Blair overture hits right note
Tuesday 19 September 1995
Paddy Ashdown, the Liberal Democrat leader, will seek to capitalise on Tony Blair's hand of friendship today by emphasising his own party's commitment to an honesty in politics that the public no longer expects.
Emphasising in his keynote conference speech the three Liberal Democrat priorities for change - better education, constitutional change and a sustainable economy - contained in the Liberal Democrat Guarantee to be endorsed on Thursday, Mr Ashdown will pledge to offer a clarity over policies and an honesty about taxes that people no longer expect from politicians.
"I want to use this moment to start a great campaign up to and through the next election in which we will say simply and plainly how Britain must change and how the Liberal Democrats will guarantee those changes", he will say.
Speaking against the background of yesterday's higher borrowing figures, Mr Ashdown will emphasise his own party's unity over its own prescription for change and long-term sustainable prosperity.
Despite outward signs of irritation with Mr Blair's overture among a number of delegates, Liberal Democrat party chiefs were yesterday expressing private satisfaction at the interest being shown by another party.
They and Mr Ashdown are determined to exploit to the full the window of opportunity to set out their policy stall. And those party spokesmen who attacked Labour were yesterday under instruction to ensure they did so on areas where this served to highlight a clear Liberal Democrat policy alternative.
While there were claims that Mr Blair's unexpected olive branch had overshadowed the conference, party aides insisted that the overall mood would provide a "real launch platform" for the 18-month pre-election campaign ahead.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 3 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Death in the Valley of the Dolls: Heroin overdose turns the spotlight on prostitution boom in California's tech industry
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Woman, 61, jailed for seven years after drink-drive death of cyclist
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Payment Dev...