Sunday, 20 September 2009

'Nasty' Nick Clegg has Set-Up an Attack Unit to Challenge the Conservatives

As the Liberal Democrat conference opened yesterday in Bournemouth it emerged that Nick Clegg MP, the Liberal Democrat Leader, has established an anti-Tory attack unit.

Mr Clegg accused David Cameron of being a con-man:
“David Cameron is the conman of British politics," he will say, "He’s put the ‘con’ back into the Conservatives, just telling people what they want to hear.

"[H]e wants to fix the broken society, yet he’s promised tax breaks to the rich. He talks the talk on the environment, yet he seeks out climate change deniers as new allies in Europe. He claims he wants a new politics, yet he won’t even own up to whether or not his big donors pay full British taxes. He says he’ll balance the nation's books, yet his most eye-catching proposal is raising the cost of salads in the House of Commons canteen.”
Chris Huhne MP (Home Affairs spokesman) has been charged with attacking the Shadow Chancellor:
"George Osborne who, with the best will in the world, has never done a job, never run a budget, never hired nor fired. He’s someone who has clearly got a very good education but doesn’t actually have that experience of the real world that Vince Cable so evidently does have. His inexperience on the most important issue of the election is going to be a real weak spot for the Conservatives.”
A Liberal Democrat Freedom of Information request was behind Friday's Channel 4 News report that six flagship Conservative pledges would cost fifty-three billion pounds.

The volume of the Liberal Democrat attacks on the Conservative Party reflects an increasing fear that many of their parliamentarians will be ousted by Conservative Parliamentary Candidates next year. The Liberal Democrats leadership has clearly been panicked by the defeats suffered in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset in the local elections in June by an increasingly sophisticated Conservative campaign machine.

The overall strategy thus looks very confused. On Thursday it was reported they were targeting Labour voters but Vince Cable's assertive talk of deep cuts in public spending is unlikely to appeal to Labour's heartlands. Given the weakness of the Brown-led Labour Government it is surprising that they are not doing better.

Liberal Democrats activists are voting with their feet. On Friday James Keeley, formerly Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Skipton and Ripon joined the Conservatives. Fifty Liberal Democrat councillors have defected to the Conservatives since David Cameron became Conservative leader.

It is noteworthy that the Liberal Democrats are going nasty at the same time as Eric Pickles' strategy of 'lovebombing' Liberal/Conservative marginals bears such handsome fruit. Locally we have also seen the nastiness that has been allowed to develop in the Liberal Democrats on West Lindsey District Council which culminated in Jackie Brockway's defection and the Saxilby By-Election last month.

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