by Stephen Tall on August 30, 2009
Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog, Lib Dem blogger James Graham has a pop at the Lib Dem leader for squandering the political opportunity presented by a quiet August. Here’s an excerpt:
Where was Nick Clegg when #welovetheNHS kicked off? He did, in fairness, manage to fire off a single tweet – 24 hours late – but the party made no attempt to use this as an opportunity to carve out its own distinctive agenda on health. Four days after his return to Libya, Clegg did manage to squeeze out a press release about Abdelbaset al-Megrahi but while criticising Gordon Brown for not making his own position clear declined to do likewise. Considering Clegg was calling for the summer recess to be cancelled just a couple of months ago, this does smack somewhat of dropping the ball. …
… the silly season is a big opportunity for parties to set the political agenda in a period largely free of the daily grind of parliament. Our rivals certainly haven’t been blind to this fact, despite their own leaders going on holiday too. Indeed they have argued each other into a stalemate, with the Tories having a bad month but Labour failing to take advantage due to the fact that the public have already written them off. This was an open goal for the Lib Dems to seize the initiative in the run-up to the conference season. All it would have taken was a little planning and proactivity.
You can read James’s article in full here.