Ben Brogan: "His opener was angry: Britain under Brown, where hedge fund managers pay less tax than their cleaners and a Government leads the country into an illegal war, is not a liberal country (it’s noticeable that Ming more often than not drops the word ‘democrat’). He poked easy fun at the way Mr Brown and Mr Cameron are dancing around Lady Thatcher. And he tore into the "cosy consensus" being preached by the main parties as a cover for political stitch ups. His pitch is five freedoms – opportunity, good health, personal security, prosperity for all and a clean environment – backed by traditional liberalism."

James Forsyth: "The section on foreign policy was a crowd pleaser but does show that the Lib Dems are now, absurdly for a supposedly serious party, fully signed up to the idea that George W. Bush is more of a threat to the world  than Iran."

Lloyd Evans: "Ming’s problem isn’t that he looks like a walking mummy but that he’s so comfortable looking like a walking mummy. He has one of those kindly old-fashioned faces that gaze out at you from Victorian encyclopaedias. There’s an air of respectable munificence about him as if he spends most of his time founding orphanages. This isn’t modern. It isn’t relevant or sexy. But it’s thoroughly Liberal Democrat. Plenty of gravitas. No weight."

The Times’ Sam Coates: "Politically it was also interesting, amounting to a rebalancing from last year where the centrepiece was a highly personal attack on David Cameron. This year there was no personal attacks, and the critique of Labour was much sharper. It amounted to a subtle shift further from Labour – providing some comfort to those who think he is too nice about Gordon Brown – and away from demonising the Tories to please left leaning activists."

Stephen Tall on LibDemVoice: "All in all, it felt to me like a relaxed (surprisingly so, given the media barrage of criticism he’s faced) and confident performance. The conference speech clearly isn’t a task Ming relishes, but he certainly didn’t shrink from it, either. It’s a thumbs-up from me."

Nick Robinson: "There was no plot this week to unseat Sir Menzies Campbell, but there were mutterings. This speech should stop them – for now."

Let’s hope Nick Robinson is right.  The LibDems need Clegg to save a good number of their southern seats.

29 comments for: Blog reactions to Ming’s big speech

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