Monday, 5 January 2015

Nick Clegg's new year message: a core of truth, but the wrong emphasis contains a video of Nick Clegg's 2015 curtain-raiser.

In times past, the Liberals and Liberal Democrats would present manifestos as if for a party of government, costed and all (please note, Chris Bryant), even though the chances of coming to power were much lower then than they are now. Today's message reminds me uncomfortably of the pitch of the German FDP, whose highest aim appeared to be to secure at least one ministry in a coalition government, either with the conservatives or the social democrats. The FDP is no longer represented in the national parliament, and may not have any regional seats after this year's round of elections.

If it were me, I would have said: "Because of our experience in government in the last four-and-a-half years, we are better equipped to take the reins than we have ever been. We are more united over the big questions of the day than either the Conservatives or Labour*. In a minority government, we have pushed through reform of pensions, reduced taxation for the lower paid, improved civil rights and resisted attacks on employment rights, to name but a few. Just think what we could do if we had a majority.

"But that experience has also shown that the British voter and the world at large have no reason to be afraid of a coalition government. We are ready to do whatever is in the best interests of the nation."

What do I know? Nick is advised by a consultant with an international reputation.

* and certainly more than UKIP who have different policies according to which candidate you speak to