Chris & Nick: two alternative takes

The Guardian’s Comment is Free website today carries two articles by leading Lib Dems endorsing their favoured candidate.

You can read Lynne Featherstone’s reasons for supporting Chris Huhne here. And here’s a flavourful fillet:

We need someone brave, radical, clever, willing to be dangerous and different – someone who will really upset and challenge the vomit-worthy consensus now devouring any remaining difference between Labour and the Tories – a converging and unedifying coalition – where vote-catching offers are the name of the game. And where beliefs and values don’t mean a thing. I don’t want us to join in that game. The last thing we Lib Dems need now is to join the “say anything to get votes” agenda, which has seen huge poll swings and insane volatility. We have to be the ones standing up to that consensus. I believe Chris can take that on and has the cojones to do it!

Meanwhile, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown has thrown his support behind Nick Clegg, which you can read in full here. And here’s an extract:

… the party’s next leader needs not only to be a skilful communicator who can make the Liberal message relevant to the modern age, but also to possess the intellect and the vision needed to develop and define that message. They then need the skill, the energy and the burning ambition necessary to take the party, and the country, with them. There is only one person, in my judgment, who displays all these qualities. That person is Nick Clegg. It is well known that he has an extraordinary ability to communicate. In an age of 24-hour media attention, that is obviously important. What is perhaps less well-known – for now – is that he is also a man of real substance and conviction.

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6 Comments

  • Geoffrey Payne 18th Oct '07 - 9:13pm

    Although I am backing Chris Huhne, I am reassured that Steve Webb’s support for Nick Clegg would imply that he is more moderate than some of his supporters.
    Since they are very similar to each other politically, I simply think that Chris Huhne has a better command of his brief and is a better debater.
    I think we can all agree that both would make better leaders than Brown or Cameron.

  • Bonkalot Jones 18th Oct '07 - 11:31pm

    Hmm.. But it does it really matter who your leader is ? Don’t you make policy on a totally democratic basis, and therefore avoid all this presidential stuff ? Do you need a leader at all ? Maybe you could take it in turns…

  • Quite, Bonkalot, just what I’ve been arguing for.

  • Neil Bradbury 18th Oct '07 - 11:56pm

    I supported Chris last time but I was hoping for a few more charasmatic characters this time. These two are far too similar. Am I alone in not trusting the establishments enthusiasm for Clegg when their judgement was so flawed on backing Ming without question?

  • 5 – nope. I’m not convinced by either – Huhne has question marks over his integrity having been responsible for the wispering campaign against Ming, and is worthy, but dull – a sort of John Major with a conscience if you will.

    Clegg fills with fear that he is simply a Blair/Cameron clone – shiny presentation but lacking in substance.

    With either I can’t see what our USP is.

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