Saturday, 13 September 2008

Where's Captain Kirk?

Note to Labour activists. If you need cheering up, just switch over to the Parliament channel for the Lib Dem conference. My favourite bit so far? Ed Davey mispronouncing 'machismo' - well, what do you expect from a Lib Dem?

Was expecting to see my Bristol neighbour, Mr Williams, being thrown to the lions - i.e. being forced, as Universities' spokesperson, to announce their u-turn on tuition fees - and no, of course I wasn't looking forward to it. Sadly, I've now been informed that it's been shelved till their Spring Conference because they didn't think they'd win the vote, and have got enough on their plate getting the 'Orange booking' of economic policy past the bearded and sandalled masses.

I went to Lib Dem conference once on a fleeting, work-related visit. Lots of large ladies wearing yellow. And yes, lots of socks and sandals.


timbone said...

Hello Kerry. I am glad you had a good holiday. I have a theory about the LibDems. This comment is purely observational, I am not giving any personal opinions.

After the magnificent Labour landslide victory in 1997 (I can still see Michael Portillo looking shocked and dumbfounded when he lost his seat) it was clear that the Tories were desimated. I believe that had there not been some major crisis, the Tories were heading for being the third party in Parliament.

Yes, that's right. I think that where many floating voters and also some Tory voters had voted Labour in 1997, by 2001 some were being drawn to vote for LibDem. I could see the LibDems being the opposition by 2010.

There is one event in particular which stopped that from happening. An event which not only took valuable Labour support, not only began to rejuvinate the dying Tories, but once and for all prevented the LibDems from converting the floaters and disillusioned Tory voters. Tha event was Iraq.

Just a little theory of mine Kerry. What do you think?

Kerry said...

Well, Iraq also had the temporary effect of allowing the Lib Dems to cream off some of the lefter-leaning Labour support (especially in the university seats like Cambridge, Manchester Withington, Bristol West) - but Nick Clegg has done the electoral arithmetic (although as tonight's Newsnight demonstrated, arithmetic's not his strong point) and realised that there are many more Tory/ Lib Dem marginals than Lib Dem/ Labour ones. Hence his tacking to the right. Although to be fair, I think that's genuinely where his instincts lie, it's not just political expedience.