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Hmmm - always reminds me of the conversation I had with a senior Lib Dem from the left of their party at their Annual Conference who said that Clegg would take the leadership over the left's dead body.

Could their be Civil War brewing in the ranks of the Lib Dems?

Oh no, Cleggie's coming. Seriously, who cares? Clegg would split the party as Jonathan Sheppard has already suggested. The fact is, Clegg is a fairly genuine Liberal, as he has Liberal attitudes to the economy and social policy. Which of course makes him anatheama to the core support who favour every state intervention in the economy you can think of and generally hold the soft totalitarian ideology that is PC in high esteem. The term Liberal to describe Lib Dems and American Democrats is a misnomer but a powerful one as the word itself has all sorts of positive connotations. The bottom line is that the core support would hate him and the voters have no idea who he is. Perfect.

It is a little ironic and amusing that Tory members here can simultaneously stand behind a leader so detached from the party's traditional core values in order to "win power" whilst dismissing the possibility of exactly the same strategy in a rival party.

Charles Kennedy is the elephant in the room for anyone seeking to supplant Ming, as like David Davis, he can bide his time and watch the next general election results, but if Kennedy backs Clegg, then it will show Ming that if you live by the knife in the back...

"Could there be Civil War brewing in the ranks of the Lib Dems? 9:41

One lives in hope Jonathan, one lives in hope. ;)

And I think we should always make sure that our doors are open and that there is a warm welcome for disillusioned Lib Dems on the right of their party.

Slightly out of date entry on:

http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/british-eurofederalists.html :

"Nick Clegg MEP East Midlands, a former Commission civil servant, whose wife works for the Commission. Has his main home in Brussels. ergo Cleg is a representative of the Commission to the people rather than the right way round. - A bit like the Kinnock family really. Council member Britain in Europe."

Another EU proxy to control one of the main British political parties.

When will people wake up to the fact that the LibDems are far to the left of Blair's labour party on most issues? The thought of a Lib/Con alliance is quite bizarre. Now the policies and approach of the Cameron Party are almost indistinguishable from Labour, we would have a more comfortable alliance with them than with the loony-lefty-Libs. Come to think of it... in view of the lack of opposition there is now, perhaps we already have an alliance ...

If the LibDems rebrand themselves into the same crowded "centre", it will make election time much easier. Whichever of the main party boxes we put our cross in, the end result will be the same. That's real EU-style democracy for you. A Dave New World indeed.

Where the Lib Dems position themselves is at the heart of the lets say political conundrum that is the Lib Dems. I am sure the Lib Dem Chair Paul Holmes - who I frankly like very much in a personal capacity won't mind me saying that he is to the left politically.

Now in Chesterfield he has won - in my estimation, due to the fact that many former Conservative voters have turned to the Lib Dems - as the alternative to Labour. They are in effect voters who can be won bac to the Conservatives.

Now that won't give you a Tory MP in Chesterfield - but which direction the Lib Dems move (to the Left or Right) really will make a difference in other seats.

The question is would Clegg take the party to the right - and would their activists (not always representative of theor vote) follow?


The three biggest issues which David Cameron is talking about are the environment, social justice and localism.

The environment is an issue that no party can afford to ignore, social justice is an exact match to the values of One Nation which have been espoused by Conservatives since Disraeli's time and a smaller state is also a core Conservative value, so your rhetoric just does not stand up.

I heard Radio 5 Live this morning talking about Meinzes Campbell possibly being challenged by Charles Kennedy - hopefully this would destroy the Liberal Democrats for good and discredit liberalism.

Ming does indeed seem to be the Lib Dems' IDS - a decent chap who just wasn't up to the leadership.

Another EU proxy to control one of the main British political parties....(Denis Cooper)

The EU must be worried by the Labour meltdown. Cameron was backed by the media as he was thought to be a better option than Fox, who was openly eurosceptic, but he must be worrying EU hardliners now as he doesn't attend EU leader bonding sessions.

Clegg might be their next play. Funny to find the Daily Mail backing a europhile.

Murdoch's still backing Gordon Brown for safety play, but the EU must have their doubts. The blue and the red are both on the cushion. Maybe they can get the yellow over a pocket.

Ming does indeed seem to be the Lib Dems' IDS - a decent chap who just wasn't up to the leadership.
I rather think IDS was actually a very good leader and probably in 2005 would have done better than Michael Howard, there were many inside the Conservative Parliamentary Party who were out to get him from the start.

