are benefitting from such values and institutions.”

In an interview with Bright Blue, the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, said:

“Liberals have every reason now to be angry because their values are being traduced, and mocked and disregarded by the new Brexit populist elite. I think Blair’s absolutely right. There’s no reason why liberals cannot now say that they’re the insurgents. With insurgency comes the freedom to attack a new establishment, a new elite, who may not know what to do with victory but whether they like it or not, they’re now in charge.”

The interview also revealed that:

  • “As a dad” he wouldn’t want his children to go into politics because of “hysterical vituperation” of media scrutiny.
  • He describes the next President of the United States, Donald Trump, as “vain, unpredictable and bombastic”
  • Clegg describes the gung-ho Brexiteers as the “smashers” of the status quo, whereas Remainers are “tweakers”. He says: “This is a time smashers do well, tweakers don’t.”

Anne Mulder, The Dutch MP and Spokesman for Brexit and European Affairs for largest political party in the Netherlands, the VVD, writes that he is pessimistic about Brexit and that he does not think the UK has a negotiating strategy.

Anne Mulder said:

  • The Netherlands was “disappointed with the result of the referendum” and that “reports prior to the referendum showed that The Netherlands would suffer more from a Brexit than most other EU-countries”.
  • “The voting on the Brexit referendum resembled the choice of getting on an aeroplane without knowing its destination. Or worse, without even knowing if it has wings.”
  • “To be honest, I have the impression that the UK, at this moment, does not have a negotiating strategy whatsoever.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.