The Liberal Democrats are in trouble. Yesterday, Guido reported a survey that suggested two-thirds of its English MPs are in danger from ‘the Cameron effect’. A letter in Saturday’s Guardian from ex-LibDems explained why they had joined the Conservatives.
Gordon Brown isn’t alone is facing leadership speculation. Nick Clegg is hardly doing any better in the polls than Ming Campbell and the Independent on Sunday found Chris Huhne reasserting himself yesterday.
Most of the LibDem ideas on tax’n’spend aren’t worth copying – not least the dangerous attempts to raise green taxes and taxes on the allegedly wealthy. But anyone on the Right should welcome some of the changes that Clegg is making to his party. He refused yesterday to rule out sending his children to private schools and abandoned his party’s "rapid" commitment to join the euro.
There was also one idea that Vince Cable has proposed that we should eagerly pinch. The TaxPayers’ Alliance has regularly exposed the growth of telephone number salaries in local and central government. Mr Cable has proposed that all super-salary workers in the public sector beaucracy and quangocracy – on c£100,000 – will have to reapply for their jobs. Many of these will only be reappointed on reduced salaries. This policy could be the flagship policy of a wider commitment to public sector pay restraint.
The collapse of Lehmans means that this a bleak day for the world economy. Last week the Tories signalled the end of Labour’s spending splurge. George Osborne needs to say a lot more about evolving Conservative economic policy in his address in Birmingham.