28 June 2014

The new Lib Dem summer campaign is an admission of failure

I had the dubious priviledge earlier in the week to listen in to Nick Clegg and a couple of his teenage acolytes (who are apparently big in the campaign department these days) launching the party's summer campaign.

It is rather strangely entitled 'A record of delivery' - which sounds like the CD you might buy on the way out of the new Postman Pat movie.  Nick Clegg - with his tin ear to party history - claimed this would be familiar to Lib Dem campaigners - referring to the ALC inspired 'Record of action' - but failing to understand the crucial difference. 

Action is a word used by people on the street - it's what they expect their politicians to take   Delivery is what people who work for the Post Office (or indeed Lib Dem activists) do.

But one big criticism isn't the ugly, soulless (focus grouped) language (or indeed the typos in the document) - it is the fact that the party is now launching a campaign that one of these acolytes - Steve Jolly, the party's 'Head of National Campaigns' - says "Tell(s) voters that we have delivered a Liberal Democrat agenda in government"

I argued as long ago as September 2011 that the big failing of Clegg's strategy was his utter inability to communicate any sort of Liberal Democrat agenda for government.  So it is no wonder over the last four years that voters have decided this is a Tory government in all but name.

So now Clegg and his team are basically wanting what's left of the party to try and recover the ground (in ten months) he has lost over the last four years.  You have to admire his chutzpah if nothing else.  But it is a huge admission that his strategy over the last four years has utterly failed.

The other big criticism is the bit after the 'Record of Delivery'.  The 'Promise of More' works where Lib Dems have dealt with local concerns, campaigned for improvements and can point to solid successes over the years.  Sadly without that public acknowledgement that the party has achieved anything in goverment (which apparently the party's own polling recognises as a major issue) a promise of more sounds simply like a plea to keep Clegg and his dozens of (frightfully bright) advisers in highly paid jobs for another five years. 

And the five policies that form the 'promise of more' are hardly going to set the heather on fire:
  • More deficit reduction - but do it fairly
  • Further increase in the personal allowance
  • New 'fair' rules on immigration
  • Write pensioners 'triple lock' into law
  • Invest more in education
If that's the best Clegg and his vast team of SPADs can come up with then the game is really up.  It's a pathetic programme that show's he's run out of ideas going forward.  He's put the party in a place where he's trashed its past, failed to communicate any positive present and is now outlining a uninspiring, technocratic future (no doubt aligned again with Cameron's Tories). 

Sorry Nick - your time's up.


  1. Completely agree Dan - why not join our campaign to oust Clegg?

  2. Just read the campaign pack.

    Oh dear...

    The only education promise we make in the whole thing is... "Ensure every child is taught by a qualified teacher"... er... that's it...