7.00pm I'm at the Observer fringe meeting with Vince Cable, Jeremy Browne and Susan Kramer. They all agree that Conservative campaigning techniques have improved leaps and bounds and that Tory In Touches are now often better than Focus leaflets.
7.10pm Susan Kramer believes that these foundations were laid by IDS. It is quite clear that their only way of attacking David Cameron is to attack the Conservative Party itself as nasty, vicious and selfish. They will grudgingly admit that he is a fresh face but will chant a mantra that he can't carry his Party with him.
7.15pm Jesus, they're now talking about creating a LibDem Cabinet. Delusional. Oh, hang on, in a shock statement Jeremy Browne says Vince Cable won't be in a LibDem Cabinet - shock horror. The nation can rest easy.
7.25pm Browne says the tax vote today gives the Libdems increased credibility.
7.30pm Cable says it's difficult for Ming to get the same level of visibility as Cameron. He believes Ming will get more zing given time. Kramer calls Cameron a store front dummy. Likens Cameron to George W Bush and Tony Blair. Eh? Ming is better the more you see him.
7.35pm Jeremy Browne says "The last thing we should do is put the zing into Ming". The media over-emphasises the cult of youth.
7.40 Audience member says panel is complacent about Cameron. Says Cameron is clever and cleverer than most Libdems think and is heading for victory. Gets round of applause. Cable repeats line about Cameron not being able to take his Party with him. Says Cameron will return to a core vote strategy in the end. Well.... If that's what he thinks....
7.45pm Kramer thinks disillusioned Tories will stay home and won't vote. Libdems must fight on their own ground. Must not follow the Tory agenda. Must concentrate on improving Libdem party organisation.
Time to go...
Conclusion: Complacency rules OK!
Bromley seems to have confused the LD's as much as media commentators (and bloggers).
The only signal it gave is that Conservatives won't come out to vote for eurocompliant candidates.
Conservative cross-dressing as LD's is only matched by the determination of LD's to cross dress as Conservatives.
But floating voters float on brand image not policy, it seems. Cameron's the likely winner of that one.
'Libdems must fight on their own ground'
What's that? 'Vote for us, we're not nasty tories and we're not commies either'
So what will you do?
'We'll tax people who earn more money than you and drive a bigger car than you and spend it on a better hospital for you'
Same old crap off them every election; expect more of the same.
After their latest loony tax policy change, they have ZERO chance - what a bunch of muppets.
Who is NOT going to vote for them now?
Anyone who owns a house, particularily in the south
Anyone who likes to go on holiday by air
So they really have fucked themselves up this time.
Is this policy something Charlie boy wrote after a few bottles of grog?
What a great blog Iain!
Immediacy personified. Lots of funny people without a chance of power wishing they could (screech...) "DO SOMETHING!"
"Just open the fucking presents!" (Peter's Friends - film version - not dissimilar)!
Ian, were you wearing a hoodie to disguise the fact that a great big, bloggin, A-lister Tory was smack in the middle of 'em?
Oh dear. Banking on disaffected Tories staying at home doesn't seem like much of a strategy.
I completely back up your views on this one. For the first time in quite a few visits to Lib Dem conferences it is the ordinary delegates who have talked much more sense during panel discussions about where the Lib Dems should go.
I wish you were more intelligent.
Don't underestimate them, they are the most underhand, opportunistic, cynical campaigners. One small example, at the last election the lib dem candidate stood at my door in wealthy west sussex and explained how they woudn't soak the rich and the local income tax would not affect me (not!). To my retired mum in Leeds the candidate waxed lyrical about higher taxes to pay for better pensions and heathcare. Hopefully the scutiny they'll get as possible kingmakers in a hung parliament will expose their lack of principles.
I heard Vince Cable taken apart on Radio 5 the other day. Susan Kramer ...hopeless.
Never heard of the other one.
And to think 2 years ago John Pienar was saying the Tories were dead in the water, and the Lib Dems were on the rise What a joke !
You know, Iain, I have to chuckle at all this talk of Dave leaving Thatcherism behind. It may well seem that, on the surface, Dave is modernising the Party. But not in respect of that which really concerns the mandarins: arms corruption.
Go to: www.conservativecampaign.com
Thatcher oversaw, and Blair perpetuated, the systemic corruption of Whitehall and Westminster, while the UK arms industry grew to be the world's No. 2 exporter - on the back of both 'front-door' and 'back-door' arms sales.
Dave is all set to revive that corruption when the Tories return to power. This is confirmed by the appointments he has made to those sensitive positions on the Front Bench and in the Party, which will control arms sales and the illicit flow of funds back into Tory coffers.
With those matters safely 'built to last,' the mandarins don't give a toss what logo Dave designs for the rest of us.
Now, if I’m wrong, all Dave has to do is answer the three challenges set for him by the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, against Corruption, either before or at the Party Conference. Hint: he won’t.
And Iain, you can press him on it, 'cos I'm sure you've got a pass to that Conference!
Ho ho, Jeremy Clowne, sorry, Browne won't be in any fictional Lib Dem cabinet either. He's going to lose his Taunton seat at the next election, so why is he bothering?
He is useless, cannot think on his feet and is losing key battles. Haha!
Leading light of the party? (My arse.) More like, the lights are on but nobody's home!
Bye bye Jeremy - you won't be missed!
Yes, well, the front bench were keen to talk the party up but the activists in the audience were far from complacent.
And you have to tip your hat to the Lib Dems for letting you in. I wouldn't have.
Is thisa a compound word for 'Conservative delusion'?
I think the best way to deal with David Cameron is to give him as much airtime as possible.
It's working a treat.
I'm reminded of Vernon Bogdanor's "The political cemetaries of the twenty first century will be littered with people who underestimate David Cameron".
He didn't come from nowhere to win the leadership because of flashy presentation he did it because he is one of the most talented politicians this country has seen in decades.
If the Lib Dems think they can just ignore him and he will go away then they really are screwed.
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