Nick Clegg appears to have settled on a new strategy for the Lib Dems. Put unkindly, his aim seems to be to bore the electorate into submission. In fact, in many ways, his speech to the party faithful in Glasgow yesterday was a throwback to the rhetoric of the SDP-Liberal Alliance of the 1980s. He’s not left. He’s not right. He’s somewhere in between. If you want middle of the road, Clegg is your man.
The official theme for the Lib Dem conference this year was “Stronger Economy, Fairer Society”. These sort of slogans are a pet hate of mine. They say something unbelievably bland and wholly uncontroversial. You have to dig behind the branding to try and discern what a political party is really trying to say. A more accurate catchphrase for the Lib Dems this year would have been “Phlegmatic and stoical”. Apparently, their offer is to calmly and coolly temper the excesses of others.
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