Despite only being announced in the morning, Strode College’s student learning centre was crammed full with almost a hundred people waiting to see someone. But who? A global superstar like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga? No; all of the buzz was being created over Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister was visiting Strode no doubt with a mission to try and get young people to vote for the Liberal Democrats, something which could be hard to do as our demographic is notorious when it comes to voting.
Despite arriving with a hoard of photographers and armed police, Clegg seemed as down to earth as possible. He was polite and friendly, shaking every person he spoke to warmly by the hand.
But he was quickly down to business as he was grilled by a number of students over topics such as tuition fees and the war on drugs. He answered the questions very fully, spending as long as ten minutes explaining the Lib Dem’s policies on the topics discussed.
He was especially keen to stress the Lib Dems’ new pledge on tuition fees, after the now infamous ‘U-turn’ of 2010, when they had to break their promise and raise the fees. He seemed well-researched, and understanding of the importance of the matter to students.
It wasn’t all work and no play though, and plenty of students took the opportunity to pose for selfies, which Clegg happily obliged in doing. Clearly a man of selfie experience, he even helped by holding people’s phones and taking the picture himself.
A moment of seriousness followed as he faced the cameras and spoke highly of the good work from local MP Tessa Munt and citing her as responsible for bringing to his attention Strode’s excellent recent Ofsted inspection in which the college was called “outstanding”.
By the time he left a large crowd of people had gathered outside the packed library, so much so that staff had to break them up so that Clegg could have enough room to walk past.
It was a visit in which everybody got what they wanted; some students had their queries answered, some got selfies with a celebrity, and Nick Clegg gained some good popularity out of the visit. Appearing warm, eloquent and humble, even if he didn’t manage to turn the students into Lib Dem supporters, he may well have turned them into Nick Clegg supporters.
If nothing else, I’m just happy I managed to add to my ever-increasing list of ‘Semi-famous People Who I Have Met’.