(apologies to those of you who arrived at this site expecting something about a Marvin Gaye record. You will be bitterly disappointed).
This graph demonstrates cat out of the bag, Google-style:
I had worried slightly that my dismissal of the Conservative dismissal of the Lib Dems was underproven (i.e. a big sulky exaggeration). Perhaps, instead, they are about to show how the Big Society will transform Britain? Oh, here’s Boris Johnson:
They are a bunch of euro-loving road-hump fetishists who are attempting like some defective vacuum cleaner to suck and blow at the same time; and the worst of it is that if you do vote Lib Dem in the demented belief that there could ever be such a thing as a Lib Dem government, you won’t get Prime Minister Clegg. You’ll get Prime Minister Gordon Brown
As Liberal Vision put it, ” “We know best” just isn’t a very smart political line in an anti-political age.”
But does Johnson have a point about inconsistent Lib Dem messages around the country? Maybe. I have notspent any time with them up North, but this charge is often heard. Expect it to be heard some more, and the general pressure of being popular to force some difficult consistency in at times.
But if you want eachwaysucking Hoovers, how about “We’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS?” How about a Broken society somehow managing the massive voluntarist frenzy to become Big? How about comparing what Conservatives said about Green issues in 2006 to their commitment to prevent fuel prices rising too high? How about lambasting the government for failing to deal with inequality, and then putting all their available cash into schemes that could only increase it?
The Conservatives have no excuse in this area. Their policies are command-and-control (ironically); and their inconstencies have instead stemmed from a very irresolute strategy – rebranding at first, then a rush back to Thatcherite economic certainties, deficit fetishism, then tax cuts instead, then Big Society Optimism and Hope, and now another bash at the Fear approach. Not sure it is working for them.
In the meantime, I’ve read nothing of Labour recently. Then this tends to happen to the third party …