by Stephen Tall on April 15, 2010
Pushed for time, but want to keep up-to-date with how the campaign’s going? Here are today’s must-reads …
Liberal Democrat manifesto: Tough but fair (Guardian)
- Opportunity knocks for Nick Clegg in a political talent show (Times)
- LIB-DEM ELECTION MANIFESTO: LET ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BECOME BRITISH CITIZENS (Express)
There’s a warm welcome for the party’s manifesto from the two progressive quality papers. Here’s the Grauniad:
Right now, the Liberal Democrats are in the midst of what may be the most important 48 hours of their entire election campaign. The manifesto launch suggests that the Lib Dems are well aware of the stakes. For their moment in the spotlight, they chose a focused, costed and serious political message. Unlike the design-led offerings of their opponents, the Lib Dem manifesto is content-led. With the party’s four key priorities on tax, schools, jobs and political reform listed on its front, this is one book that you can judge by its cover.
The Indy praises the party’s “realistic and imaginative solutions”, and notes two factors in the party’s favour:
The widespread feeling of “a plague on both their houses”, attributable in part to the MPs’ expenses scandal, helps explain why more voters favour the outcome of a hung parliament than a victory by either of the main parties. So might the increasingly confident performances put in by the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.
Have you heard? Apparently there’s something on t’telly tonight, and Peter Riddell has some advice for the Lib Dem leader:
Nick Clegg has his big chance tonight. The least publicly known of the three main leaders is being treated as an equal in a nationally televised event. Mr Clegg’s advisers could hardly believe their luck when Conservative and Labour negotiators agreed to his participation in all three debates.
But opportunity is not the same as achievement. His basic tactic is obvious: to differentiate himself from the two other leaders by playing the trust/candour card as he did at the manifesto launch. He wants to personalise a new start for those disenchanted with mainstream politics, emphasising his distinctive stand on civil liberties and “trust in politics”. This is tricky for someone who has been a full-time politician for much of his adult life.
He has to adopt a different style from Prime Minister’s Questions when he has to be assertive, even strident, to make an impact. Rather, he has to be the reasonable man, to sound authentic, but not too wordy or patronising.
Sometimes it’s the bad press the party can be most proud of – to attract the opprobrium of the nastily right-wing rag the Express is one such badge of honour:
NICK Clegg threw open Britain’s borders to thousands of immigrants yesterday when he insisted that foreigners living here illegally were welcome to become UK citizens.
In a startling pre-election pledge, the Liberal Democrat leader said that those people who had been living in the UK without the correct documentation would be allowed to become British citizens after 10 years if they spoke English, had a clean record and wanted to live here long-term.
Sounds good to me.
These are the three pieces which caught my eye – seen or heard anything else in today’s media to draw LDV readers’ attention to? Let us know in the comments thread.