lord rennard

Are the Lib Dems finally getting it?

lib dem rosette

There was a period, around this time last year, when all was sunny and optimistic in the yellow-tinged world of the Liberal Democrats.

It coincided with the election of Mike Thornton in the Eastleigh by-election. For those who don’t recall, this was brought on by the conviction and imprisonment of one-time leadership candidate Chris Huhne. It also coincided with the coming to prominence of the allegations of sexual harassment against Lord Rennard — which is still going on, by the way. It was also a target seat for the Conservatives, who dearly needed a boost.

The Lib Dems poured everything — people, money — into the seat, and in the end held onto it, whilst the Tories fell to third place behind UKIP. And all of a sudden, they could do it. They could survive May 2015 because clearly their vote hasn’t disapparated like everyone supposed.

Which is a profound misreading of the situation.

Read on…

The Art of the Politician’s Apology

eric pickles

It’s a funny thing, a politician apologising. Hardly a rare thing, but a fairly rarefied art form in itself, pitched in a certain tone, and phrased in a certain way.

It occurred to me after Eric Pickles’ apology on the Andrew Marr show, yesterday morning. It has been framed in the media since as a mea cupla on behalf of the government, admitting failure on the flooding in Somerset. Which is strange, since that isn’t actually what he said.

Observe; the “apology” of the saintly Secretary of State for (submerged?) Communities and Local Government:

Read on…