.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nick Clegg, - the most impressive of the party leaders

Over at Labour Uncut, Peter Watt the former General Secretary of the Labour Party has come to some pretty interesting conclusions about Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats:

Clegg has courted his party assiduously by meeting weekly with his MPs and ministers. And out in the constituencies Lib Dem activists have been loyal despite the losses of council seats and a fractious reception from voters on the doorsteps.

What a contrast with the ungovernable Tories and Cameron’s approach with his MPs and minsters! It is the Tories not the Lib Dems who seem to be struggling with government.

But Clegg’s real success has been on his influence on the governmental agenda. Far from being the passive partner, simply rubber stamping Tory policy, the Lib Dems have quietly secured large swathes of their own manifesto. It may not all be to Labour’s satisfaction but the pupil premium, retaining the governmental goal of ending child poverty, the banking levy, increasing capital gains tax for higher rate earners, restoring the link between pensions and earnings, delaying the replacement of Trident, pushing on with renewable energy, creating a green investment bank, stopping the closure of local post offices and increasing the numbers of apprenticeships were all Lib Dem manifesto commitments.

And the budget saw George Osborne announce that the key Lib Dem commitment of a £10,000 tax free allowance will be achieved in 2014. But whilst the tax commitment is getting the headlines Osborne also announced that there will be no further savings in welfare spending in the 2015/16 spending round which is also a significant Lib Dem victory in the face of Tory calls for further cuts.

So calamity Clegg is in fact leading a united party that is quietly getting on with securing its manifesto while their partners in government rip themselves apart over Europe and stalking horse challengers to Cameron. Certainly Tory backbenchers are pretty sure that the Lib Dems are punching well above their weight! If you are in any doubt about it just mention the boundary review to a Tory in a marginal seat and then duck.

It is little wonder that Mr. Watt concludes that Labour need to re-appraise Clegg:

He is in fact turning out to be a pretty impressive deputy prime minister and is likely to be a formidable opponent at the next election. It may be fun painting him as a lightweight and a fool.

But he is clearly neither.

In fact Nick Clegg has in many ways been the most impressive of the party leaders, and Labour may very well need his support in the weekend after the poll in May 2015.
Hmm...yes, clearly we should all value the endorsement of a former party official who resigned after an investigation into questionable payments made to Labour by 'anonymous' donors. Who's next on the I'm Backing Clegg roll of honour - James Murdoch?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?