THERE is only one person the Olive Press hopes will get the keys to number 10.
Just two months ago, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was branded a no-hoper before even one debate had taken place.
Now, with the campaigning and TV contests complete, Clegg has unequivocally emerged as the best British candidate.
By mixing both style, but, crucially, real substance, Clegg has shown that there really is a genuine third option to turgid Labour and the out-of-touch Tories.
“I know better than Gordon Brown and David Cameron how flawed this European Union is because unlike them I’ve actually been there, I’ve worked there.”
He is pro-European, the most vocal green campaigner and even got caught up in the volcanic ash saga just like the rest of us.
The multilingual Clegg – who learnt Spanish to woo his wife who heralds from Valladolid – spent 10 years working at the European Commission.
Despite recognising the many flaws the European Union, he also understands that it still has a vital role to play.
“I know better than Gordon Brown and David Cameron how flawed this European Union is because unlike them I’ve actually been there, I’ve worked there,” he said recently.
“But what I’m not going to do is to say to the British people that we can somehow pretend that we can pull up the drawbridge.
“It would lose people jobs, we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves from climate change, we wouldn’t be able to deal with international crime.”
And Clegg has also spearheaded the most detailed and deep-seated green manifesto out of the trio of competing parties.
He supports the creation of a green investment bank which would specifically fund low-carbon transport and energy schemes.
Greenpeace’s executive director, John Sauven, has already praised “the most progressive environmental policies of all the major parties”.
And when to comes to receiving UK politics’ most sought after gong, ‘Just a normal bloke after all’, Clegg cements his place as the only viable option.
For his three Spanish-named sons, Antonio, Alberto and Miguel were all forced to enjoy an extended Easter break here when their Madrid flight was cancelled because of the ash cloud.
They had been holidaying with his wife Miriam’s family in Olmedo, north of Madrid prompting a worried Clegg to say:
“We’re just like any family trying to get them back because Miriam and I miss them.”
Certainly, it is time for change back in the UK, and there is only one man fit for the demanding job.
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