It seems unlikely that either David Laws or Nick Clegg is going to appreciate appearing on this list, The Right’s 100 Most Influential People, compiled by Iain Dale and Brian Brivati for the Torygraph. David ranks 66th, Nick 44th – here are their profiles:
66. DAVID LAWS MP
LibDem Spokesman on Work & Pensions
Laws was approached by George Osborne to defect last year but he rebuffed the advance. He is probably the most right-leaning LibDem MP and holds distinctly free market views on a whole range of issues.
His influence will be determined by the degree to which he can encourage his party to fall in line with his views. He will be a key player in any Lib-Con coalition talks.
44.NICK CLEGG MP
Home Affairs Spokesman, Liberal Democrats
What’s a Lib Dem doing on a list like this? Clegg is the leading right of centre disciple of ‘Orange Book’ politics. He’s the antithesis of the stereotype ‘beard & sandals’ Lib Dems, who mutter about him being a ‘closet’ Tory.
He’s the sort of liberal who actually understands the historic meaning of the word and is likely to become even more influential when he takes on Chris Huhne for the Lib Dem leadership.
According to the list’s authors:
Being on the right does not just mean support for the Conservative Party, so the list contains figures from UKIP, right of centre pressure groups, businessmen, bloggers and the odd celebrity. The term “right” encompasses both the libertarian and authoritarian traditions. You can be socially liberal as well as socially conservative and still be classed as on the “right”. It is a big tent and we have attempted to find the one hundred people who most deserve to live in it.
David, Nick – I guess you’ll just have to take it as a compliment, and use your new-found leverage to help those on the right understand what liberalism is all about.
(Hat-tip: Jock Coats.)