>So far we’ve had two competent campaign launches for leader. No embarrassments, no technical failures, no farcical elements at either. No sparkles, but you would get the impression that both of those guys could organise a civilised tasting session a vineyard.
Both of them seem to be saying similar things in slightly different ways. From Huhne it’s “a fairer society, people in charge”, from Clegg it’s about empowering communities and ordinary people.
There are subtle differences, though. Huhne talks about being our champion and taking the fight to our opponents. That’s nice, and subtle. We’re right already and he’s going to make the rest of the world believe it. A good thing to do if you want people to vote for you. I want to see from him that he’s looked beyond the leadership election to the general election.
On the other hand, Clegg talks about taking us out of our comfort zone and inviting in all those people with liberal values into our tent. We have to change to fit in with them. Bit more worrying, there. We might have to adopt things that we are slightly uneasy about, but it’s probably a bit more realistic. He used the liberal word a lot and the democrat word not once. I want to see from him that he will take the Party and its activists seriously and will lead by inspiration not by diktat and indifference.
Both of them get a minus point from me for failing to mention Scotland or Wales at all in their pronouncements so far. Remember we ran this place for the last 8 years and did some good stuff. They both need to prove that they understand Scottish and Welsh politics and realise that there is less appetite for the economic liberal model up here.
The devil will, of course, be in the details of their ideas. This is only the start of the campaign and a lot could change.
I still fervently wish that there was a wider contest – I’d quite like a bit of choclate and strawberry, or even some pistachio. For no other reason than it gives us the opportunity to showcase our talents and ideas. I suspect the media won’t bother much with a contest between 2 such similar contenders so we need someone else in there to mix it up a bit.