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Daily View: Reactions to the Lib Dem manifesto

Clare Spencer | 09:02 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

Nick CleggCommentators make their judgements about the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

The Daily Mail editorial says the Lib Dems are decent people keeping other parties honest but their policies are lacking:

"The Liberal Democrats are proposing to take everyone earning below £10,000 out of income tax altogether, which is a potentially excellent idea.
 
But they claim to be able to fund it with a hopelessly optimistic plan to recoup £4.6billion on tax avoidance."

Channel 4 News' economics correspondent Faisal Islam congratulates the Lib Dems on the Channel 4 News blog for their fiscal policy:

"If the election was a prize rewarded for fiscal candour, the Lib Dems might actually win. That much is evident from the four-page annexe at the back of their manifesto showing multi-year costings for all their manifesto commitments."

The Independent editorial says there is no reason to fear the prospect of a hung parliament:

"It could be observed that a third party has the luxury of spelling out unpopular policies, confident that it will not be called upon to implement them. But this would be unfair for two reasons. The first is that the Liberal Democrats offer some realistic and imaginative solutions that might yet find their way into the plans of one or other major party. Policy-poaching has precedents, as the Conservatives' George Osborne knows to his cost. The other relates to the level playing-field created by the debates - if not, sadly, by the electoral system - and the profound disillusionment with mainstream politics that can be detected among the voters at large."

In the Telegraph Benedict Brogan is untrusting of Nick Clegg who he called smooth, good-looking and persuasive but warns that he, too, is a politician:

"The under-scrutinised Mr Clegg is tapping into our collective distaste for politics in all its forms by selling himself as the anti-candidate. Just as Jimmy Carter aligned himself against Washington to win election after Watergate, so Mr Clegg sides with us to pelt the two main parties. Listen to him at his manifesto launch yesterday, or any day for that matter, and his refrain of "a plague on both your houses" and references to 'the old parties' will chime with the discontent we all feel."

Timothy Garton Ash says in the Guardian that he thinks the Lib Dems remain implausible "in their own sweet way":

"Their manifesto envisages major changes, including proportional representation and a written constitution, which, if implemented, would fundamentally reform our political system. But who believes they have the power to implement them?"

Conservative political blogger Iain Dale applauds the Lib Dems in his blog for being the only main party to mention the economy but goes on to pick holes in their policies:

"[W]hen you dig beneath the surface you find the normal idiotic LibDem policies, which put saner people off voting for them. For instance, they want to put VAT on new houses, adding £11,000 to the cost of an average house for a first time buyer. And later on you find that they rule out military action against Iran 'in all circumstances'. Totally irresponsible."

Links in full

MailDaily Mail | Why LibDems are still not the third way
Channel 4Faisal Islam | Channel 4 News | Lib Dems hope to harvest fruit of political candour
IndependentIndependent | There's no reason to fear the prospect of a hung parliament
TelegraphBenedict Brogan | Telegraph | Beware the seductive charms of Nick Clegg
GuardianTimothy Garton Ash | Guardian | The choice is three brands of implausible
Iain Dale's DiaryIain Dale's Diary | Holes in the Lib Dem approach

More like this

GuardianJonathan Freedland | Guardian | Lib Dems get their moment in the sun
GuardianGuardian | Liberal Democrat manifesto: Tough but fair
MailQuentin Letts | Daily Mail | Surgical questions? Yikes, Nick Clegg isn't used to those!
TelegraphTelegraph | The Lib Dems' honesty lays bare their naivety
GuardianAndrew Adonis | Guardian | The Lib Dems really are backing Labour
IndependentBen Chu | Independent | The sensible party
GuardianGiles Wilkes | Guardian | For sound economics vote Lib Dem
Next LeftFabian Society | Next Left | Nick and Vince changed their minds on child benefit
Capitalists@workCapitalists@work | Do the Lib Dems pass the economic competence test?
Iain Dale's DiaryIain Dale's Diary | Vince & Nick Face Both Ways on NICs

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