Welcome to my day: 24 June 2024 – it would take a heart of stone, wouldn’t it?

Greetings from Lithuania, where your Day Editor is currently located following a rather enjoyable weekend away on Party business. Think of it as one of the side effects of a snap General Election…

Having spent much of the weekend surrounded by European liberal colleagues asking optimistically after our prospects, I’ve been talking them down a bit. After all, I’ve been around a long time and I know that the evil Tories always have something up their sleeves to unleash upon us at the moment of greatest vulnerability, usually courtesy of their mates in the right-wing press.

And yet, and yet, I fret that something beyond our control might harm our prospects. However, despite my vague disquiet, our campaign still appears to be running as smoothly as you could reasonably ask, and our key messages continue to resonate.

Returning to the troubled Tories though, the latest acts of sleaze, with accusations of “insider trading” on the date of the election, and now reports of a generous contract awarded by a minister to a known associate despite concerns from his civil servants suggests that the rot that set in under Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had spread even further than we might have supposed. And I guess that this makes sense. Take down the ethical guard rails of government without consequence and it might be easy to assume that there might not be any. After all, if you don’t expect to get caught, and your senior management are perceived to be ethically challenged, how great are the risks? Well, when you’re unpopular, it turns out that the risks are rather higher.

And the loss of a Director of Campaigns and Head of Data, both of whom might reasonably be expected to have had advanced notice of a snap election, probably makes fighting a campaign quite difficult. It seems as though anything that could go wrong for the Conservatives will do.

But, as the Conservative campaign has stumbled from cock-up to embarrassment and back, with money apparently either tight or non-existent, and local activists either staying at home or leaving for Reform, you begin to wonder whether there might not be anything left in their locker. And, even if there was, who would they fire it at?

It does at least feel to me that justice is being done, that what has happened to the Conservatives during the campaign is the result of moral and ethical failings as much as policy decisions. But, and I may be being a bit optimistic here, it does offer a warning to an incoming Labour administration that integrity matters. It’s an opportunity to change the way politics, and politicians, are seen by the public.

But there are just ten days to go, the polls are still broadly encouraging, and all we can do is keep doing what we’ve been doing. With a fair wind and a bit of luck, we’ll end up with a bunch more seats and a higher profile. So, best foot forward everyone, and enjoy yourselves in the sunshine!

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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One Comment

  • Patrick C Smith 25th Jun '24 - 9:03am

    As a `die-hard’ Paddy Ashdown L/D-awarded the badge of High Office in the form of the prestigioios St Michael and St Gerorge public service over his political life-time. I support moral integrity as the cornerstone of the Sir Ed Davy Election Campaign and task of cleanir public water supplies and lower bills especially in Thames Water domain and Social Care fit for the 21stC..But `Big Brother’ Starmer is high risk as well and does not represent the Change that Brritain requires as a `closet’ Socialist who supported supported Corbyn in 2017 and 2019 and 100 Crbynites on ballot lists .It suspends belief that Starmer stated that he only supported Corbyn as he did nt think he would win.Beware Starmer and his real motives as `Tax and Spend’ will cause the ailing British Economy to spiral on the world stage when a strong fiscal policy and lower Infaltion is in fact the lodestar to help for Ukraine and their eventail return of soverignty and liberation from brutal Dictator under NATO and vital protection of all 32 Sates including Lithuania.

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