Coffee House

The Lib Dems must start to claim credit for the Coalition’s economic successes

3 June 2014

2:58 PM

3 June 2014

2:58 PM

Jokes about their lock-in aside, today’s re-launch by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable apparently heralds the Deputy Prime Minister’s attempt to get the Lib Dems to take credit for policies announced in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech. Reform of the pub sector is one of those policies – although wooing CAMRA members is a rather Lib Demmish thing to do (HQ sources tell me that they’ve never polled Lib Dem support among CAMRA members, though. Perhaps they should).

Beyond pubs, what the Lib Dems really need to do is to claim or at least share credit for the Coalition’s economic successes. Nick Clegg pleased his base but alienated the electorate with his ‘party of IN’ campaign, and then tried to recover from it by differentiating the Lib Dems from the Conservatives on international development spending. But these are concerns of the Lib Dem base, rather than the electorate as a whole. As James says in his column in this week’s magazine, ‘a large part of the party’s problem is that the voters are aware of so few of the things that it has done in government’. And the things that the party should try to get credit for are the big issues, such as the recovering economy, over and above reforms for pubs.

Clegg and Danny Alexander have been beavering away at this credit-claiming mission for a little while now, and have enjoyed a little success, with one poll finding that 45 per cent of voters credited them for the rise in the personal tax allowance, against 33 per cent who said the Conservatives deserved more credit for this policy. But their internal party management problems have distracted them from the more important job of trumpeting their achievements.

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Show comments
  • Thomtids

    Which bit of £500 billions on the National Debt over the current Administration might have “improved” the Economy? One day, there has to be a reckoning which no amount of money-printing, or over-spending will sort out. The whole silly game is up. When the British money has been sucked out of our bank accounts through negative interest rates and inflationary price rises for fuel and power supplies, where is Europe going to get its level of demand from then?
    Anyone for another 5 years of wonky wonga?

  • The Masked Marvel

    A large part of the party’s problem is not so much that too few voters are aware of what the LibDems have done while in government, but that most of their voters are so stupid, idealistic, and intolerant that they began to turn against the party the moment its leaders formed a Coalition with evil Tories. It wouldn’t matter how much better LibDem supporters were educated about the party’s accomplishments. Its more credit from their mates in the press that the Cleggers so desperately seek. Many of them turned away from Labour thanks to Blair in the first place, and will now be returning to Labour.

  • Peter Stroud

    Two LibDem actions should not be forgotten: the botched Lords reform bill, and reneging on the “democratic” boundaries equalisation bill.

  • DaveTheRave

    Their main achievement is in supporting the Tories putting up tuition fees THREE FOLD and consigning a generation(s) of young people to continual debt… all except those like rich Tories and LibDems (and most of Labour) who went to public school, did PPE at Oxbridge, who will have their ‘debts’ paid off at a stroke by Mummy and Daddy. A lesson in totally barmy economics – hit the very people you need to have more spending power. The answer? EMIGRATE!

  • Smithersjones2013

    The reality is they can only take a small part of the plaudits for the successes of this government. Whther they like it or not Cameron is Prime Minister and Osborne is Chancellor. Alexander (let’s forget about Laws transgressions) amongst his responsibilities has public spending and this government missed its targets and is still borrowing £100 billion plus. That’s a big fat fail for him. Now if one looks at the GDP figures, improvements are very much still as a result of retail sector and house sales so Cable has failed to rejuvenate business anywhere near as much as is required and the economy is still imbalanced and vulnerable. Strike two.

    Then we have the dismal Davey (Huhne is best forgetten) whose windmills are a blot on the landscape and who has overseen the biggest part of the cost of living crisis (extortionate energy prices). Strike three. Then one only has to recall that Harman, Prescott and Beckett were Clegg’s predecessors to realise that DPM is where they park the most useless of senior politicians. They will soon be out…

    In more detail we have the tuition fees betrayal, the support of the VAT bombshell, the Lords reform farce, the boundary changes betrayal, The AV circus and the subsequent hysterical ravings in defeat, Baroness Tongue’s intolerance, Lord Oakeshott’s malevolence, Lord Rennard’s handiness and Mike Hancocks special attention not to mention Messrs Laws and Huhne’s indiscretions.

    Put that lot with the collapse of their vote and numerous election disasters and exactly what ‘achievements’ have they to trumpet?

    PS Does anyone know what Clegg and Cable were drinking. It wouldn’t have been ‘Old Peculiar’ or ‘Great Gable Liar’ would it? Or perhaps it was their old favourite ‘Yellow Peril’?

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Are we allowed to mention the failure to step up to the duties of government or the betrayals?

  • Airey Belvoir

    Some hapless flunkey has forgotten to remove the ‘Labour’ rose from the table. Or maybe Vince put it there to remind us where his heart is.

