Wednesday, 23 September 2009

#ldconf providing the real alternative?

So it's conference season already and all the party machines are gearing up for their event of the year. For me, this year is already more exciting than previous years with twitter allowing the public a backstage pass and generating it's own public debate. Of course when I say 'more exciting' this is a step up from the political equivalent of a school assembly. In this non-literal game of 'follow the leader' the parties use the now highly publicised conferences to big themselves up. A couple of new policies might be announced but long gone are the days when heated discussion arose in those conference rooms.

Nevertheless with a summer that, in Britain at least, tends to generate very little political intrigue, us self-confessed anoraks take what we can get. With this surely in the back of their minds it is the Liberal Democrats who headline this years conference season and have already attracted much press attention. One does have to question if there would me this much interest if the conferences took place in say February but that is beside the point.

The Lib Dems seem to have gone on the offensive from what I have seen so far. Vince Cable in particular has challenged the Tories economic plans even referring to them as "ill-equipped politically, morally and intellectually for the challenges ahead" and stating in no uncertain terms that the shadow chancellor George Osbourne is too inexperienced to run the national economy.

It is clear that Clegg an the rest are on the hunt for votes but it is this really the best way to do it? The Lib Dems reputation as the 'nice guys' of Parliament is being challenged on a daily basis and isn't doing them any favour anyway but picking such petty squabbles will only generate hatred. In the same way, having poor excuses for having no policy is just as bad. Surely even the Lib Dems have to accept that they aren't going to beat the Conservatives at the next general election so surely their best bet is to attack the outgoing party and not completely alienate the incoming government?

Following my advice may mean the Lib Dems need to become even more authoritarian in their style and annoy me further but if it wins them votes I'm sure they won't mind too much about little ol' me.