Skip to main content

Its not the Lib Dem leader that is the problem...

I am encouraged by some of the comments that people have been expressing about my early thoughts about the UK Liberal Democrats, post the Euro-massacre. I am rather less than encouraged by those self-indulgent folk who have decreed that the Liberal Democrats problems can be solved by an early change of leadership. Especially since it is self-evidently not the case.

I say self-indulgent because, actually, I think Nick Clegg has actually come very close to quitting. I think he has taken this defeat extremely personally. I would like to ask those who are open enough to front the #libdems4change what they hell they think they are going to gain by replacing Clegg with Cable?

Its not as if we have not been here before. The short-run sugar hit of the attention of a leadership change would soon lead to the media doing to Vince what they did to Ming Campbell under unfortunately similar circumstances. Change must come in time, but it has to be measured and intelligent, not the force majeure that allegedly perennial rent-a-critic Matthew Oakeshott and John Hemming seem to think is required. Incidentally, Hemming has clearly not consulted with Parliamentary colleagues, who would tell him in no uncertain terms that he is making a complete balls up of things.

So Clegg is safe, and probably rightly so. 

The problem is that this is now a very difficult chess game, and making decisions in the heat of the moment will bring about precisely the massacre that the #libdems4change say they want to avoid. The fault is in the image of the party at least as much as the image of the leader. So I earnestly entreat my friends and colleagues across the party to take a time out and reflect about the faults of the party as a whole and how we can re-establish our message based on our core values, rather than the tactics of short-run policy making or stabbing Nick Clegg in the back.

This is about portraying our values, creating trust, remaining true to Liberalism. 

It is not about the media narrative of leadership crisis, treachery and party splits.

So enough already, or we will be headed back to our constituencies and preparing for unemployment and a Britain which will be massively worse off as Liberalism is eclipsed for who knows how long. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

In praise of off-shore tax havens

The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism". 

The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger.  Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest.  Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …