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Thursday, January 12, 2006


Clegg to join the party?

Guido reports that Lib Dem sensation Nick Clegg is taking soundings, no doubt prompted by fellow Orange Bookers Chris Huhne and Mark Oaten both deciding to stand. Clegg has surely also been encouraged by the highly favourable comments he received in the Telegraph and the Times yesterday. With Campbell put in his place by Blair at PMQ’s yesterday (“Ming the Massacred” - as the Times hilariously japed), the field has been blown wide open.

It was generally thought that the younger Lib Dems would support Menzies Campbell as a uniting force for the leadership, knowing that he would be forced to stand down after the next general election on age grounds. This would vacate the seat for them to battle it out amongst themselves, however, this tactic is now not an option. With Chris Huhne today entering the contest, it has forced the hand of his fellow Orange Bookers and hence we may see Clegg stand. The battle originally planned for 2009 is happening now.

As if the election process wasn't confusing enough already - The Guardian point out today that a loophole in the Lib Dem rules means that there is nothing to stop MPs from signing up for more than one leader! This could ensure that in the nominations process, the Orange Book candidates don’t block each other from standing by taking votes from the limited pool of right-wing MP’s. With the election itself using preferential voting, it shouldn’t split the OB vote and let Hughes in – worse luck for Cameron!

Moving away from the Lib Dems, the New Statesman has an interesting article about what it’s calling “the Adrian Mole generation” of new politicians – Cameron, Clegg, Opik, Alexander, Miliband et al. Worth reading.

Hmm, seems Huhne may have blown things asunder a little. Interesting to see the bookies suddenly surging to make Simon Hughes favourite, having assured us all the other day that no-one other than Ming had it in the bag...
Do feel a little wary of the fact this multi-media opposition seems to act so fast, and ensure whoever is the early favourite ia only riding for a fall, vituperatively delivered... eg. Messrs Davies, Campbell.
He did come across as utterly hopeless at PMQs yesterday, though... Who oh who oh who oh who vetted that 'temporary headteachers' question without foreseeing every which way eventuality...?
Ah well, you play the lazy yet snidey game, you can't expect to call all the shots, all the way through...
Hughes strikes as an excellent constituency MP, probably a good party president, but can't see him stemming the policy meandering Kennedy too failed to control...
Maybe Clegg, having played so loyally hard to get these past few days, while mopping up Press credentials, will reluctantly be pressed forward to accept his crown...
T'would certainly be intriguing, at the very least.
All I can say is: anyone but Teather, per-lease...

Dudek was quoted as saying, directed to Benitez: "Why doesn't he behave like a decent person for once in his life and start treating me in a proper way, like I always have him?"

I couldn't agree more. And I hope the above puts all this nonsense about Clegg in perspective.

Guido reports today that Clegg feels he has left it too late and wont stand. Looks like the four we have at present are the only four we will get. Maybe Sarah Teather will stand next time AKR, we can only dream!

Jon, Everton analogies only if you please!

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