Posts Tagged ‘Operation Despatch’

Secret Lib Dem “Operation Detach” is a council of despair

05/01/2011, 07:00:29 AM

by Tom Watson

David Laws is keeping himself useful by masterminding the Lib Dems’ 2015 general election campaign. Every month, he meets Nick Clegg to discuss the latest market research and share results of message-testing. Back in the summer, they jokingly called the meetings “Operation Detach”. The phrase has stuck and is used by special advisers to impress their friends that they are in the know.

“Operation Detach” is about the Lib Dems trying to carve out a distinct identity in time for 2015. Back in the balmy days of the coalition’s summer, “Detach” meetings were jovial, good natured and full of enthusiasm. But it’s been the longest winter for Nick Clegg. Laws is apparently toning down the results of the research, so as not to further depress his leader. These days, Clegg’s responses are monosyllabic as Laws delivers him the not-as-bleak-as-he-knows news.

Laws’ research confirms what the whole nation thinks: the Liberal Democrats have been brutalised by the Conservatives inside the government. The internal polls show Lib Dem supporters in despair as they complain that Nick Clegg has lain down and been trampled by the Tories. (more…)

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