Earlier this week Ed Vaizey MP wrote two much-blogged-upon posts for The Guardian’s Comment is Free. The first appeared to warm towards the idea of a LibDem-Conservative coalition and the second appeared to cool on the idea.
Peter Franklin (an occasional ConservativeHome Platformer) has reignited the debate on Comment is Free. Peter thinks the electoral logic is "obvious". But what, he asks, of the ideological logic: "Other than environmentalism, what can the two parties unite around?"
Peter believes that localism (recently discussed on ConservativeHome) is the "obvious issue":
"The Lib Dems are already signed up and the Conservatives are rapidly signing up. This shared agenda also allows the two parties to fudge their remaining differences on domestic policy by letting communities make their own decisions at a local level. Best of all, localism provides a common point of divergence from Labour’s centralising tendencies (soon to be reinforced under Gordon Brown)."
Earlier today the LibDems revealed that "David Cameron and Sir Menzies
Campbell are to meet in response to the Liberal Democrats’ challenge to
the Tory leader for a “minimum test of commitment on ways of tackling
The LibDems aren’t going into the talks in a concilatory frame of mind, however. Chris Huhne, LibDem environment spokesman, declared: “There have been a string of contradictions between David Cameron’s green words and his party’s blue actions. As well as supporting road-building in his first speech as leader, Mr Cameron has also failed to stop his MPs and Peers voting against key pieces of environmental legislation in both Houses." Perhaps Mr H’s tough rhetoric is more about reminding LibDem members that he, not the increasingly embattled Sir M, should have been their choice to succeed Charlie Kennedy.
Sir Ming is on BBC1’s Question Time tonight. It promises to be quite special. Also on the panel are Lord Heseltine, Hazel Blears and Piers Morgan.
Iain Dale has promised to live blog it.