Meinzes Campbell left it rather late, he used to have dynamism and probably if he had become leader in the 1990's or immediately after the merger he would have been probably more successful than Charles Kennedy, but he just seems to lack the energy or the drive these days and it's possible he will stand down recognising he isn't up to being leader now.

William, the Daily Mail backed Clarke to become Tory leader.

Oh Yes, Denis. I forgot!!

So we have almost no eurosceptic media as it turns out, despite all the rhetoric!

Simon Heffer of course. Any others?

I tend to consider Heffer as more a volcanic rant-fountain than as "media".

The BBC have also mentioned the possible leadership challenge by Kennedy.

Yet Another Anon, I am not so sure a challenge by Kennedy would destroy the Lib Dems. After all there is nothing the British public like more than an underdog. Moreover the ICM poll commissioned by the BBC indicates that 53% of people believe that Kennedy would be the best leader of the party.

If anything is going to discredit the Lib Dems it will be Ming the Meaningless remaining at the helm for the for the foreseeable future. Let us hope that that will be the case.

I am not so sure a challenge by Kennedy would destroy the Lib Dems.
These days I think once you're labelled a drunk the label sticks, I actually just think that the problem with Charles Kennedy is that he just wasn't interested enough in policy detail, as with Neil Kinnock he fitted in on TV Game Shows and things like that but at least Neil Kinnock understood to some extent that knowing the party policy and the detail of that policy was important, if he had been stone cold sober all the time Charles Kennedy would still have this flaw and Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Ramsay MacDonald and a number of others while all well known for liking a bit of lubrication have still focused heavily on policy detail and so when they were asked a question they were able to come out with a clear correct answer.

When I hear Nick Clegg speak, I sometimes think he'd make a wonderful leader of the Conservative party. Ditto the even-sharper David Laws. We have to hope that the LDs under Ming move further left until the Orange-Bookers come back to their real ideological home, with us.

'Civil war' in the Lib Dems might actually cause us trouble in the short-term, if a credible capital-L Liberal grouping emerged. In the long-term, though, a socially and economically liberal grouping formed from present Conservatives and LDs is a very interesting prospect for capturing the minds [and votes] of all the next generation of voters.

Interesting times, as they say...

We make light of the golden shower at our peril. They are a serious campaigning force and whatever the left or right stance of their leadership, on the ground they have a knack of taking the position of "community activist" in a way which both Labour and Conservative councillors and activists seem to have lost.

We would be far better setting out a robust, liberal-conservative position on the centre ground issues of health, education and welfare, with a commitment to social insurance and mixed provision in health, vouchers and independent provision in education and a needs tested rather than means tested system of welfare, with far higher personal allowances and a flater, or even flat rate above for income earners and a simpler, but more incentive led welfare structure for those out of work.

These are all ideas which we have proposed before, which have been popular with the electorate and which were only rejected because they were poisoned by association with the conservative brand.

If we are re-habilitating that brand, we just need to re-present the policy suite in a more worked out and more endorsed variety and the right wing LDs should be with us and we should have the public on our side as well.

The BBC have also mentioned the possible leadership challenge by Kennedy
As did Atticus. Sounds co-ordinated.

I had a long-range bet on Clegg when Charlie bit the dust. Ming's doomed, anyway.

I am not convinced that Clegg would split the Liberal Democrats at all. He has genuine gravitas and an ability to engage with the parties grass roots. At the the last Yorkshire & Humber Lib Dem Conference he propossed a motion on 're-regulation' of busses so he is certainly not as dogmatically market liberal as some.

Ultimatly were Nick to ever be leader of the Liberal Democrat I am sure his formidable interllect and excellent communication skills would see him connect both with the party and the ellectorate at large.

Nick Clegg? Who's he?

Seriously, though - does anyone actually believe that Clegg is genuine. He is just another Lib Dem prepared and willing to say whatever will get him into power. Whenever he opens his mouth, I doubt whether what he says is what he truly believes.

He is a man of the far left, not of the centre or right. Being economically to the right does, in no way make up for his socially left views.

He is just another empty vessel like Tony Blair (and possibly David Cameron - though we shall have to wait and see about him.) He is a media creation without a care for real people. He has no convictions.

"Seriously, though - does anyone actually believe that Clegg(Cameron) is genuine. He is just another Lib Dem(Tory) prepared and willing to say whatever will get him into power...He is a media creation without a care for real people. He has no convictions."


