My impression from afar was that overall Nick Clegg and the Party had a very good week in Bournemouth. I was a bit surprised at Iain Dale (the Tory one) making a bit of an arse of himself over Nick's comments when anyone with half a braincell would realise that Nick was talking to the person in the street about Lehman Brothers, Meryll Lynch etc. I'm really delighted that Making It Happen was adopted without amendment and I think that finally the Party has begun to capture the mood of the moment. People are struggling to make ends meet and they want their money where they need it, in their pockets.
I thought that Iain was better than that but I guess that Tories who like to talk about social justice and then commit themselves to continuing with a REGRESSIVE tax structure which punishes lower and middle income earners at the expense of the wealthy in society must be feeling a little bit rattled and concerned and grasping at straws to discredit Vince Cable and Nick Clegg. There is nothing "right wing" about Making It Happen. That is good economic and political sense in a Liberal and progressive way.
To heap misery on it, it would seem that floating voters and even existing Labour supporters prefer Clegg to Cameron according to Newsnight. HINT: address the incidence of the tax burden and THEN you can be taken seriously on social justice issues. The current Tory message looks like "we hear your pain but we don't really give a damn as we've decided to adopt a Blue Labour strategy".
It's been a tough 18 months or so to stay in the Party with all that has happened, and some of my good friends leaving, but this week has made me glad that I've kept my membership and kept going through the gritted teeth. A good stronger small business and enterprise development policy now to really encourage so many of those millions of small business people to come to naturally support our Party and we will be on the road to longer term success.