Surprisingly, the Evening Standard keeps coming back and asking for my view on issues libdemmery. This time they obviously wanted to capture some dissent regarding an unusually smooth conference. Sorry, no joy there!
This year's LibDem conference has been an extraordinary affair. Where media commentators travelled to Birmingham expecting discontent at poll ratings to spill over into widespread revolt against the leadership they've come out reporting the businesslike nature of a serious and professional agenda-setting event. The party has successfully positioned itself at the front and centre of policy debate tackling the full range of public concerns to give far-sighted and level-headed answers on everything from gender equality to energy issues.
A considerable resolve to resist any panic with a desire to get on with the job at hand has been on show. Throughout all the clamour for more right-wing influence on the coalition the clarity of LibDem purpose is enabling the party to grow up in the spotlight of public scrutiny. And despite all the apparent strength of opposition to the coalition's deficit reduction plan it is a remarkable fact that Nick Clegg's popularity and trust ratings are still higher than Ed Miliband's!
LibDems understandably feel squeezed between the twin forces of political choice and political reality, but in this the party experience perfectly reflects everything the country has gone through since the financial bubble burst. So any discomfort felt by activists and representatives alike offers a prime perspective to help find way to help dig the country out of the current predicament. Don't discount this peculiarly British underdog just yet!
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