Less than two months before the election and it's time for Nick Clegg to tell us who his political heroes are. This will really be one in the eye for those who say the Lib Dem leadership is trying to move the party to the right. How foolish they will look when he praises Ghandi or Keir Hardy or Arthur Scargill.
But who to choose, who to choose, who to choose.... hmmm. Madame Thatcher? The politician he most wants to to align himself with is Margaret Thatcher.
But hold on, no, perhaps he's admiring the fact that she was firm in her views but not what she actually did. Oh. No. Actually he "admires" the way she took on "vested interests", otherwise known as the trade unions.
The Spectator reports;
Age, he claims, has taught him the point of Lady Thatcher. And, indeed, he now seems to see her as something of an inspiration.He also brags that not only is he more free market than the Tories he wants to institute more cuts than them too and will not raise tax by one penny in order to offset the hardship those cuts would unleash.
‘I’m 43 now. I was at university at the height of the Thatcher revolution and I recognise now something I did not at the time: that her victory over a vested interest, the trade unions, was immensely significant. I don’t want to be churlish: that was an immensely important visceral battle for how Britain is governed...
This is what I sometimes don’t understand about the Cameron-Osborne act. A real liberal believes in genuine competition...
‘What I find so striking is that the spirit — dare I say it — of the battle against the dominance of one vested interest, the trade unions, is exactly the same spirit we need now.’
I'm of a different opinion to Mr Clegg. I think I detect a nuance of a hint of a sliver of a difference between us. However, to be fair to the Lib Dems the members are closer to Labour than the Tories and many have good progressive instincts, but they are lumbered with a bungling, cack-handed right wing leadership. Frankly, despite my disagreements with them more generally, they deserve better.