Saturday, 14 February 2015

Nick Clegg is now less, not more, insipid

Jeremy Browne always was an outlier in the Liberal Democrat party. Those of his constituents that I know assure me that he is a good constituency MP and a loyal liberal, but it has seemed to me from soon after his election in 2010 that his liberalism was more of the Alderman Roberts variety.

His outburst in the Independent has given the opportunity for activists in the party to respond, showing how much the party as a whole disagrees with the Conservative policies he is happy to go along with. I would contend that Nick Clegg is not being "insipid" in seeking to lead the party where it wants to go, rather than continue with a coalition consensus. It should be noted that the Conservatives were first to break this consensus with their declarations over nuclear weaponry and restrictions on human rights. It has always been possible to act as a responsible partner in government for the sake of the financial stability of the UK while maintaining the party's distinct identity and I am sorry that this line was not pursued from the very start of the coalition.

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