Monday, December 17, 2007

It's "Let's be obsessed with the LibDems" day

Well, I suppose we shouldn't complain. We often get precious little coverage for months. But today it appears to be our day for the Tories and the press to go on about us ad nauseam.

Conservative Home did a piece yesterday entitled "The Liberal Democrats are David Cameron's number one headache". Today, they precis readers' comments to that piece in a post called "Seven approaches to beating the Liberal Democrats" (perhaps the eighth could be "always list things in threes"!)

Iain Duncan-Smith also writes an article on the subject: "We beat the LibDems by being a decent party". [I can hear the guffaws]

There's a Telegraph leader on us entitled "The Liberal Democrats' big chance":

Mr Clegg's is plainly the more threatening tactic as far as the other parties are concerned. Just as Mr Cameron love-bombed the Lib Dems, calculatedly talking their language on their issues, so Mr Clegg could now do the same to both main parties, wooing their voters rather than insulting them.

Mr Huhne, a far more abrasive and tribal politician, will find it hard to make that transition. If Mr Clegg wins tomorrow, three-party politics will resume in earnest.

There's an Independent leader, "Beware the siren voices of alliance":

Mr Cameron's intervention should remind the new Liberal Democrat leader, too, that the next election could give the party its best shot at sharing power for many years. He must always bear that in mind and avoid all appearance of third-party amateurishness. This is a time when the appearance of substance and authority could make all the difference.

And to really put the tin lid on the whole thing, Melanie Phillips is banging on about us in the Mail and, remarkably, says something with which I agree:

It's all very well to talk of this 'progressive alliance' with the Lib Dems, but although he claims to talk the same language as they do over decentralising public services, the Tories have not yet fully endorsed it.

They are making the right noises, particularly over their school choice agenda (although this could go further). But they remain committed to Labour's own eye-watering levels of state funding, which arouses suspicions that their ' decentralisation' is simply another piece of spin.

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