22 April 2010

Seconds out... round 2

I'm looking forward to tonight's foreign policy debate, in which Nick Clegg surely has an advantage because the Lib Dems are planning not to spend £100 billion on a replacement for Trident, which at a time when public funds are pretty scarce, makes them pretty sane, and the other two parties loopy.

For sure, Cameron and Brown will try to do the old 1980s Cold War trick of portraying Clegg as soft on defence. But it ain't 1987, and most of the country has surely moved on. Apart from the kind of people who are persuaded by the ludicrously pro-Tory line of the Sun and the Mail; but then, they're the hardcore Tory voters - 30% of the electorate - anyway. Not the swing voters.

As the only major party who opposed the Iraq war, the Lib Dems also have a big "I told you so" advantage there.

It's quite possible we could see a further boost to Lib Dem polling after this debate - as long as Clegg can do as well as he did last time. It'll be tougher in one way as both Brown and Cameron will be gunning for him more than last time. On the other hand, that gives him the chance to carve out a distinctive position in one of the areas where Lib Dem policy is distinctive - and more progressive - than Labour or the Tories.

If we see the Lib Dems at 38% or so in the polls after this debate - the level at which they start to win hundreds of seats on a uniform swing - prepare for absolute fucking PANIC STATIONS at Labour and Tory central. Although my preference going into the election was for Labour, I'm really rather enjoying this, and would love it if the Lib Dems went all the way into Number 10. A fair voting system after all these years, eh? Who'd have thought it?


red two said...

Depressingly inevitable to see the right-wing press come out guns blazing at Clegg today. Interesting timing... you'd have thought that next week, when the debate is back on terrestrial and will have a wider audience, might have been more effective.

Perhaps they're assuming that because a lot of people won't actually SEE the debate this time, their suggestions have a greater chance of mutating into opinion. Either way, they're bricking it. I'm enjoying this election more than I've done for years...

giroscoper said...

This one's on (digital) free-to-view terrestrial (i.e. Freeview & Freesat) - Sky News and BBC News are both carrying it. It's not on analogue terrestrial, I think.

I think the Sun, Mail etc were scared that the Cleggwagon would hit high 30s over the weekend unless they stepped in now. Most of the attacks seem pretty lame though - mind you, when have they not have been? The coverage in the 1987 and 1992 campaigns was appalling, for instance.

Van Patten said...

Strangely again you omit Europe which is surely the LDs' achilles heel. It's a truly amazing tribute to the insidious nature of the EU as an orgnisation that people don't realise following Lisbon that whole swathes of policy areas are now run by Europe. The swift adoption of the Euro and consequent use of British pension funds and indeed taxes to bail out Portugal, Ireland and Spain would cause absolute outrage yet you are right to point out that as the other parties failed to oppose or follow through on promises re: Lisbon, they can't make that point against the Libdems.

RE: Trident - the cost does seem bizarre when looking at the deficit. Regarding the Iraq war, I can recall a number of Libdems who were in favour - perhaps reflecting the 'broad church' philosophy or again a reflection of a seemingly desperate desire to be 'all things to all men'.

The Sun and Mail are attacking the LDs but then they always did, even when the Tories were on the back foot under IDS, Hague and Howard. The effect of STV (if that's what used) would be to entrench a left-wing coalition similar to the one which has brought us to the current pass. As a UKIP supporter, hypothetically I'd be in favour, but only after an element of franchise reform to give more weight to those whose incomes have effectively been stripped out to pay for a succession of jobs of somewhat dubious merit which have multiplied like Japanese knotweed under this government.

The effect of STV in the Euro Elections has been to give the UKIP far greater representation than the Libdems, so my advice would be, be careful what you wish for, as huge swathes of the country would drop Clegg faster than a hot potato if the true costs of the Libdem obsession with Europe were known!

giroscoper said...

Mate - laughable that you can support UKIP when they are led by the idiotic and cretinous Lord Pearson. I will post up the YouTube link later (already on a comment elsewhere on this site) - it proves that the guy has no clue whatsoever.