I spent most of the last week in Eastleigh, soaking up that rare commodity at recent by elections, the palpable sense that this was one the Liberal Democrats could win.
“The most important thing is getting the best person for the job.” How often have you heard this mantra when the idea of positive discrimination of any kind is muted? OK then, if we always get the “best person” for the job, be that in politics or anywhere else – we can only draw one conclusion – women just aren’t as good as men.
There are few issues that unite the Liberal Democrats across the social/economic liberal spectrum at the moment. However, the proposal to give up employment rights for shares, appears to be one of them. Despite a carefully worded defence by Vince Cable on Lib Dem Voice, the party just isn’t buying it.
This is the first year for a long time I haven’t attended Labour Party Conference with my work hat on. For those of us who do, or have done, the Party Conference circuit, it is always fascinating to contrast and compare.
For the last couple of days Lib Dems have been urged to go out and celebrate a clear Lib Dem win in the budget. The raising of the personal allowance has replaced free tuition as a totemic issue for our party. And of course I welcome it and acknowledge that it was no doubt hard fought for.