Thursday, 1 January 2009

Lib Dems to consult with senior civil servants

. Interesting piece in The Guardian this morning; it reports that senior members of Nick Clegg's frontbench team will meet with Whithall officials to discuss the Liberal Democrat manifesto. The prospect of a hung-parliament is taken that seriously that it reports officials are 'dusting down the tomes' from February 1974 when Ted Heath stubbornly clung onto power despite having four seats less than Harold Wilson.

A Whitehall source is quoted as saying;

"You take the Liberal manifesto seriously not because you think it is going to be the government's programme. But there could be a hung parliament and deals around constitutional change or proportional representation [electoral reform.]"

Charles Kennedy turned down an offer to be involved in a similar process in 2005. However, Nick Clegg has accepted the invitation saying it shows 'how seriously' we take the policy making process. The Conservatives will also be involved in the process and Clegg will not be involved until Gordon Brown has kickstarted the process with David Cameron. Surely, this is highly interesting as an indicator of election timing?? If Brown had no intention of calling an election for another year then the whole exercise seems pointless to me this early on...

***For More See*** Irfan Ahmed and Liberal Democrat Voice

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