There has been a fair bit of comment in the Lib Dem blogosphere in the last couple of days about the document that Nick Clegg produced recently called "The Liberal Moment".
Well, like a good little Lib Dem blogger I have tried to read it all but various work stuff has got in the way and I am only about half way through it. I am actually quite enjoying it though and agreeing with a fair bit so far. Maybe this is what some others have implied about it "tickling liberal erogenous zones". If so, then that's fine by me! Helps to confirm that my political instincts are quite closely aligned with that of the party.
I will try and finish reading it over the next few days when I am at the Lib Dem conference. I better had actually because when I am on the radio on Monday they will probably ask about it and I don't want to look like I have not done my homework!
Anyway, I am nearly half way through it now and whilst I might do a fuller post on this when I have finished it, I just wanted to make a few observations thus-far:
- I am pleased to see him right at the start refusing to succumb to the overtures that we should "fall in line with Gordon Brown to hold back the rise of the Conservatives". I cannot speak for other Lib Dems but if it was up to me I would not prop up any government led by Gordon Brown in a million years.
- I hoovered up the points near the start about how Labour has allowed their instinct for collective action to move too far in the direction of authoritarianism. I have seen this happen time and again with illiberal measures being proposed and brought in along with a strong feeling that we are seeing "ends justifying the means".
- There seems to be a fair bit of wishful thinking trying to draw parallels between the position of Labour in the 1920s and the position of the Lib Dems now. I am not yet convinced that we are poised to become the second party as much as I would like to see it happen. Our focus on target seats and the often poor state of the party in seats where there isn't currently a high chance of getting an MP militates strongly against this.
- I am glad to see the increasingly pluralistic nature of our democracy being highlighted. I blogged about this a couple of months ago using similar figures to those that Nick uses showing that the two main parties have gone within around 50 years from having well over 90% of the vote between them to barely two-thirds in 2005. Yet the electoral system still stitches everything up in favour of the two big boys. We need to keep banging on about this at every opportunity.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of it.