Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Liberal Democrat leader should be more positive

The local party web site has published a rebuttal of newspaper spin that Nick Clegg is contemplating coalition with the Conservatives after the election, and Peter Black has already commented.

It seems to me that the current party leadership is inviting this sort of speculation by not being positive enough. When Paddy Ashdown led the 1997 general election campaign, he refused to allow the party to be defined* in relation to the other two national parties, but stressed that the more Liberal Democrat votes were cast, the more Liberal Democrat policies were likely to be implemented. This was from a base of just over a third of the seats we have now.

His attitude to the Conservatives was: "we can and should be the sensible, common sense Party that appeals to the values of decency and fairness which many Tories believed in (and which their Party no longer seems to); we cannot compete with them for occupation of the 'Right'. There will always be a right wing Party in Britain and it will never be the Liberal Democrats !"

One can add "civil liberties" to the list, and it would still be true today.

*sadly not true of some press liaison people, I am reminded.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

Bill le Breton, a seasoned Liberal Democrat, has a lengthy but wise critique of the party's mistaken national election strategy on Liberal Democrat Voice.

Recent local authority by-election results back up his researches. The electorate is not looking for a major change in 2010. The Conservatives are not going to make the inroads which the media are predicting. Indeed, there is news today of a Liberal Democrat gain in south-west England where the received wisdom is that the Conservatives are going to capture Liberal Democrat seats.