Friday, January 13, 2006

Interview with Menzies Campbell

In today's Grauniad:

Some good stuff:

"What I am in favour of is using the tax system to maximise opportunity - not to penalise initiative or aspiration. "

[On David Cameron] I know liberals. I have worked with liberals. David Cameron is no liberal. [I discuss David Cameron not being a liberal here]

"one of Blair's legacies will be that he has squeezed values out of politics. Along comes Cameron and says essentially 'I can do what he's doing but I'm a better manager'. One thing is certain: there isn't space for three management companies in the centre of British politics. What's required for us is a return to values, accompanied by an openness of mind...This is not self-indulgence. It's got to be accompanied by intellectual rigour."

"I would want Lib Dems to be consistent. We can talk about Shetland or the Scilly Isles - if we are serious about being a national party we need national consistency"

Some not so good stuff:

"Look at his voting record - he voted for Iraq. Some parts of my [Scots] Presbyterianism have stuck; by their works shall ye know them." [I know some pro-Iraq Lib Dems - silly man]

"Blair began to move... To the right." [Blair did not begin to move 'to the right' - Blair began to demonstrate authoritarian and centralising traits which are part-and-parcel of old Labour socialism and are retained today in Labour. Stop talking about right and left... agggggghhhhhh]

Some stuff that given he wrote the FT article in 1999 was made irrelevant by events but worth hearing it from him:

[On 'the project'] "Blair began pretty well after that [1997]. You could argue that when Ashdown went [in 1999] Blair was free, but Blair began to move in a way which would have made it impossible to sustain any kind of arrangement"

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1 Comments:

  • At 7:46 pm , Anonymous Valerie said...

    "Blair did not begin to move 'to the right' - Blair began to demonstrate authoritarian and centralising traits which are part-and-parcel of old Labour socialism and are retained today in Labour."

    Completely agree - I'm surprised this view isn't taken more.

    I agree Campbell gets some good points over - as he does in his Times article today as well ('To be Liberal is to be a moderniser.')

    While I vastly prefer this sort of values-based approach to the famous shopping-list approach of the election, though, I think he may ultimately need to put one or two policy items in his basket, or risk Huhne looking like the 'ideas man.'

     

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