The Lib Dem round of pre-conference interviews today shows where the party wants to look distinctive. It is tax ‘fairness’, greenery and social mobility on which it has decided to set its stall.
One thing worth noting, though, is that Nick Clegg’s interview in The Independent does not rule out future welfare cuts. He tells Andy Grice that ‘We are not going to do an across-the-board, two-year freeze of all benefits during this parliament’. This leaves the Liberal Democrats plenty of room for manoeuvre ahead of the autumn statement on December 5th.
I expect that we won’t hear too much bashing of his coalition partners from the deputy Prime Minister himself at this conference. There’s an acute desire not to let the partisan posturing of the next few weeks halt the coalition’s renewed sense of forward momentum. A senior coalition source tells me that while both Clegg and Cameron ‘will oblige up to a point’ their parties desire for a bit of clear water, they are ‘keen not to put more distance between themselves and destabilise the coalition’.Tags: Coalition, David Cameron, Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, UK politics