Thursday, 15 November 2007

My Thoughts on Tonight's Question Time

Here are some of my impressions of tonight's Lib Dem Leadership Question Time.

Chris Huhne's negative campaigning has come back to haunt him. David Dimbleby lashes Huhne for the "Cameron Stunt Double" quotation pretty quickly which puts him on the defensive.

Chris is wrong over Trident. To my mind, his negotiating position would throw all the cards out of the window. I also think that he badly underestimates Russia under Vladimir Putin. Russia has increasing receipts from oil and gas which it is using to rebuild it's military.

Nick has also realised that Russia is using it's oil and gas supply to put pressure on former Soviet states such as Ukraine. Nick is right to suggest that the EU has to be firm and hold Putin to account. Nick's experience as an international negotiator with the European Commission shows through very strongly and given the re-emergence of Russia, the rise of China and the increasingly multipolar nature of the world he would be better placed to deal on international political and economic relations.

Nick Clegg has real passion for the underpriviledged and for the mismanagement of public services and this is where he scored massive points tonight. His motivation to get into politics is very similar to that of so many of our activists (including me). Nick's passion will come across well to voters who do not currently support the Liberal Democrats. Chris perhaps came over as too "Mr Great CV" and therefore a bit patrician and remote.

Huhne tries "dog whistle" politics on Nick again by attacking David Law's views on health insurance versus NHS. Regrettably for Chris, Nick has emphatically denied supporting (are you reading this Jo Hayes!) health insurance.

There was no nonsense coming from Chris over vouchers. Nick clearly laid out his views on the pupil premium and there were no vouchers in sight.

Despite what looks like a Huhnite plant to paint Nick as "Cameron-lite", Nick Clegg clearly set himself apart from Cameron for the same reasons I got involved in Liberal politics. Disgust at the wasteland that was created in the wake of Thatcherism and a determination to change politics for the better.

I think Nick came out ahead purely and simply as he was able to relate his experience directly to issues that concern the majority of voters, but I would say that wouldn't I?

1 comment:

Tristan said...

We already have health insurance (and assurance). We pay for it through our taxes and if we're lucky we get treatment at the hands of the NHS...