Clearly a strong, fresh, young LibDem leader would seriously threaten Cameron's strategy. The question is, do the LibDems have the backbone to protect the seats the have now and act before the next general election?

Further to my above post - remember what people were saying about Blair in the mid 90s, and all the people that were duped by that. Clegg is just a repeat. We've heard it all before.

ROTFL! Thanks Chris, that was a real belly laugh.

A few months ago, Nick Clegg did concern me as a potential Lib Dem leader. He appeared young, energetic and bright. Perfect opposition for David Cameron. Then I met him...

Nick Clegg was not in the slightest bit impressive when he visited the University of York. I was invited by the Lib Dem association on campus, and whether he realised there were tories in the audience I don't know, but I felt his answers to questions were poor.

I am not an intimidating person. I asked a harmless question about whether because a Lib Dem leader gets 30 seconds a week at PMQs to impress the world, Menzies Campbell was failing as a leader. Instead of the inspiring "oh no, of course not" sort of comment, I got a rant back about how easy it was for us to sit back at home and criticise politicians and that there is nothing harder than doing well at PMQs. Needless to say, I was rather stunned by his reaction. I felt sorry for him more than anything, and had a word at the end for asking such an apparently hard and offensive question.

But thinking about it in hindsight it made me realise the relevance of this apparent problem answering questions in interviews. I think he would be a very bad parliamentary performer and very poor at interviews and PR.

Don't fear Nick Clegg, I think we should embrace him as much as we embrace John Prescott and Ming Campbell.

For anyone interested they are currently talking about Meinzes Campbell and David Cameron on The Weekend News on Radio 5 Live - some Liberal Democrat spokesperson and Michael Portillo talking to John Pieenar

"I tend to consider Heffer as more a volcanic rant-fountain than as "media"."

I am sure he has received no greater compliment.

Clegg put on a poor performance in a Hardtalk (BBC News 24) interview with Andrew Neill about 5-6 weeks ago.

Very unimpressive on a range of issues but especially on the economy.

I hope I'm wrong folks but I think there's a lot of complacency on this thread about Nick Clegg. I believe he will have a similar appeal to David Cameron. It could become a crowded market with two of the main party leaders offering a very similar pitch.

Couldn't these parties merge as they did in East Germany c 1948 to form the Socialist Unity Party (SED) ?

We could then have one party rather than waste all this time an effort on three identical groupings which is about as sensible as branding petrol

Clegg may be a media golden boy, but he has a great deal to do to persuade grassroots Lib Dems that he could unify the party. People who assume a Clegg leadership is just a matter of time forget that the Lib Dem parliamentary party is a good deal more right-wing than its activists. Currently, I think Clegg is so identified with the Orange Book tendency that he would be pretty well unelectable as leader of the party. He would certainly lose to Charles Kennedy in a contest, and probably to Chris Huhne. He does have time to turn the situation round, but there are a growing number in the party for whom he would be an "over-my-dead-body" choice as leader.

There is a pile of dead bodies of brilliant strategists and tacticians who have so far underestimated DC (I name no names) and the things being said here about Clegg remind me of things being said about DC 12 months ago. I'm prepared to give Clegg the benefit of the doubt.

In fact, there's strong reasons for talking up Clegg at the moment. It undermines Ming, galvanises the anti-Orange Bookers and raises expectations of Clegg to a level he can't deliver. As we say on the Isle of Dogs, omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset (everyone would agree he was capable of leadership until he actually gets the job).

Was I alone in thinking that Ms Wyatt's gushing hagiography of 'sexy' Cleggie was enough to turn the stomach?

I'm no fan of Peter Hatechens, but if this nauseatingly twee rubbish is what we can expect from a 'moderate' Mail on Sunday, then I'd rather put up with his bilious rants thanks very much.

Clegg worked for Leon Brittan in the European Commission. He was a respected MEP in East Midlands but got bored very quickly and found an easy way out by persuading Bill Turncoat-Dunn to defect in 2000 thus ensuring his succession after deciding to become a Westminster MP. He had been courted by Paddy Ashdown before Chucky's election as Leader so the path to power has been scented. Needless to say I do not trust him any more than I trusted Chuck. He was forced into a corner by Ming following Huhne's intervention.

We in the East Midlands know Cleggy. Last of the summer wine? No that's Ming. When we win the next election and Ming goes, watch Clegg. If Ming goes before then, watch Clegg.

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