Thursday, September 20, 2012

How the Lib Dems might beat Spotty Youths and the Nasty Party after all

The problem with Ed Miliband, indeed all of those who came into politics without doing anything else first, is that he still carries the air of the delayed adolescent. 

Basically Ed Miliband looks like a spotty youth in a cheap suit. So no shock to see that the latest polls do not have him carrying it off as party leader.

Meanwhile the Tories seem determined to prove beyond all doubt that they are still the "nasty party". While not quite as foolish as Mitt Romney, you know that sometime, somewhere probably all the Tory front bench have agreed with the Romney idea that the poor are basically just a bunch of freeloaders.

The blind panic among Conservatives now they are under the cosh contrasts rather badly against the grim determination, and discipline among the Liberal Democrats who have been facing repeated setbacks in the past two years. The Lib Dems have been largely written off as a political force, but the party, despite taking large losses at every level, has remained united and even fairly cheerful. Nick Clegg, despite the self interested stirring of the usual suspects in the media, is not under any kind of leadership threat.

The Nick Clegg apology, which seems to have gone viral, in the form of a rather good parody, was obviously the result of a very careful political calculation. It is a fact that politicians never- until now- apologize for something they have actually done and which they are responsible for. So Nick Clegg has actually done something unusual, and has taken a probably well advised political risk. I say well advised, because it strikes me that there is now a strategy in place to rebuild support for the party and its leader- and that this apology is merely the first step.

As a curtain opener to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton next week, Tim Gordon, the new Lib Dem chief executive has overseen an interesting and shrewd move. I will be going to Brighton for the first conference since before the last general election. 

Let us see what else the leadership has up its sleeve.


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