Friday, June 29, 2007

Come Here Said the Spider to the Fly

A week sure is a long time in LibDem politics. On Tuesday it was revealed that Gordon Brown wanted to offer several Liberal Democrat Peers including Lord Lester and Baroness Julia Neuberger roles in his administration. Ming Campbell, the LibDem leader, said it was out of the question. Today, these two have not just accepted advisory roles, they are listed on the Number Ten website on the government appointments page...
In addition, the following appointments have also been made today:
- Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington QPM to be the Prime Minister's Senior Adviser on International Security Issues.
- Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC to advise the Secretary of State for Justice on aspects of constitutional reform.
- Joan Ryan MP to be Special Representative to Cyprus.
- Baroness Neuberger will work with the Prime Minister, the Government and the voluntary sector to champion volunteering.
Ming Campbell is spluttering that they are not full members of the government, they are merely advising. No doubt the same will be said about Shirley Williams' advisory role on nuclear proliferation, should she decide to accept it. But these positions are clearly important ones. But by endorsing these advisory positions, Ming Campbell has horrified LibDems in LibDem/Conservative marginal seats. They believe that it will reinforce and already existing impression that the LibDems are in Labour's pockets. Take the Norfolk Blogger's reaction for example. He has bravely spoken out...
I am at a loss as to what the Liberal Democrats or the country gains from having two Lib Dem peers act as advisers to Gordon Brown. collusion. Does anyone in their right mind believe that Baroness Neuberger or Lord Lester will hold sway or influence Gordon brown in their advisory capacity ? Will it further the cause of Liberal Democracy ? Or will it allow the Liberal Democrats to be labelled as Gordon Brown's Poodles? As far as I am concerned, anyone who wants to work with the Labour government whilst the Labour Party has a majority should resign their party membership and join the Labour Party. Alternatively they should be stripped of their membership.There are enough grassroots campaigners working their socks off on the ground without these peers undermining everything the party campaigners are trying to do by allowing the Lib Dems to be seen as working with Labour.This is a gift for the Tories and a major gaffe by the Lib Dems. Wake up Ming to what is going on!

Strong stuff. Not a mention of this on LibDem Voice of course. I've also trawled through the LibDem blogs Aggregated site and apart from Norfolk Blogger not a single other LibDem blog has thought this worthy of comment. That's why Norfolk Blogger is establishing himself as the one LibDem blog worth reading most days. He's prepared to say what the others might be thinking but daren't talk about.


Anonymous said...

I'm not always a big fan of adversarial politics, but it is what we've got in this country, and it seems to work, because if you don't like 'this lot' you can vote them out and put the 'other lot' in.

If 'this lot' and 'the other lot' become mixed up, the voters have little or no weaponry to punish those which don't carry out their mandate by the democratic will of the people.

But maybe Gorgon is hoping that there will be a Government of National Unity which no one can vote out...

Scary stuff..

Anonymous said...

Stop having a go at Ming - if you do there is a danger of a Nick Clegg coup... and we wouldn't want that - if only because one person who looks like Piers Moron is bad enough, we don't want another one...

Tapestry said...

Don't we want a Nick Clegg coup?

If there were two Conservative Parties instead of two Labour Parties, we could make electoral pacts and target Labour in combination - possibly. It need not be all doom and gloom.

Anonymous said...

tapestry - the old rule is 'divide and rule'. a clegg led LD party might split the vote and allow Labour in for another 5 years.

I say, give Ming a bit of peace and quiet, and just see what transpires..

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Two colchester Libdem councillors went independent this week after falling out with Bob Russell.

Probably unrelated but funny in my opinion.

Tapestry said...

disagree anonynmous (why not add a nickname in the text of your post if you don't have a blogge display name)

We could ensure Lib Dems win seats against Labour in return for them returning the compliment to us. They could win 60 seats and we could win 340, leaving Labour with under 260. Bingo!!!

Brown never thought of that did he?!

Chris Paul said...

Mmmmm. You're being stuffed at the moment by the GCF. Why would anyone want a hung parliament or bullingdon Cameron as PM?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the reason for the lack of comments on Lib Dem blogs is that most Lib Dems know the difference between advising and taking up a post in government.

Unlike your near-hysterical comments, level-headed people know there is quite a difference between the two - just as they also know what an awful track record you have about talking about anything to do with the LibDems (remind me how many MPs switched to the Tories? or who is now Attorney General? etc etc. Strange how you never admit how dreadful your record at predictions is!).

Anonymous said...

LDV is a neuteured load of cack! I'm not surprised they are silent on the subject! Obviously the LD's are Labour's poodles- they should do what Pantsdown wanted- give up the ghost and go home to Labour.

Quentin Langley said...

Not sure "advising" the government is of any significance, though the noble peers should have realised that Brown would spin it as though they are part of the administration.

I have to admit that if the PM contacted me and said he wanted my advice on a matter of public policy, I would feel obliged to offer it. He never has. I expect he gets everything he needs from reading my blog.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Anonymous said...

One senses the hand of Lord Kinnock. Read the effusive praise of Lord K by Baroness Neuberger, his fellow trustee at the British Council.

Anonymous said...

Your confusion is palpable, Mr Dale!

What is even worse (for a man with such obvious clout based on his wide web readership) is your lack of rounded insight, foresight and oversight: to be a mere gossip-monger is unforgiveable (and don't forget you will be discarded when you become tainted).

Perhaps you don't understand the popular (liberal - with a small l) mindset, or is it that you accept rational open-mindedness is no longer possible and wish to influence it's change? After all why do those pesky libs have to keep making their own minds up in ways that 'normal' people could never conceive or tolerate?

From the evidence your blog provides it would appear you wish to rally and shepherd support for your cause - yet every time you attempt to present your facade of independence and argue your case it betrays your irrational and biased dependence on reported semi-truths.

What is it you want to hear? Perhaps you'd prefer a token of affirmation? Well, enjoy it while it lasts.

The whole methodology behind your modus operandi indicates a political deceit suggestive of a preconcieved flow of power with a direction under an effective control-management system.

The flaw in this style is it's concentricity, which will no longer convince growing adherence by new audiences - since increased accessibility to information has changed the rules of argumentation.

Gordon Brown is now struggling to maintain the grip he once had, while this Conservative party has completely lost it's handle on the situation.

It would be far better if all sides stop deluding themselves by underestimating the wisdom of the wider public.

Anonymous said...

No one has commented on the other remarkable feature of the announcements: the appointment of Joan Ryan (former junior minister, who has now been made a Privy Councillor) as Special Representative to Cyprus. What exactly is this about?

Anonymous said...

The silence from the Lib Dems does not surprise me; they did the same after their utterly inexplicable decision not to join in alliance with the SNP.

It may have been some sort of principled stand, or a clever longer-run strategy, but no-one got to know because they just didn't say a single significant thing in the immediate post-election period.

This, of course, gave strength to the popular version that the Scottish Lib Dems had been ordered from Westminster by Ming to 'do nothing' because he had bigger fish to fry with Gordon Brown... and he certainly well and truly burnt that fish supper!

Paul Walter said...

I have commented about it here:

The delay in doing so had more to do with domestic affairs than anything more sinister.