The Coalition may be limbering up to announce its mid-term review, billed as Coalition 2.0, early in the New Year. But it looks like Nick Clegg is going from something of a pre-emptive strike, perhaps closer to Equidistance 2.0, in a speech tomorrow. The Observer reports today that he will up the ante of anti-Tory rhetoric, saying:
“The Tory right dreams of a fantasy world where we can walk away from the EU but magically keep our economy strong; where we can pretend that the world hasn’t moved on and stand opposed to gay marriage; where we can refuse to accept the verdict of the British people and pretend the Conservatives won a majority of their own.”
Two-and-a-half years after the Coalition was born, it looks like it won’t now be so hard to “find anything to bloody disagree on in the bloody TV debate.”
But he’s not letting Labour off the hook either, arguing that the Opposition:
“lives in a different but no less destructive fantasy world where their irresponsible borrowing can be remedied by borrowing more; where every budget reduction can be opposed without explaining where the money should come from; where games can be played with political reform and EU budget policy without long-term damage to their credibility.”
We may be on the verge of entering 2013. But politicians’ eyes are increasingly focused on 2015. And Nick Clegg wants to use the next two years to ensure voters are in no doubt that the Lib Dems are different to both the Tories AND Labour.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.