Then I woke up...
According to a poll in The Sunday Times, Nick Clegg is almost as popular as Winston Churchill. This is probably not doing Rupert Murdoch's digestion much good at the moment, which is, overall, a pretty good thing. For those who are not totally into the 'Clegg= The British Obama' narrative you may want to check out Tim Pendry's thoughts. For those of you who like fishing around in Memory Holes you may be interested in this (only from last month, but that is an eternity in the 24/7 continuous media-news-entertainment loop we now live under).
One of the mitigating factors working against a Lib Dem breakthrough, apart from an electoral system where the third placed party in terms of votes could be first in terms of MPs (and vice-versa- how on Earth is that democratic?), is the tribalism which infects British politics. Frankly, it is damn hard to vote for something you were not brought up to support. I said something in a post not so long back that politics and elections should not be treated like a sporting event, one where you support your side whatever happens. However, even now I would no more think of voting Conservative than cheering on Birmingham City FC! The fear of letting your perceived main enemy win can often paralyse any effective poltical action that would really change things. Perhaps if we get electoral reform for General Elections (a big if...) people will feel freer to vote for political parties they actually agree with (as happens in European, London, Scottish and Welsh Elections, which have PR elements). Until then I think 'my party, right or wrong' will continue to shape many, if not most, people's political views, as Julian Glover discusses.
It might have been worth putting a question mark at the end there...
What makes Gordon Brown tick? An interesting interview with Colin Harvie, author of Broonland and former acquaintance of the PM, sheds some light.
A critique of Phillip Blond's 'Red Toryism', which was half-adopted by David Cameron in the same way c.1996 Tony Blair half-adopted Will Hutton's 'Stakeholder Economy' concept, can be found here.
Finally, Dave Cameron is coming out with more cobblers, the sort Tony Blair would be proud of. After talking about ten year old members of the Royal Navy in last Thursday's TV debate (and nuking China), Call Me Dave was in fine form again yesterday:
'David Cameron clearly has trouble understanding childhood. In last week's debate he claimed to have met a man who joined the navy as a 10-year-old. Now the Tory leader seems convinced that he grew up in the 1990s. At the launch of his manifesto for older people yesterday he reminisced about his childhood, claiming the idea of the big society came from his parents. "My mother was a magistrate. She used to come home and tell us all stories about the Newbury bypass protesters and Swampy up his tree." At the height of the protests Cameron was 30 years old. And, apparently, still living with his parents.'
Black Wednesday, September 16th 1992: 'Mr. Lamont, can I go home now? Mother expects me home by 10 o'clock and my dinner will be burnt to cinders.' 'In a minute, son. Now watch and learn, watch and learn...'