Sketch: Preaching to the unconverted – and unconvinced
Danny Alexander’s question was: “What have the Lib Dems done for you?” Unfortunately, the Lib Dems themselves clearly did not know.
In a session entitled “Two years in with the Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP”, there was a distinct feeling that two minutes with the architect of the coalition agreement and Cutter in Chief (aka Chief Treasury Secretary) might be too long. But undeterred by the lack of warmth, Mr Alexander removed his tie and, looking a little like a dodgy salesman, put his pitch to a sceptical audience that the Lib Dems had achieved great things in coalition.
His slide show demonstrated that 75 per cent of the Lib Dem manifesto was in the coalition agreement, compared with 60 per cent of the Tory manifesto. The pupil premium in England, lifting people out of income tax and “a whole raft of other things”, he said. Now it was time to review the agreement, but “that does not mean rip it up and start again”. “Shame!” somebody at the back called.
When the questions came from the floor, most seemed to want to know: “How can we show voters we are not the same as the Tories?” Eventually, a frustrated Mr Alexander said: “You keep asking me what the Conservatives think, I am here to talk about what Lib Dems think.”
The trouble for him was that the Lib Dems in the room did not seem to think much of his list of achievements.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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