close but no cigar

Just finished watching the Rugby World Cup Final. Well the team certainly didn’t disgrace themselves and whilst it is disppointing to go down at the final hurdle I certainly didn’t expect to be watching England in the final when the competition started.

They often say no one remembers the loser in a final – but the team certainly deserve alot of credit – unfortunately this time it was close but no cigar.



Bet that question wasn't in his briefing notes

PMQs 17th October

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The latest cut and thrust of Prime Minister’s Questions is now available to download. You can either click the download button above, or listen to it in our media player at the top of the website.

Michael Crick scored last week’s performance as a 5-0 win to Cameron and this week a 2-1 victory. What do you think?

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.


Image Counts

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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.