CommentIsLinked@LDV: James Graham – Redefining liberalism

by Stephen Tall on December 19, 2008

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog yesterday, James Graham gave one cheer to Nick Clegg’s recent Why I am a Liberal speech, but urged the party to develop a much stronger response to the new recession politics. Read it in full here, but here’s the conclusion:

At a time when the Department for Work and Pensions is to be put under renewed pressure, limiting talk of social justice to tax cuts is unconvincing. What’s worse, it is clearly failing to win people over. Today’s ICM poll may show us slightly up, but over the past year the trend has been slightly down. Too much faith has been placed on Vince Cable’s punditry being capable of lifting the rest of the party up with it. Vince has bought the party enormous repositories of credibility but (whisper it) he is an economist not a campaigner. We have no story; we don’t even have any strong, positive messages.

Saying “I told you so” has reached its limits of usefulness – now we need to start explaining exactly how the party would respond to the looming recession in simple, understandable terms. At the moment, we aren’t even close.

Though as a coda to this James posted the first comment on his piece:

The problem with articles taking days to be published is that events tend to overtake. I would qualify that final sentance with: “but made a bloody good start today.”