The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Lib Dem Sandwich

Posted by The Futility Monster on March 15, 2010 @ 09:48

And a Lib Dem sandwich board, on a Lib Dem

Yesterday morning’s Andrew Marr Show was both amusing and a stark warning to the upper echelons of the Lib Dem Party. Nick Clegg, or one of his associates, managed to spot the same thing that I did yesterday morning… that both the Tories and the Labour party were trying to claim the Lib Dems as their own.

This should concern everyone in the party.

The other parties have clearly noticed the polling. They have also, no doubt, got their own private polling going on in marginal constituencies. And more than that, no one wishes to appear complacent anyway. Every vote has to be fought for and won. That’s the old axiom that will be trotted out over the next few weeks.

That has got them thinking. If the worst does happen (from their perspective) and they end up being the largest party but with no majority, what are they going to do?

Well, the easiest answer to the question is to stop asking the question, and instead turn the situation on the head.

Scare tactics. That old favourite of politicians for decades, well worn and trusted by the Karl Roves and Dick Cheneys of this world.

Rather than giving the electorate a compelling case to vote for you, let’s instead tell them why they shouldn’t vote for the opposition. After all, only idiots vote for them. And terrorists. Do you want this country to be bombed by Albert Kaida, Citizen?

Only this time, it has a twist. On top of the usual guff of negative campaigning, now we have a new strategy.

Well, the Lib Dems are my friends, really. And in fact, we’re so close that you might as well vote for me, because I love everything the Lib Dems do and will DEFINITELY!! implement their agenda if I get to power. No, you may not see my fingers. They aren’t crossed. You trust me, don’t you?

The Tories have been trying this strategy for years. They call it “love-bombing”. In Tory-Lib Dem marginals, the idea was to convince the Lib Dems that the new “liberal” Conservatives are so close to what the Lib Dems want that there’s no need for a Lib Dem party any more.

Fortunately, recent months have demonstrated that the Tories agenda is just as right-wing as ever, allowing the Lib Dems a way out of this tight embrace.

But now, on the other flank, Labour seem like they’re going to do exactly the same.

With all this love going round, the Lib Dems are going to have to be extremely careful. They will need to carve out the most sharply defined identity the party has ever had in the space of a mere seven weeks. And the message consistency will have to be rock solid.

Nick Clegg did a good job yesterday with his speech.

Over to the activists and the machine now…

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One Response to “The Lib Dem Sandwich”

  1. A.Friend said

    well i’ve written some words of wisdom to Nicky Clegg…i’m hoping he’ll take heed.

    http://letterfromafriend.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/a-letter-to-nick-clegg/

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