Jenni Russell on Nick Clegg

The Times’ political coverage is, I tend to think, the best of the non-specialist newspapers (I’m not including the FT in that group). Ok, it’s a Murdoch paper and inevitably leans centre-right – but it’s no Daily Telegraph. It’s also distinguished by having a stable of extremely sensible commentators and columnists. These come from disparate backgrounds but are chiefly notable for their fair-mindedness.

Chris Furlong/Getty Images

So it is that last night’s debate receives a wide range of different reviews on the Times website. In particular I was struck by Jenni Russell’s piece which culminated thus:

For me, Clegg was the underrated performer of the night. I didn’t share in the Cleggmania of five years ago; but tonight I was impressed by the sheer determined decency of the man who has seen his party immolated in the cause of the coalition, but who is still positive and hopeful in telling people that only the Lib Dems can moderate Tory cuts and Labour overspends.

You may not agree with him, but you ought to salute his spirit.

This very much reflects my own view of the Lib Dem leader. After five years of coalition government I can’t help but admire his tenacity, bravery and optimism, whatever I might feel about some of the decisions he’s made on behalf of the Lib Dems.

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