Thursday, March 06, 2008

Small earthquake, no-one injured

For me, the famous newspaper headline about sums up the state of the Lib Dems today following last night's rebellion over Europe. An awful lot of nonsense is being talked about Nick Clegg following the loss of three of his shadow spokesmen over the issue, but to my mind, it will do him no lasting damage and could even be seen as having strengthened the party's frontbench line-up.

I say "loss" of three spokesmen, but they are really no great loss to be honest. Justice spokesman David Heath, the most senior of the trio, is well-liked in the party, and has been a good servant to successive Lib Dem leaders, but he has hardly been setting the Thames on fire of late and giving his job to Chris Huhne has allowed Clegg to beef-up the portfolio of one of his party's few proven operators - an astute piece of political management if you ask me.

The resignations have also allowed Clegg to cut the size of his bloated Shadow Cabinet - the only reason it was the size it was being the fact that he inherited so much deadwood from Ming. This should really have been done three months ago when Clegg took over but better late than never.

The Tories, and some Lib Dem bloggers, are trying to turn this into some sort of leadership crisis for Clegg, with Huhne seemingly poised to take over the top job at last, but the idea that the party would change its leader a third time in as many years is so utterly fanciful as to be utter bollocks. Here's what I have written on Iain Dale.

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Anonymous said...

Clegg's antics will certainly cost the Lib Dems most of their MP's in the south west not to mention support in next year's Euro elections.
And for what?To be the party leader to apply a 3 line whip forbidding his MP's from making a descision?
I had thought that Clegg was going to give Dave a run for his money,instead Calamity makes Ming look competentent.

Toque said...

The Conservatives had a good headline on their website the other day - "Brown 'in denial' over 24-hour drinking"

Made me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Clegg was never going to be replaced, but he has been embarrassed and had his credibility knocked down several pegs.