Together in the Party interest

Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne

Image via Wikipedia

What do party conferences actually achieve?


While top Lib Dems rally their troops in Birmingham, and try to justify why it’s better to be inside the tent spitting out, rather than outside the tent spitting in, the IMF has reportedly said there is a one in six chance that the UK could fall back into recession.


The warning comes as yesterday the Business secretary Vince Cable also issued a gloomy outlook on the economy, by offering his Churchillian economic war-time message to party faithful. He did indeed say that the financial crisis was the modern equivalent of war.


He told them that the UK would probably not enter a phase of stable economic growth for a while, and also he had his opportunity to bash the bankers, and have a sly dig at his coalition partners the Tories.


But while Cable was trying to deny he was really a Bowler hat and briefcase type of politician,( i.e, a closeted Tory, like most of the Lib Dems secretly appear, and even though his speech seemed very Tory-like in tone), questions are gradually being woven in about Nick Clegg’s future as Lib Dem leader.


Cable wasn’t against Capitalism, and making money, just he wanted responsible money making, whatever that means.


Reports claimed at the weekend that Clegg would only serve one parliament, and would quit. He denied the rumours that apparently his wife wanted him to exit from the Lib Dem leadership scene.


However, we now learn from a grilling by Andrew Neil, that Lib Dem party president Tim Farron is not interested in replacing Clegg in future. According to reports last weekend, Energy secretary Chris Huhne who lost out to Clegg in the leadership contest, said that Clegg would make a great European Commissioner. So that’s a big hint that Huhne maybe jockeying for position when Clegg does step down, assuming there is coalition breakdown.


Asked if he wanted to be Lib Dem leader, he did the classic political trick of making out vehemently that he wouldn’t be in the running.


Farron also told Neil that he would much prefer to be like Simon Hughes. I take it from that he means a principled MP, who doesn’t flip-flop when the facts do not suit their political views.


Flip-flopper Ming Campbell, another ex-Lib Dem leader also told the Neil that it was lucky that the UK were not in the Euro, but that it still didn’t mean what goes on in the Eurozone, didn't mean that the UK wasn't at risk from further woes.


Italy’s credit rating has been downgraded by Standard and Poor's, the Credit Ratings Agency – and could default on its government debt.


Labour leader Ed Miliband is attempting to shrink the amount of Union votes, and increase the number of Labour party affiliated supporters, who are not actually Labour signed up members.


But, if it passes, and is rubber stamped by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, it would mean that, in a future Labour leadership contest, Unions would receive less share of the vote, and, on that count, had it happened last year when Miliband became leader, it would have been David, his brother steering HMSLabour, and not Ed.


What do all these stories have in common? Simple. Come party conference time, politicians love talking about themselves more, and not about the country. For three weeks, they all come together, united in the party interest.  

Enhanced by Zemanta