In recently praising Jeremy Browne for arguing that the Liberal Democrats must guard against being pigeonholed as only being interested in issues that do not win much public support, I added a caveat about how his broader vision of what the Liberal Democrats should be for (social mobility – yuk) showed how inconsistent senior Liberal Democrats are being at the moment about what the party should be for.
We should answer the call of the head and the heart. This means that we deliver policies that both match the creed of liberalism and the sense of fairness that draws supporters to the party.
Aside from the obvious warning that this ‘tough but tender’ message was previously a favourite of David Owen, not exactly a role model for successful political leadership, that even when making similar points Clegg and Browne use such different language highlights, again, how unfocused the party’s core message is.
Updated to correct an error about when Nick Clegg gave the quote.