Clegg to go for the leadership?

Literally hours after I poured scorn on the "up for discussion" comment about Ming Campbell’s leadership he has gone with immediate effect.

Nick Clegg was the will he wont he run candidate last time, and he kept his powder dry. This will surely not be the case this time.

A few years ago at Lib Dem Conference I was regailed by a senior Lib Dem MP who effectively said that the Orange Bookers would take control over the party (signifying a shift to the right) over his dead body.

If so there could be a battle royale between the left and right in the Lib Dems to take control of the heart and soul of the party.

The Lib Dems have always been able to appeal to disaffected Labour voters by advocating left wing policies in one area, and by advocating moderate right policies in other areas they have appealed to to disaffected Tories. One wonders if the poll gains in recent weeks by the Tories will convince them to go for an Orange Booker.

Iain Dale thinks Kennedy is a good bet,  but surely Clegg will have the guts to throw his hat into the ring.

Wouldn’t that make Gordon Brown the old man of British politics!

Mings job "under discussion"

It seems like the clock is fast approaching midnight on Ming’s leadership of the Lib Dems. Of course he will be leading the party into the next election and beyond. Yes of course he will….

What Future for the Liberal Democrats

One of the big impacts of Brown vs Cameron has been the squeeze on the Liberal Democrats, who are heading rapidly towards single figure polling. Now while this is a traditional trend mid term, this real substantial drop seems to indicate something more fundamental and it’s not all about the leader.
Obviously Ming is pretty inept at leading his party. I always thought of him as the only real substantial statesman like figure in the Lib Dems when he was foreign affairs spokesman. Taken out of his brief though and he’s been found wanting. Lamentable PMQ performances and no real connection with the public. However, the Lib Dems have a far more wide reaching problem than that, and that’s identity.
What do the Lib Dems stand for. Are candidates in Newcastle council elections telling the same stories as those standing in rural Hampshire. I think we all know the answer to that. The point is the Lib Dems need to work out if they are going to go to the left of Labour or portray themselves as a soft Tory party. The real problem they have is the seats won in by elections from Tories. They want to hold on to these but don’t want to pursue a policy agenda to do so, as they prefer to be on the left.
So what do they do. Well there is much talk of having a female leader to be distinctive. Looking at their benches, there is no one at all suitable due to age, incompetence and the marginal nature of their seat. In any case, that is only a superficial fix. They instead need to work out what they are for and who they appeal to. Do they go after disaffected Labour voters in places like Liverpool and Newcastle, and in doing so risk their southern soft Tory seats or do they try to compete with Cameron as soft Tories. That would be very courageous. At this moment in time their future must surely be in the North chasing Labour seats. Their hatred for Tories will probably see this doesn’t happen. My only forecast is there will be trouble ahead.


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In the first of a regular weekly podcast, Shane Greer, Executive Director of the Young Briton’s Foundation, and presenter on 18 Doughty Street shares his thoughts on why presentation is all important in today’s political world.

To listen to the podcast either click the download button above or listen to it in or media player at the top the website.

Time for cool heads

After being relatively quiet since the Conservative Party conference, David Davis made a low-key yet incredibly important statement today.  With support for the party at a 15-year high and a poll lead of around 7% according to the Sunday papers David Davis called for cool heads from Conservatives around the country, who are probably still busy bouncing off the walls.  But if we wind back the clock a few months, you will remember that the Conservatives had an even bigger lead in the polls and thought the end was nigh for the Labour Party, only for Gordon Brown to enjoy his (thankfully short-lived) honeymoon.
Let’s face it – things really can’t get much worse for Labour.  The likelihood is that in the next six months there will be a new and dynamic Lib Dem leader and Gordon Brown will have steadied the ship to some extent – both of which are likely to crank up the pressure on the Conservatives.  Hopefully they will be able to resist these attacks with a combination of strong leadership and continued progress with policy initiatives, but despite the Labour Party self-destructing and Ming Campbell’s career coming to an end there will be little margin for error over the next two years.


Mr Sarkozy – your boys took one helluva beating

I’ve just finished watching England beat France to get to the World Cup final. Superb. This video from the Telegraph of country singer Kenny Rogers made me chuckle. I guess he wasn’t supporting the French then.


Gore and CO2

On the day it’s announced that Al Gore has received a Nobel prize, Roger Helmer MEP offers a counter view here.

In two very interesting videos you can also see a challenge to the views held by Gore.



Petition numbers on the rise

Well well, from little acorns grow. It had 26 signatures when the Prime Minister mentioned it. It now has over 10,000. Just how high can it go?

Shame on them

When it comes to improving the NHS, there is a constant chatter of opinions and ideas that more often than not conflict with each other.  Deciding on exactly how the NHS should develop in the future is debatable – the need for clean hospitals is not.  To read about 90 people being killed by dirty hospitals is chilling.  What greater example is there of a failing government than a government that has invested so much money in healthcare and yet people are dying not through botched operations or tragic accidents, but through incompetence and disturbingly low standards of cleanliness.
Labour’s desire to control everything from Whitehall has made a huge contribution to this awful situation.  It is time we get the government out of running the NHS, because their arrogant belief that they can do keep hospitals clean from a desk in Westminster is quite literally costing lives.


Citizen journalism and the election


Colin Byrne, CEO of Weber Shandwick has a great blog called Byrne Baby Byrne which you can read here.

He has also written an interesting piece on Citizen Journalism which as it happens, mentions this blog. It fits in with what I wrote in the Political Book of Blogging where I suggested we could witness a real growth in podcasting in the political field, as the technology provides for a simple medium of getting your message to an infinite audience.

At best 1,000 leaflets may get to 1,000 households. 1 podcast can be round the world in seconds once uploaded, and if you have decent mailing lists can be sent to a target audience at minimal cost, and more importantly very quickly.

Those who use the technology won’t necesarily be successful politically, but those who don’t embrace this sort of technology make failure more likely.