  • 2trueblue

    Who ever does not know about the LibDums claims has not been breathing for a long time. We hear little else from them. What they fail to see is that they are a small part of the electorate who have wielded huge power. They have spent a lot of time backstabbing their coalition partners, who by and large have been supportive of them.
    Clegg and his party still do not get what the electorate say. After disastrous results in the elections just gone they fail to get it. The electorate do not want stronger ties with the EU and still the LibDums say that their view, the LibDums is right.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so pretty much exactly like the Camerloons, then?

      • 2trueblue

        You need to widen your vocabulary……… Camerloons, Camerluvvies, get out more.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …no need, lad. It fits you Camerluvvies perfectly.

          • 2trueblue

            Ah Laddie get a life.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …says the whiny Camerloonian troll.

              • 2trueblue

                As usual you are ill mannered and rude…. your stock in trade mate, with little else to contribute.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …says the whiny Camerloonian troll, ill manneredly and rudely trolling after my posts.

  • Wessex Man

    I suppose this is their idea of a drink with the lads, looks pretty boring to me, I rather have a laugh with Nige and the lads!

  • swatnan

    No doubt in the marriage of convenience whose wearing the trousers.
    And its not Dave.

    • Grey Wolf

      Neither are you!

  • HookesLaw

    The entire govt deserve credit for the tax allowance policy. Will the LDs claim credit for how it was paid for? Its not free money… It was paid for by not reducing higher allowances and by VAT increases. The LDs are silent on this, as are you Ms Hardman probably because it never crossed you dim journalistic brain. The govt helped the low paid at the expense of the better off. It was spreading the pain of Brown’s recession.
    A good and noble thing for the govt and of course the better off. But you choose to ignore it as do the LDs… It also gives a lie to labour’s attacks… But again we can expect thick journos to ignore that as well.

    • southerner

      Still waiting for your comments on your Davey’s third place at the Euros.

  • HookesLaw

    If the lib dems had spent less time attacking their partners in govt then I might have more time for them taking some credit foty other policies.
    But as part of a govt they should be sharing in all the ups and downs instead of trying to disassociate themselves from the downs.
    They should be supporting the govt in the round not in piecemeal.
    But then again do not get me started on thick nutjob tory backbenchers.

    • Wessex Man

      Good grief! is there anyone that you have the slightest affection at all? have you ever loved anyone in all your life? I don’t mean framed pictures of Heath, Major or Cameron mind Hooky babe!

  • John Dalton

    The Lib Dums would be better off drafting their apology to the electorate for wanting to force us further into the maw of the sinister unelected federal EU monster, keep our borders open to further the complete cultural displacement we have been forced to suffer – and promote all manner of other twisted bleeding heart nonsense that no one wants outside the liberal leftie London bubble. Oh and there’s a few scandals to atone for too…

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Actually, the LibDumbs might best start making out their political last-will-and-testament.

    And I see from the picture above, they’re starting out with an Irish wake. Not a big turnout for them, apparently, sorta like May 22 come to think of it.

    • CharlietheChump

      and an emotional goodbye letter.

      • telemachus

        Goodbye to Nick
        Vince can stay at business when the forces of reason take over next May

    • Hello

      Are you hoping they’ll leave the mantle of “Pointless Party” to you?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …actually, on May 22 they shared the pointless party mantle with you Camerluvvies, lad.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …which is fitting, given this spawn-of-satan coalition.

          • HookesLaw

            Go back to kissing the grand wizards backside

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

              • Wessex Man

                Well I’ve got to say that no I can’t but then I’m not a socialist or a nutter or a brown noser like hooky.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Dalai Guevara and his menagerie of gibberish spouting socialist nutter sock puppets? No. Nobody could understand his socialist nutter gibberish.

        • Hello

          True. How’s it going in Newark, babe?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …well, the Camerluvvies’ shat pants indicator dial seems to be reading “WIDE STREAKS”.

            • Hello

              Sweet.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …well yes, based upon the evidence, one would have to presume you Camerluvvies find that a sweet smell.

                • Hello

                  Why are you so defensive all the time? I was just expressing cautious delight that things are going so well for Ukip in Newark. I wasn’t being mean.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …who’s defensive, lad? I enjoy making sport of you Camerluvvies.

                • Hello

                  I know, that’s what I admire about you.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …no, you don’t admire anything. You’re a Camerluvvie, remember?

                • Hello

                  Ok, fine. You’re getting defensive again.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …wait, I thought that was an admirable quality? Don’t tell me a Camerluvvie is lying or something?

                • Hello

                  No, I admire the way you get such pleasure from making sport of all this.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, you don’t admire anything. You’re a Camerluvvie, remember?

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