The Clegg and Huhne race – closing stages

What have we learned during this race?

"Calamity" Clegg and "Euro" Huhne have slugged it out, only to hear from the former Leader, Charles Kennedy, unflattering judgements. He does not think either of them have made their positions clear, in a way which will rally the Lib Dem cause. He does not feel motivated enough by either to declare for one of them.

I think Charles is being a bit harsh. Several things remain crystal clear:

1. Both promised a referendum on the EU Constitution before the last election. Both have ratted on their promise.
2. Both are former MEPs who want more European integration.
3. Both want more regional government in England on the European model.
4. Both want to impose a local Income Tax, so Councils can tax us more.
5. Both favour more green taxes.

The biggest difference between them is Huhne draws attention to the manifest contradictions of his rival, Mr Clegg, who likes facing both ways on big issues, whilst Mr Clegg just watches innocently as others brief about Mr Huhne’s past in the newspapers.

This site has forecast Mr Clegg’s victory. I go further today, and say how much I would welcome a Lib dem flip flopper with so little experience as their Leader. It would be as good having Ming Campbell from my political point of view. His rambling interviews reveal an inner inability to make up his mind and to lead, which capture the spirit of his party.

Were the Liberal membership to be awkward now and vote for Huhne, the Lib Dem MPs would look even sillier than usual, as they have voted by a majority for Clegg. Most of them would have acquired a touch of the Lembit’s.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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