Posts Tagged ‘Theresay May’

Will Miliband face either Cameron or Clegg at the election?

11/03/2013, 03:24:31 PM

by Jonathan Todd

This weekend the fog of war descended on Brighton, central London and Grantham. It seemed to be thickest in Brighton where the Liberal Democrats met for their spring conference. Some think their enemy are the “self-appointed detectives” in the media. Others are convinced that their enemy is the party with whom they share government.

Orange-on-orange attacks are more to the taste of some: What did Nick Clegg know about Lord Rennard and Chris Huhne? And when? Is the party capable of avoiding electoral annihilation with him at the helm? Does he agree with George Osborne or Vince Cable on public investment? If Cable, where does that leave the commitment to immediate deficit reduction that supposedly lies at the heart of the governmental compact between their party and the Conservatives?

It’s not clear whether Cable’s abdication of this compact is a declaration of war with Osborne or Clegg. He’s undoubtedly taking collective responsibility and unrelenting commitment to deficit reduction on fleet-footed dances. In so doing, he wants to emerge with his now battered reputation for economic wisdom restored and his status as the heir apparent to Clegg renewed.

The sensible argument for the defenestration of Clegg is that the alternative is to reduce the Liberal Democrats to a parliamentary rump of cockroaches. His embrace of Cameron and support for increased tuition fees shattered public trust, so says the argument against him, which can never be regained. No masochistic radio phone-ins or relaunches are going to change this. Clegg, pace Jonathan Freedland and John Kampner, is a dead man walking and if he is not removed then he will drag his party down with him.


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